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Open Society Names Laleh Ispahani as Co-Director of Open Society-U.S.

NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations announced today Laleh Ispahani’s promotion to co-director of Open Society-U.S. In this new role, Ispahani will lead the Open Society-U.S. team along with Executive Director Tom Perriello.

“This promotion is in many ways a formal recognition of the role Laleh has been playing for a long time,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations. “A national leader on civil liberties and racial justice, Laleh has been instrumental in building the new Open Society-U.S., while helping us navigate the next chapter of the Open Society network writ large. I am confident that under her continued leadership in the United States we can strive for even greater impact.”

As co-director, Ispahani will continue her focus on protecting and expanding the right to vote, reducing the influence of money on politics, and ensuring that the internet remains an open and secure platform for free expression and civic participation. Last year, in the face of the pandemic, voter suppression, and disinformation, Ispahani created and co-chaired the Partnership for Safe Voting, the largest philanthropic partnership in American history to protect voting rights. The Partnership’s efforts helped to ensure safe, secure, and fair elections in the U.S. in 2020 despite the enormous challenges. Earlier in 2016, she designed and led Communities Against Hate, an Open Society-wide program with national impact, and more recently, designed and implemented Open Society-U.S.’s strategy to build a multi-racial, pro-democracy alliance.

Ispahani’s leadership extends far beyond Open Society’s walls. She was recently named a Rockwood National Leadership Fellow, is currently serving a second year as a Fellow at the World Economic Forum on its Global Futures Councils on Systemic Inequality and Just Transition, sits on several nonprofit boards, and has led numerous philanthropic associations in the U.S. She is also a leader in the Asian American community.

“Laleh Ispahani is someone who leads with principle, skill and grace,” said Open Society-U.S. Advisory Board Chair Cecilia Muñoz. “She is an enormous asset to the Open Society Foundations team, and it is wonderful to see her leadership recognized in this way.”  

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