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Open Society Names Natalie Samarasinghe as Global Director for Advocacy

NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations today named Natalie Samarasinghe as their first global director of advocacy, as part of their drive to speak with a powerful international voice for justice, equity, and free expression.

Samarasinghe joins Open Society with more than 15 years of advocacy and management experience, most recently as CEO of the United Nations Association-UK. She will assume her new role on January 18, 2022.

Natalie Samarasinghe at a podium

“Natalie is a respected thought leader on the subjects of human rights, multilateralism, and civil society. She is well-positioned to build a powerful global advocacy department that magnifies our impact,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, president of the Open Society Foundations.

Samarasinghe transformed the United Nations Association-UK into a global innovator and campaigner on UN issues with over 120 branches and 1,000 civil society partners worldwide. There, she advised NGOs and governments on advocacy strategies, and was one of the co-founders of both the 1 for 7 Billion campaign for transparency in international appointments, and the Together First movement for inclusive global governance. Samarasinghe also worked for the United Nations in the office of the President of General Assembly, and as chief of strategy for the organization’s 75th anniversary initiative.

Samarasinghe has also advised governments on UN policy, and supported NGOs such as the Sri Lanka Campaign and Brazilian Igarapé Institute.

“I look forward to helping lead the Foundations’ advocacy priorities and being part of an impressive legacy that continues to shape laws, policies, practices, and attitudes in support of open society,” said Samarasinghe.

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