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Open Society Names Salil Shetty as Vice President, Global Programs

NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations today announced that Salil Shetty will assume the newly created role of vice president, Global Programs, on September 1, 2021. In this new position, Shetty will guide global programmatic work and provide thought leadership on issues critical to the Foundations’ mission worldwide.

“I’m delighted that Salil Shetty has agreed to join Open Society in this vital new role,” said Mark Malloch-Brown, president of Open Society. “Salil has been on the front lines, challenging the rise of authoritarianism and attacks on democracy, human rights, and justice around the world. I was fortunate to work with him at the United Nations Development Programme under Secretary General Kofi Annan. Salil has effectively led several organizations through challenging circumstances, and I know he has the strategic vision and leadership experience to help stand up our new global program to drive meaningful change.”

Shetty has been a global leader in the fight for human rights for decades. Since 2018, he has been a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, leading a seven-country study on resistance to elected authoritarian leaders. He is also affiliated with Harvard’s Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute. Shetty is studying youth movements in India, the role progressive values play in helping them counter polarization, and India’s soft power on the world stage more broadly.

Previously, he served as secretary general of Amnesty International (2010–2018), the world’s largest human rights organization with more than 10 million members worldwide. In that role, he helped Amnesty broaden its footprint and convert the organization into a truly global campaigning force for rights and justice. He served as director of the UN’s Millennium Campaign from 2003–2010, helping to develop political momentum toward the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals, and was chief executive of ActionAid International after leading ActionAid Kenya and ActionAid India.

“It’s an honor to join Open Society at this critical juncture in its history, and to help lead the Foundations’ global programming as it reimagines its incredible history and seeks to increase its impact on the most pressing challenges of the day,” said Shetty. “I look forward to joining Open Society’s talented team and am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside leadership, staff, and the Foundations’ many extraordinary grantees and partners on the next chapter of this storied institution.”

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