NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations today announced the appointment of Patrick Gaspard as president, effective January 1, 2018. He has managed day-to-day operations of the Foundations since September.
Gaspard will oversee a 2018 budget of more than one billion dollars at the Open Society Foundations, which support human rights, justice, and access to public health and education in more than 140 countries.
“I am delighted to have Patrick as leader of the Foundations,” said George Soros, chairman and founder of the Open Society Foundations. “He has demonstrated enormous energy and commitment in responding to the challenges we face. He brings a strong vision of where we are going, drawing on a broad range of experience that convinced both me and the members of the Global Board that he is ideally suited to this role.”
Gaspard joined Open Society in January 2017 as vice president, working with outgoing president Chris Stone to oversee program work and advocacy. He took over the role of president on an acting basis when Stone announced his intention to step down at the end of this year.
Gaspard was previously the U.S. ambassador to South Africa from 2013 to 2016. Prior to that, he was the executive director of the Democratic National Committee from 2011 to 2013, assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Political Affairs from 2009 to 2011, and the national political director for Obama for America in 2008. Gaspard also was the executive vice president and political director for the Service Employees International Union.
“This is a mission unlike any other,” said Gaspard. “And I am deeply honored to be confirmed in this role by George Soros and the Global Board. This year has given me a deep introduction to the challenges we face. But it has also reaffirmed my faith in the people—our staff and grantees—who are working tirelessly to build a better, more just, more open world.”