Entrepreneur and Obama administration aide, Jonathan Greenblatt, will become the new national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) next summer following the retirement of current national director Abraham Foxman.
The much anticipated selection was announced earlier today at the ADL’s annual meeting in Los Angeles attended by more than 300 leaders from across the country, according to a press release issued by the ADL.
“Jonathan brings to ADL an impressive track record of leadership in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors and a deep and abiding commitment to our mission of combating anti-Semitism and defending the civil rights of all people,” ADL’s national chair and chair of the succession committee, Barry Curtiss-Lusher, said, when announcing the choice.
According to the ADL, the 16-member succession committee – made up of Curtiss-Lusher, Foxman, lay leaders and other professional staff – unanimously selected Greenblatt after a two-year national search. The release claims that the succession committee reached this decision based on Greenblatt’s “impressive track record of building innovative brands, mission-driven businesses and cross-sector coalitions, as well as his deep interest in and commitment to issues including anti-Semitism, religious freedom, civil rights, Israel and the safety of the Jewish people.”
Greenblatt, has served as director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and special assistant to President Barack Obama since 2011 — directing the administration’s national service, civic engagement, social finance and impact investing policies. Prior to joining the administration, Greenblatt was a highly successful entrepreneur who co-founded the premium bottled water company, Ethos Brands (maker of Ethos Water) in 2002. Ethos Brands was purchased by the Starbucks Coffee Company in 2005.
“I welcome the successful completion of the search process and the committee’s choice of my successor, Jonathan Greenblatt,” said Foxman. “I’m confident that ADL will continue to thrive and grow under Jonathan’s leadership and I look forward to working with him to ensure a successful and smooth transition.”
Foxman publicly announced his intention to retire from his position in February, after having worked at the ADL since 1965 and as its national director since 1987. Greenblatt will take over from Foxman on July 20, 2015 – the exact date of Foxman’s 50th anniversary with the organization.
Based in New York City, the ADL claims to be the nation’s leading Jewish civil and human rights organization, which since its founding in 1913, has fought anti-Semitism through “programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice, and bigotry.”
“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead this vital organization as it begins its next century of service,” said Greenblatt, according to ADL’s statement. “Since its inception, ADL has had a tremendous impact on making America a more inclusive society for all people while defending the rights of Jews to freely practice their faith and be full participants in society. I am incredibly excited by the opportunity of building on those great successes.”[email protected] @dmitriyshapiro