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The Atlantic Philanthropies Announces the Atlantic Fellows Program and Creation of the Atlantic Institute to Sustain Global Network of Changemakers

Resource type: News

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

Initiatives will empower and connect dynamic individuals committed to working together across disciplines and borders to advance fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies.

NEW YORK, June 1, 2016 — The Atlantic Philanthropies today announced two multi-decade investments, totaling nearly $200 million, to equip innovative leaders and thinkers with the tools they need to redress inequality and enhance opportunity both in their own communities and collaboratively on a global scale.

“From its inception, Atlantic has invested in people and in their vision and ability to realize a better world,” said Christopher G. Oechsli, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. “In our final year of grantmaking, we are making our largest philanthropic investment ever, in people. Our vision for the Atlantic Fellows programs is to connect and empower a new generation of people who are committed to working together across disciplines and borders to advance fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies.”

A £64.4 million ($91 million) grant to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will establish an Atlantic Fellows program at its International Inequalities Institute. The program is the latest in an interconnected set of fellowship programs — the Atlantic Fellows — designed to address some of the world’s most critical challenges.

“No theme has been more basic to the work of LSE throughout its history than addressing and trying to moderate inequality,” said Professor Craig Calhoun, who has served as LSE’s director since 2012. “No issue is more important to the UK or the world today. This remarkable grant will enable LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute to scale up faster, join students and researchers across departmental lines, and prepare generations of engaged practitioners to have an even more profound impact.”

Dynamic, accomplished leaders and thinkers, Atlantic Fellows at LSE’s International Inequalities Institute will be researchers, teachers, health professionals, activists, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists, writers, government officials and others dedicated to tackling global challenges to health, equity, opportunity and removing barriers to inclusion. The program will offer emerging leaders residencies, seminars, mentoring programs, practical project work and networking relationships. It will draw on LSE’s international faculty and work in close collaboration with other institutions, including the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Cornell University in the United States.

A second grant will create a convening and knowledge-sharing hub for the global network of Atlantic Fellows. The Atlantic Institute, established with a 15-year, £75 million ($106 million) investment, will serve as a nexus for Atlantic Fellows, maximizing their collaboration and impact in tackling persistent challenges to societies locally and globally.

The Atlantic Institute will be based in Oxford and operated by the Rhodes Trust.

Sir John Hood, chairman of the Rhodes Trust, said: “The Rhodes Trust is delighted to be announcing the launch of the Atlantic Institute. This is a significant development in the Trust’s 113-year history and allows us to advance our goal of promoting collaboration among global leaders.”

The Atlantic Institute will also provide additional support to Atlantic Fellows and alumni throughout their careers. Activities will include global convenings to allow participants and alumni across programs to connect, as well as annual innovation prizes for Atlantic Fellows and alumni to develop and implement particularly creative and effective ideas.

Taken together, the network of Atlantic Fellows programs and institutions represents a $600 million initiative by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Not only is this the foundation’s largest collective investment in its 35-year history, but the creation of the Atlantic Fellows program and the Atlantic Institute marks the first and only time that Atlantic has given its name to an initiative or institution.

These two new initiatives are the foundation’s latest and biggest bets on people. Additional programs are still being developed and will be announced in the coming months.

For over three decades, The Atlantic Philanthropies’ work on five continents has been focused largely on combating systemic inequality and achieving lasting impact for those who experience bias and barriers to advancement. From overcoming health disparities and the impact of dementia to promoting equal rights and representation regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, income or age, Atlantic Fellows will be a network of changemakers challenging discrimination and disenfranchisement, and committed to enhancing the health and cohesiveness of communities and countries all over the world.

In the Media

The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to advancing opportunity, equity and human dignity. Established in 1982, when Chuck Feeney quietly committed virtually all of his assets to the foundation, Atlantic has since made grants approaching $8 billion. In keeping with Mr. Feeney’s “Giving While Living,” big bet philosophy, Atlantic invests in systemic change to accelerate improvements in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The foundation, which has operated in Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam, will complete all grantmaking in 2016 and conclude operations shortly afterward.

Media Contacts

Nima Shirazi, Communications Manager
The Atlantic Philanthropies / +1 (212) 916 7344

Babette Tegldal, Director of Communications
The Rhodes Trust / +44 (0)7876 381605

Jess Winterstein, Deputy Head, LSE Press Office
London School of Economics / +44 (0)20 7107 5025