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The Atlantic Philanthropies Announces President and CEO Gara LaMarche to Step Down; Transition Plan Underway

Resource type: News

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

NEW YORK, NY, June 03, 2011 – The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Board of Directors today announced that President and CEO Gara LaMarche has notified it of his intent not to seek a second five-year contract and step down from his position at the Foundation on September 1, 2011.  The Board has begun the process of identifying a successor.

The Atlantic Philanthropies Board Chair, Frederick A. O. Schwarz Jr., in announcing Mr. LaMarche’s decision and the transition said, “We hired Gara because of his unwavering commitment to elevating the voices of the disadvantaged and vulnerable to bring about major social change in their own lives and the lives of others.  Over the past four years, Atlantic has, for example, played an important role in health care reform to address the needs of kids, older adults, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged in the United States; defense of benefits for older adults in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; changes in HIV/AIDS and nursing policies in South Africa; and medical research and public health globally. These accomplishments would not have been possible without Gara’s dedication to the Foundation’s mission.” 

Mr. LaMarche in notifying the Board of his decision said, “I came to Atlantic because of its long-standing mission to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people and I am very proud of the work we’ve done over the past several years to support grantees that are delivering on that mission.  It has been an honor to lead a global team working each day to make the best use of the extraordinary generosity and vision of one of history’s greatest philanthropists, Charles Feeney.” 

Mr. LaMarche came to Atlantic as an internationally recognized leader in human rights and social justice.  Over three decades, he held leadership positions at Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union and, prior to joining Atlantic, as Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations.

“I’ve spent my life’s work on social justice advocacy and philanthropy, and I believe the organization needs a different kind of leader in the final chapter of the foundation, one who could work closely with the Founding Chairman to implement his strategic vision, while preserving Atlantic’s groundbreaking work in ageing, children and youth, human rights and population health,” said Mr. LaMarche.  

It is the view of the Atlantic Board that Atlantic’s historic core program themes and existing geographic locations, together with Founding Chairman initiatives, will remain the basis for future grant making and operations.

The Board noted that this leadership transition will not impact the Foundation’s commitment to Mr. Feeney’s Giving While Living philosophy and engagement with the donor in active and robust grant making during his lifetime, and that Atlantic is still on track to conclude its grant making activities by 2016. 

Related Content

> Learn more about The Atlantic Philanthropies and our mission.

> Letter from Gara LaMarche about his resignation. 

> Letter from Atlantic’s Board Chair about Gara LaMarche’s resignation. 

> Read our Currents column, “Brick by Brick: Investing in Capital Projects for Social Change.”

> President of Atlantic Philanthropies Announces Resignation, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 3 June 2011

For media inquiries please contact:
Ben Wyskida, 212-338-4064, b.wyskida [at] atlanticphilanthropies [dot] org 

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