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Harvard Kennedy School Professor Christopher Stone has been selected as the next president of the Open Society Foundations, effective July 2012. Stone is the Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice Policy, and serves as director of the Kennedy School's Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations and of The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management. He has been a board member of the Open Society Justice Initiative since 2004.
“It is a great honor to join George Soros at the helm of the Open Society Foundations, especially at this moment when there is so much to be done,” said Stone. “In many places the Open Society Foundations are leading supporters of efforts to strengthen the rule of law, democratic practice, and basic respect for human dignity. It will be a privilege to work alongside the Foundations’ grantees and staff as we move this agenda forward.”
Stone's academic research focuses on two distinct subjects: the improvement of criminal justice systems in the United States and worldwide, and the leadership and governance of nonprofit organizations. His work on nonprofit organizations includes a continuing project to benchmark effective practices across the sector worldwide. During the course of his career, Stone has guided the start-up of eight nonprofit organizations pursuing justice from Johannesburg to Los Angeles and New York.
"Christopher Stone is a magnificent choice to head the Open Society Foundations," said Harvard Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood. "I’m confident his keen intellect, exceptional leadership and vast experience in the non-profit arena will prove to be an invaluable resource to OSF and the communities it serves. We are enormously grateful to Chris for his many contributions to the Kennedy School, and we will miss him very much."
Stone’s appointment is the result of an international search that began when current OSF President Aryeh Neier announced earlier this year that he would step down. “Chris is a superb choice and I am confident that he will ably lead the Foundations,” said Neier, who was appointed president in 1993.
For almost three decades the Open Society Foundations have been committed to promoting justice, human rights, freedom of expression, health, and education around the world. Stone will oversee more than $850 million in annual expenditures.
“Chris Stone shares my commitment to open society, and I am delighted to have him lead the next phase of the Foundations,” said George Soros, chairman and founder of the Open Society Foundations. “His appointment ensures that protecting the rights of some of the world’s most marginalized communities will remain a key feature of the Open Society Foundations.”
Stone received his AB from Harvard, an MPhil. in criminology from the University of Cambridge, and his JD from the Yale Law School.