Binaifer Nowrojee appointed president of prestigious Open Society Foundations

Binaifer Nowrojee. PHOTO: X @nowrojeeOSF

Binaifer Nowrojee, a human rights activist and attorney, has been appointed President of the Open Society Foundations, headquartered in New York, founded by the billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros.

The Open Society Foundations, describes itself as “the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights,” on its website

Nowrojee replaces current president Mark Malloch-Brown. The Board unanimously named Nowrojee, a member of the Executive Leadership team, as Malloch-Brown’s successor.

With over three decades of experience, Nowrojee, who is of Indian heritage but hails from Kenya, has experience working in politically sensitive environments to drive change, her profile on the OSF website notes, adding that her strategic leadership spans national, regional, and international levels, encompassing policy research, campaigning, grant making, litigation, and investment.

Nowrojee brings deep expertise in Africa and Asia, where she has spearheaded advocacy initiatives to promote social justice and equality, OSF noted.

Previously, Nowrojee held key positions within the Open Society Foundations, including the vice president of Programs on the Executive Leadership Team, East Africa Foundation director, regional director for Asia Pacific, and vice president for Organizational Transformation.

She is credited by the OSF of orchestrating a significant strategic and structural realignment of the organization, enhancing its capacity to effect change in a rapidly evolving global landscape.

Prior to her tenure at OSF, Nowrojee was legal counsel at Human Rights Watch and a staff attorney at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. She joined OSF in 2004

She has worked extensively on prosecuting sexual violence under international law and testified as an expert witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

She has served as a lecturer at Harvard Law School and was awarded a Carr Center fellowship.

Nowrojee holds a JD from Columbia Law School and an LLM degree from Harvard Law School,

“With her wealth of experience and unwavering dedication, Nowrojee is well-equipped to lead the Open Society Foundations into a new era of impactful and transformative change,” her biography says.

Alex Soros, chair of the BoD at OSF, in an announcement, said, Nowrojee in a note to staff, “rightly described herself as someone who came with a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of the Foundations’ work, urging a redoubling of our commitment to advance and promote human rights with our partners and the broader world. I have firsthand experience of seeing her in action, in some very difficult circumstances. She is a leader, who cares deeply about the people she works with.”



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