The Atlantic Institute Governing Board (AIGB) has unanimously appointed Evie O’Brien as Executive Director of the Atlantic Institute for a five-year term. Evie has been Acting Executive Director of the Institute, housed at Rhodes House in Oxford in the UK, since January 2020. Previously, she served as Program Director at the Atlantic Institute and is a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Social Equity, based at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
The decision followed an extensive process led by the search firm, Perrett Laver, involving interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, including Senior Atlantic Fellows, Atlantic Fellows program leaders, Atlantic Institute staff and Board members.
Chair of the Atlantic Institute Governing Board, Christopher G. Oechsli, said: “The Board decided it would not be beneficial – or fair to other prospective candidates – to engage in a broader search when we already had a proven outstanding candidate. The feedback on Evie’s interim leadership in this context was uniformly and enthusiastically positive. Observations by all Board members of Evie’s performance also were consistent with the Atlantic community response.”
As Executive Director, Evie provides ongoing support to the growing global community of Atlantic Fellows through convenings, training and resources, to complement and facilitate collaboration across the Fellows’ programs. The Institute team and the AIGB are committed to deepening engagement across the community and ensuring that Fellows and program staff have the long-term resources and opportunities to connect, learn, and work together to make a fairer, healthier, more inclusive world.
Evie O’Brien said: “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue serving the global community of leaders in the Atlantic fellowship, who together are striving to accelerate the eradication of inequities, locally and globally. The level and scale of diversity and inclusion in the community is unprecedented in any fellowship program in the world.”
Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, Atlantic Institute Board member and Warden of the Rhodes Trust, said: “Having worked closely with Evie on the Rhode’s Trust’s Senior Leadership Team and as a member of the AIGB, I have seen the remarkable progress of the Atlantic Institute under her leadership, so I’m excited to see what the next five years will bring. Evie’s personal values align so closely with those of the Institute. She’s someone who combines great clarity of thought, passion for strategic innovation, and an ability to hold the space for the many diverse voices that make up the Atlantic community.”
By the end of 2020, there will be around 550 Atlantic Fellows and over the next two decades the fellowship is expected to grow to 2,500.
The Atlantic Institute, in association with seven equity programs around the world, provides the community with the networks, architecture and resources to connect, learn and act. By empowering these agents of change, the Institute aims to increase the impact of the Fellows’ initiatives, and to accelerate their ability to scale up activity by connecting them with other Fellows worldwide.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue serving the global community of leaders in the Atlantic fellowship, who together are striving to accelerate the eradication of inequities, locally and globally.
— Evie O'Brien, Executive Director, The Atlantic Institute