ADL Picks White House Official As New Director

November 6, 2014       Zach Halper      

Jonathan Greenblatt, who has headed up the White House Office of Social Innovation & Civic Participation, will be joining The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in New York City as the new national director.

The selection of Greenblatt concludes a two-year search by a 16-member succession committee that began when current national director, Abraham H. Foxman, announced his retirement. Greenblatt had been working at the White House as a Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation & Civic Participation since 2011. He will begin his new role on July 20, 2015, the same day Foxman retires.

Foxman will be ADL director emeritus following his retirement, and will continue to work with the organization by serving on both the ADL National Commission and the ADL National Executive Committee, according to the organization. “I’m confident that ADL will continue to thrive and grow under Jonathan’s leadership and I look forward to working with him to ensure a successful and smooth transition,” said Foxman.

During his time at the White House, Greenblatt was instrumental in the design and development of public-private partnerships that empower disadvantaged populations, such as the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. He also convened public-private partnerships such as the White House Roundtable on Impact Investing that catalyzed more than $1.5 billion in new private sector commitments earlier this summer.

“Jonathan brings to ADL an impressive track record of leadership in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors and a deep and abiding commitment to our mission of combating anti-Semitism and defending the civil rights of all people,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL national chair and chair of the succession committee.

A graduate of Tufts University and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Greenblatt is also the grandson of a Holocaust survivor who escaped from Nazi Germany. Aside from his work at the White House, he is also known as a social entrepreneur who has worked to promote various Jewish social causes.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead this vital organization as it begins its next century of service,” said Greenblatt. “Since its inception, ADL has had a tremendous impact on making America a more inclusive society for all people while defending the rights of Jews to freely practice their faith and be full participants in society. I am incredibly excited by the opportunity of building on those great successes.”

Greenblatt will be taking over the reins of an organization that thrived during Foxman’s tenure, which began in 1987. During that time, the ADL continued to grow as one of the top organizations fighting anti-Semitism bigotry and discrimination with 30 regional offices across the United States and an office in Israel. According to its most recent Form 990 the organization bought in $18.14 million in 2012, slightly more than the $17.08 million bought in the previous year. Roughly half of the revenue ($9.1 million) was from contributions and grants.