Obama Aide Named New Anti-Defamation League Chief

Jonathan Greenblatt, a special assistant in the White House and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, will replace long-serving national director Abraham Foxman.

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Abraham Foxman, outgoing national director of the Anti-Defamation League.
Abraham Foxman, outgoing national director of the Anti-Defamation League.Credit: AP

The Anti-Defamation League’s new national director will be Jonathan Greenblatt, who currently works as a special assistant to President Obama, JTA has learned.

The ADL is expected to make the announcement at a meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday. The ADL confirmed the appointment and said Greenblatt was the unanimous choice of a 16-member succession committee.

Greenblatt will succeed Abraham Foxman, who announced in February that he’ll be stepping down effective July 2015. Foxman, 74, has been ADL national director since 1987.

At the White House, Greenblatt serves as director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council, where his portfolio includes national service, civic engagement, impact investing and social enterprise.

A grandson of a Holocaust survivor who escaped Nazi Germany, Greenblatt interned for the ADL while in college at Tufts University and later participated in an ADL professional leadership program.

A veteran of the Clinton administration, Greenblatt has been a serial social entrepreneur, co-founding a bottled water company called Ethos Water that donated a portion of its profits to finance water programs in developing countries.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt @J0NATHAN_G will succeed Abraham H. Foxman as #ADL National Director. http://t.co/X53F9fWB6B pic.twitter.com/Zpuw57Nx4r

After Starbucks bought the company, Greenblatt continued to promote clean-water funding in the developing world as the coffee company’s vice president of global consumer products.

Greenblatt also started an open-source platform for volunteers called All for Good, served as CEO of the media company GOOD Worldwide, and founded the Impact Economy Initiative at The Aspen Institute.He has an MBA from Northwestern University.

The ADL works to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice.

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