The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) announced on Thursday at its annual meeting in Los Angeles that White House aide and social entrepreneur Jonathan Greenblatt will succeed Abraham Foxman as its national director next summer.
The announcement marks the culmination of a search that began last February, when Foxman said he would step down in July 2015. Foxman, 74, has worked for ADL since 1965 and in 1987 was named national director, a role in which he has become one of the highest-profile American Jewish organizational leaders.
Greenblatt, a 43-year-old grandson of a Holocaust survivor, currently serves as Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the Domestic Policy Council for the Obama administration. He was previously a social entrepreneur who co-founded Ethnos Brands, which produced Ethos Water, a premium bottled water that donated a portion of its profits to global clean water programs. Greenblatt also interned for ADL’s New England Regional Office while as an undergraduate student at Tufts University, and his wife worked for ADL’s Los Angeles office.
“I welcome the successful completion of the search process and the committee’s choice of my successor, Jonathan Greenblatt,” Foxman said. “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.”
Greenblatt said, “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.”
ADL, which celebrated its centennial last year, states in its mission that it “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals, and protects civil rights for all.”