Ellen Buchman Appointed as Organization's New President

August 22, 2019

Insights from The Opportunity Agenda

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“On behalf of The Steering Committee of The Opportunity Agenda, it gives me great pleasure to announce that, effective immediately, we have appointed Ellen Buchman as the organization’s next President,” stated Madifing Kaba, Chair. “As we navigate one of the most divisive political climates in modern history, the issues related to equal dignity, human rights, opportunity for all and social justice in general are even more important today than ever. I believe that Ellen has the vision, the experience and the courage required to lead The Opportunity Agenda into the next phase of its work and history. Ellen’s demonstrated and steadfast commitment to racial and gender justice, along with her experience in building effective and inclusive teams and partnerships for progress and shared prosperity, is exactly what The Opportunity Agenda needs.”

Buchman’s appointment follows the recent departure of The Opportunity Agenda’s co-founder and long-time president Alan Jenkins.

Immediately prior to joining The Opportunity Agenda, Buchman worked for 15 years with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, most recently as Executive Vice President. She brings a breadth of expertise, knowledge, and experience having worked among leaders at the local, state, national and international levels for more than 25 years. Ellen is an internationally known leader, trainer and practitioner of organization and coalition building, campaign initiation, implementation, and training in the intersection of organizing, advocating and communicating for social justice. She joined The Opportunity Agenda as its first Vice President for Strategy and Program Impact in March 2018.

“I am elated that Ellen Buchman will be the next President of The Opportunity Agenda,” added Alan Jenkins. “Ellen’s social justice vision, her commitment to equity and inclusion, and the trust that she enjoys across diverse movements and sectors, are precisely the qualities that our organization needs at this critical moment in time. Under Ellen’s leadership, The Opportunity Agenda will see even greater success in moving hearts, minds and policy toward greater and more equal opportunity for all.”

Buchman will lead the organization’s existing initiatives in Criminal Justice Reform, Immigrant Human Rights, and Economic Opportunity; advance its Cultural Strategies efforts; and expand its reach, impact, and areas of focus in support of increasing social justice, access to democracy, and opportunity for all. Her strategic thinking and track record of building and developing staff capacity and leadership will be invaluable to the organization as it embarks on its next phase.

“Forging partnerships for social justice is in my DNA. And this is a seminal moment for social justice, for The Opportunity Agenda, and for our country,” said Buchman. “I am honored to learn from, lead, and work shoulder to shoulder with The Opportunity Agenda’s gifted and dedicated staff and Steering Committee, and its partners and allies – many of whom are directly impacted by the issues that we work to influence - to continue our journey toward changing hearts and minds, and uplifting our shared values toward equity, opportunity and justice for all. I am thrilled and deeply moved to be entrusted with the honor and privilege of this role, in the quest for social justice.”

For more information, please contact Bridget Whelan at bwhelan@opportunityagenda.org.