The Open Society Foundations (OSF) recently named Patrick H. Gaspard as its new vice president of programs. Gaspard is well known currently as the U.S. ambassador to South Africa and also served as a senior advisor to President Obama. The OSF, whose mission is to use its grantmaking and advocacy network to promote democracy, justice, independent health and public health around the world for the next generation, has branches in 37 countries. As a veteran in the arena of global affairs and social justice, Ambassador Gaspard will oversee the OSF’s advocacy work and take a public role in an effort to advance its mission and activities. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he immigrated with his parents to New York City at the age of three; eventually attending Columbia University but never earning a degree. He left college to jump into the arena of New York City politics, first working as a community organizer and then serving on Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign and David Dinkins’s successful 1989 mayoral campaign.