In the next couple of months, I’ll be transitioning from my role as ACE’s executive director to a position on the board of directors. The decision to end my tenure as an ACE staff member is bittersweet. I feel sad to be leaving a position that I love, but I also think this is the right time for me to pursue new opportunities and for ACE to thrive under new leadership.
I knew when I joined ACE (then “Effective Animal Activism”) that my tenure as its executive director would be limited. I strongly believe that nonprofit organizations benefit from regular leadership transitions, which can foster and facilitate new and innovative ideas. As a result, I decided early on that I would serve for at most five years, and that time is now up.
When I joined ACE as its first employee, times were especially lean. I, along with our first few staff members, worked for nearly nothing—but we were happy to be contributing to such an important cause. These early days were difficult and slow-going, but with the help of some talented volunteers and early supporters, we developed our charity evaluation process. As we grew, we continued to seek out amazing people and bring them on board.
ACE has accomplished a tremendous amount during my time here. We’ve influenced over $11 million in donations to some of the most effective animal charities in the world. We’ve also helped develop and communicate a growing body of research on effective animal advocacy. We organized the first ever EAA research symposium—bringing together academics and advocates to network and learn from each other—and our staff has spoken at animal advocacy and effective altruism events worldwide, spreading the message about the importance of using evidence and reason to help animals. Through all this work, we’ve helped spark a dialogue about the importance of evaluation in advocacy, which is crucial to our success as a movement.
I’m proud of the role that I was able to play in this work, but more than that, I’m proud of the incredible group of people who have joined me in this work, ranging from our brilliant and dedicated staff and board to our generous and passionate network of donors. I have always focused on working with team players: people with a steadfast commitment to our mission and the desire to work collaboratively towards achieving it. I’m humbled and grateful to have earned the support of many such people over the past five years; their trust in our work has been instrumental to our success.
ACE’s momentum is unmistakable—our staff is hard at work producing quality research, creating and highlighting resources on effective giving and advocacy, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the movement, continually assessing our systems to ensure that we capitalize on our growth, and mindfully implementing improvements to every aspect of our operations.
After more than five years of leading ACE’s incredible team, I’m looking forward to pursuing new professional opportunities and spending more time outdoors with my wife and our two dogs. Wherever my career may take me, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue contributing to ACE’s vision, and I am genuinely eager to see what we can accomplish in 2019 and beyond. We will continue to expand our amazing staff and to invest in their development and success. We will produce more research and continually raise our standards for its quality, and we will work to maintain our position as a credible resource for others in the movement. I hope you’ll join me in supporting ACE’s exciting future. Together, we can help create the best possible world for animals.