March 11, 2009; New York, NY— AJWS has named Robert Bank as its new Executive Vice President. In this role, Bank will work closely with the international development organization’s president, Ruth Messinger, and vice presidents to oversee AJWS’s programmatic work, strategic planning and operations.
“AJWS represents that sacred spot where being Jewish and making a difference in the Global South come together with pinpoint clarity,” said Bank. “I look forward to supporting AJWS’s board and staff in building upon AJWS’s remarkable success in galvanizing the American Jewish community to fulfill Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice.”
Prior to joining AJWS’s executive team, Bank served as Chief Operating Officer of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), a community-based organization that serves over 15,000 clients and is a leader in the nation’s HIV/AIDS advocacy arena. As COO of GMHC, he led a staff of over 200 and supervised an annual budget of $30 million. An attorney who previously worked in New York City government, Bank is a seasoned senior executive with extensive experience creating and implementing effective operational systems, best practices, and policies and controls that enable an organization to build its capacity for effective growth.
AJWS created the EVP position to further strengthen its internal infrastructure and to support the leadership and vision of its president. AJWS has nearly 100 full-time staff members and an annual budget of approximately $29 million. The organization supports hundreds of grassroots community development projects in 36 of the world’s most impoverished countries, sends more than 500 volunteers to the developing world each year and has mobilized tens of thousands of human rights activists in communities across the United States.
“Robert is a dynamic leader with a deeply rooted passion for social justice. He has been working throughout his professional career and personal life to alleviate poverty and inequality,” Messinger said. “We’re proud that AJWS has reached a point where we have the opportunity to bring in a top-tier executive of his stature to help us optimize our position for growth and continued impact in the world.”
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