LAFF Society


News about Former Foundation Staff


Raymond Offenheiser will leave his position as chief executive officer and president of Oxfam America to become the first director of the recently established Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development at the University of Notre Dame. He’ll start his new job in September. 
The initiative that he’ll head is part of the new Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs, which was set up in 2014 to “prepare new generations of students for skilled, effective and ethical global professional leadership.”
His appointment is a “game-changer” for the initiative, said the school’s director, Scott Appleby. “He brings to students, faculty and partners more than 35 years of experience working with major foundations, nonprofits, government, the private sector and the media on a wide range of public policy issues.
“He has worked at the local, national and global levels with some of the world’s most pioneering individuals, organizations and policy initiatives. He has the respect of and access to presidents, prime ministers and parliaments seeking to address complex problems with solutions that are cost-effective, human-centered and scalable.”
Said Offenheiser, “I had imagined taking on some kind of a role in academia post-Oxfam and this post offers the opportunity to be a part of creating a new school of global affairs….there is a lot of moral and financial support behind the project.” 
He will direct a team “building this program, setting up offices and research platforms overseas, leading a new business and global development program within the university, and doing some teaching. It’s a robust role with lots of opportunity for creativity and institution-building….”
He’ll be joining the new school just as its first group of students arrive on campus to study in its Master of Global Affairs program. As part of his work he’ll teach graduate and undergraduate students and serve on the Keough School’s Leadership Council. 
The new position also brings him back to Notre Dame, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1971. He also has a master’s degree in development sociology from Cornell University. 
Before joining Oxfam 20 years ago he worked for the Ford Foundation in its Dhaka and Lima offices. Prior to that he directed programs for the Inter-American Foundation in Brazil and Colombia, and worked for the Save the Children Foundation in Mexico.
He has served on many advisory bodies, including as a member of the Obama administration’s Leadership Council of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa. He was honorary president of Wetlands International and a co-founder of the ONE Campaign, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and the Food Policy Action Network.
He’s been a member of several boards, including the World Economic Forum, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, the World Agricultural Forum, the Gates Foundation, Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Cornell University.
Kavita Ramdas is leaving the Ford Foundation, where she has been a senior adviser to its president, Darren Walker, to “assess where I can be of most service”.
That includes, initially, working as a consultant to Planned Parenthood Global and as an Advisor in Residence to Trickle Up, a Ford grantee working with poor communities and individuals in South Asia, Central America and Africa.
Her year-long assignment at the New York headquarters of the Foundation was to help “integrate our commitment to justice and equality in all our policies and practices”. 
Before that she was Ford’s representative for three years in the office covering India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where she focused on issues of equity, inclusion, economic fairness, freedom of expression, human rights, sexuality and reproductive health and rights, transparency and accountable government, and sustainable development. 
Before joining Ford she was the founder and first executive director of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship located at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. From 1996 to 2010 she was the president and chief executive officer of the Global Fund for Women.
Ramdas earned her bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s degree in public affairs with a focus on international development from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.



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