FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2019
CONTACT: Evan Serpick, OSI-Baltimore
BALTIMORE – Diana Morris will officially step down from her position as director of Open Society Institute-Baltimore in June to pursue new opportunities. Deputy Director Tracy Brown will serve as acting director in her absence.
“Diana’s deep, tireless commitment to justice has made an immeasurable contribution to our work in Baltimore from its inception,” says Tom Perriello, the director of Open Society’s US Programs. “Her departure will be a tremendous loss for Baltimore and for OSF but her impact will continue for years to come, including through the tremendous team and programs she has helped to build for the city and the OSF network. OSF’s commitment to our work in Baltimore is unwavering.”
Morris previously announced that she would begin a four-month sabbatical to pursue projects in Baltimore and Lesotho in March. She will officially leave Open Society Foundations after the sabbatical ends.
“I have enjoyed a good, long period at Open Society Foundations – 21 years! – and, at this point in my career, have a desire to pursue social change in a different role and from a different vantage point,” she says. “I have every confidence that our expert and strategic staff will continue to be a catalyst for significant change and that the office, under the leadership of Tracy Brown, will flourish. My sabbatical provides a natural time for me to make this change, and I feel very excited about applying what I have learned at Open Society in new ways.”
When Open Society Foundations (OSF) created a program in Baltimore in 1998, seeking to support meaningful change on the local level and learn lessons that could be leveraged nationally, Morris was its founding director – and sole employee. Today, OSI-Baltimore has 18 employees and taps both OSF funds and those of local donors to drive positive change in four program areas: Education and Youth Development, Addiction and Health Equity, Criminal and Juvenile Justice, and Community Fellowships. Over the years, Morris has also served as acting director of OSF’s US Programs and director of its Open Places Initiative, which conducts place-based work in Puerto Rico, Buffalo, and San Diego.
Tracy Brown joined OSI as deputy director in 2014. She previously served as executive director of the Women’s Law Center of Maryland. “Diana has been a wonderful mentor and friend,” she says. “She has set the bar for leadership very high, but I have no doubt that we will be able to continue on the path she has forged for us during this transition and beyond.”
Open Society Foundations will begin a search for a new director immediately.