Introducing Open Philanthropy’s New Leadership Team

Since Holden formally stepped down as co-CEO of Open Philanthropy last July, I’ve been working to build out our new leadership team. This post introduces the folks joining me (CEO) and Cari Tuna (President) as OP leadership:

  • Emily Oehlsen became Managing Director for our work on Global Health and Wellbeing (GHW) in July 2023 after a rapid rise through the ranks: she joined Open Phil as a research fellow on the GHW Cause Prioritization team in April 2021, was promoted to co-run that team in March 2022, and then effectively started running all of GHW on an interim basis about a year ago. She has done a fantastic job, most notably in running the Regranting Challenge and overseeing our expansion into new programs like innovation policyglobal health R&D, and global public health policy. Prior to Open Phil, Emily worked on policy and research at DeepMind and Uber, and was a grad student in economics at Oxford.
  • This past fall, I hired Howie Lempel as a senior advisor for Global Catastrophic Risks (GCR). He joined OP at the beginning of the year, and as of this week is now interim Managing Director for GCRs; his role will parallel Emily’s. Howie is a returning Open Phil staffer: he led our first work on GCRs back in 2014, and went on to serve as CEO for two of our major grantees (80,000 Hours and Effective Ventures UK). I’m excited to have Howie back at OP, but the role leading GCRs is a very big one and we both want some time to try things out before hopefully making his new interim appointment permanent.
  • Eric Parrie also joined in the new year as Managing Director for Operations, overseeing a variety of functions including finance, grants, legal, people and business operations, and recruiting. Prior to joining OP, Eric served as CEO of COVIDCheck Colorado as it scaled from 5 to 1500 staff, delivered millions of COVID tests and hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses, and generated a profit of $100 million (all of which was donated back to charitable causes).
  • Jasmine Dhaliwal joined Open Phil as my Chief of Staff in August 2023. She’s already helped me extend my reach and tackle a wide variety of issues, from board management to external engagement. Prior to OP, Jas served as a British diplomat, working in defense and international security with postings to NATO and the OSCE.

I’m excited about the new additions!

Another noteworthy staffing change outside of the new leadership team is that Claire Zabel recently decided to step down from leading our GCR Capacity Building team. Claire has been leading that team for over 5 years, and for the past year has been looking for an opportunity to step back and explore other options. The growth and maturation of her team made that feasible: Eli Rose, who joined the team in 2020, is being promoted to Program Officer, and will lead the GCRCB team on an interim basis while we conduct a thorough search for a permanent team lead. Claire isn’t sure yet what she’s going to do next, but will remain at Open Phil and continue her oversight of the biosecurity and pandemic preparedness team as she explores different options. I’m grateful to Claire for all of her contributions and am hoping she’ll choose a role at OP for the longer term!

I also wanted to share a couple of updates from people who’ve recently held OP leadership roles:

I’m proud of the high-impact roles these OP alumni have taken on.


As a final note: we’re still hiring for another important role, Director of Communications. We’re accepting applications through February 18th. Please consider referring someone you know who might be great (we offer a $5,000 referral reward) or applying yourself!