There have been several recent changes to the EV US board. 

Rebecca Kagan has resigned from the board of EV US. She decided to resign in light of her disagreements with the EV boards’ strategy and approach during the past few months. We would welcome her to share more of her thoughts publicly, and she plans to do so. In the meantime, Becca is happy for people with questions to reach out to her directly. We are very grateful for everything which Becca has given to EV US during her time as a trustee, particularly for her dedication and insights over the past few months. 

The board has also elected Zach Robinson and Eli Rose to the board as new trustees. They join current trustees Nicole Ross and Nick Beckstead.

Zach Robinson has been Interim CEO of EV US since January. Previously, he was Chief of Staff at Open Philanthropy and had experience in consulting and at a start-up. 

Eli Rose is currently a Senior Program Associate at Open Philanthropy, where he has worked on the longtermist EA community-building team since 2020. Previously, he was Director of Engineering at an educational technology company.

Both EV US and EV UK are still working to bring additional trustees onto the boards, and we hope to share further updates shortly. 

Comments13
Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 2:27 PM

Can you say more about your plans to bring additional trustees on the boards?

I note that, at present, all of EV (USA)'s board are current or former members of Open Philanthropy: Nick Beckstead, Zachary Robinson and Nicole Ross are former staff, Eli Rose is a current staffmember. This seems far from ideal; I'd like the board to be more diverse and representative of the wider EA community. As it stands, this seems like a conflict of interest nightmare. Did you discuss why this might be a problem? Why did you conclude it wasn't?

Others may disagree, but in my perspective, EV/CEA's role is to act as a central hub for the effective altruism community, and balance the interests of different stakeholders. It's difficult to see how it could do that effectively if all of its board were or are members of the largest donor.

I’d also like to see “the board be more diverse and representative of the wider EA community.” In addition to adding more members without ties to OpenPhil, I’d favor more diversity in the cause preferences of board members. Many of the members of the EV US and EV UK board have clear preferences for longtermism, while none are clearly neartermist. The same can said of the projects EV runs. This raises the question of whether EV sees its role as “a central hub for the effective altruism community, [balancing] the interests of different stakeholders” or if EV is instead trying to steer the community in specific directions. I hope EV offers more transparency around this going forward.

Hopefully, EV will be expanding its boards, which would be an opportunity to address these issues. Expanding the US board seems particularly important, since two of the four board members (Zach and Nicole) are staff members of EV (a pretty unusual structure) and as such would need to recuse themselves from some votes. This dynamic, combined with Nick (in the US and UK) and Will (in the UK) recusing themselves from FTX related issues, means the effective board sizes will be quite small for some important decisions. 

Ofer
1y23
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Also: When CEA (now Effective Ventures) appointed an Executive Director in 2019, they wrote in their blog that the CEO of OpenPhil (at the time) "provided extensive advice" to the search committee and "contributed to the final recommendation to the board of trustees".

Larks
1y133
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Thanks for sharing this; I especially appreciate the transparency that she resigned because of strategic disagreements.

I realize I am quite repetitive about this, but I really think EV/CEA would benefit from being more transparent with the community, especially about simple issues like 'who is currently in charge'. In this case I noticed the change on the website 18 days ago, and the actual handover may(?) have taken place prior to that point. My impression is that most normal organizations with public stakeholders announce leadership changes more or less immediately and I don't understand why EV doesn't.

When EVF announced the new interim CEOs 3 months ago, I noted that there wasn't a bio for EVF's board members on their website, and that it was hard to find much information on Google. At this moment in time, it's the most upvoted comment on that post, with 35 upvoted and 29 agreements. Howie agreed to update the website, but as of now it doesn't look like anything has been added. 

I'd like to raise this again, it would be good to update EVF's website with board member bios for transparency, and maybe a contact email address. I like that this press release has bios for Zach and Eli, and a link to Becca's forum account. Could you add a bio for Rebecca? Again, it's hard to find much info, since there was no bio in the previous press release I don't know anything about her.

Did the EV US Board consider running an open recruitment process and inviting applications from people outside of their immediate circle? If so, why did it decide against?

The EV US board was (in my opinion) significantly undersized to handle a major operational crisis. I suspect it knew at some point that Rebecca Kagan might be stepping down soon and that existing members might have to recuse from important decisions for various reasons. Thus, it would have been reasonable in my eyes to prioritize getting two new people on ASAP and to defer a broader recruitment effort until further expansion.

[anonymous]1y48
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Thank you for the update. I know it's relatively brief, but I also know the surprising amount of work that usually goes into writing posts like this to create a statement that everyone mentioned is relatively happy with.

I honestly can't imagine how busy and stressful running EV US must be right now, especially given the other (recent) responsibilities of the trustees. It seems like the default view on this forum is that board positions are overwhelmingly a privilege and perhaps in some sense they are, but from my experience on the board of another charity and knowing several people who've served on boards...well the work sucks, quite frankly (and is usually unpaid). Thank you Zach, Nicole, Nick and Rebecca for all the work you've done so far. Thank you Eli for stepping up.

It looks to me like the new board has a lot of relevant experience and I'm excited to see what EV US can achieve once it's done putting out fires. Thank you to all of you and good luck.

If Zach was previously interim CEO for EVF US and has now moved to the board, is there a new interim CEO, or is this returning to the previous model of organizations reporting directly to the board? Is Howie still interim CEO of EVF UK? Apologies if this is on the website somewhere, I couldn't find the details.

My interpretation is that CEOs haven't changed, and Zach has both roles? But it would be a lot better if the website said who the CEOs were!

Has there been any determination of what the "ideal" size for each board would be?

[anonymous]1y4
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Why is this post being downvoted? It's currently at 4 karma from 12 votes. It was at 15+ karma earlier.

[comment deleted]1y-2
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