As of December 1st, 2019, the Board of Trustees has appointed Michael Feigelson as the Chief Executive of the Van Leer Group.

In this new role, Michael will oversee all of our activities including our work to help all children get a good start in life at the Bernard van Leer Foundation; our support to the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Jerusalem Film Centre, focused on strengthening democracy, equality and regional peace; and – through the Van Leer Group Foundation – the management of our endowment from which we finance our charitable activities.

Michael comes to us from within the Van Leer Group where he was the Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation since 2014. Prior to that, he held several other positions within the Foundation since first joining in 2007 as a Programme Officer. Before Van Leer, Michael spent most of his career serving grassroots and non-profit organisations in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe focussed on supporting homeless, working and displaced children and families.

I am also pleased to confirm that – in agreement with the Board – Michael has appointed Cecilia Vaca Jones as the new Executive Director for the Bernard van Leer Foundation.

Since 2016, Cecilia has served as Programme Director at the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Prior to this, she held a wide range of positions in and outside of government where she championed social policies to improve the conditions of children, women and indigenous populations. In her most recent role before joining Van Leer, Cecilia served as Minister for Social Development in her home country of Ecuador where she was responsible for policies in the areas of health, education, housing, sport and social welfare.