Following an extensive and thorough search, we are thrilled to announce that Julia Keseru is the new Executive Director of The Engine Room.
Julia has been an instrumental part of The Engine Room’s team for years – first leading the global Matchbox program, later as Deputy Director, and twice as the organisation’s acting Executive Director. Over the past three years, she has been working hard to shape the team into what it is today, and we are confident that Julia will continue to grow and excel in her new position heading up the organisation.
The decision follows a search period during which the board considered a number of highly qualified candidates. Ultimately, we were very impressed by Julia’s skills, experience, vision for our future, and her extensive knowledge of our field. She is the ideal person to take over from former Executive Director and co-founder, Alix Dunn, and we are all very excited to see her step into a permanent leadership role.
Throughout Julia’s career, she has been a strong and charismatic advocate for government transparency, public accountability, and more intentional approaches for the use of data in social change. She has a long record of close collaboration with both transparency and human rights activists to sharpen their technology and data strategies. Her experience both in global advocacy as the Sunlight Foundation’s former international policy lead as well as her activism in her native Hungary has demonstrated the skills, expertise, and vision to lead The Engine Room in its next chapter.
Julia is eager to pursue her vision for a vibrant civil society, in which technology is applied strategically and ethically to achieve meaningful change. She says, “Our work to empower and support social change activists has never been more crucial. I’m honoured to have the opportunity to lead The Engine Room, as we continue our efforts to tackle social injustice and nurture civil society across the globe.”
We’re deeply grateful to Alix for leaving the organisation with such a solid foundation, including a strong team and a robust organisational culture, and for making the transition as smooth as possible. As she wrote in her transition blog post, she has left the organisation in a place of operational and financial stability, with strong relationships across the sector. She should be immensely proud of what she and her team have accomplished. Following her legacy, The Engine Room will continue to ask hard questions, to innovate with new methods, and to provide a nuanced understanding of the role technology can play in the fight for social justice.
The Engine Room is a place where individuals who are passionate about social change can do important work, and grow as leaders. Julia is one of those leaders, and we look forward to working with her and the rest of The Engine Room team in the months and years to come.