Landmark grant funds Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity’s social-change leadership programme.
The International Inequalities Institute (III) has received the final instalment of the School’s largest-ever philanthropic donation, awarded by Atlantic Philanthropies to establish and fund the III’s ground-breaking Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme. This 20-year initiative brings social-change leaders from around the world to LSE.
The grant of £64.4 million to LSE was part of Atlantic Philanthropies’ final “big bets on people”, made before it closed its doors this month in accordance with founder Chuck Feeney’s aim of donating his entire fortune to support causes related to health and ageing, education and knowledge, human rights and reconciliation, and social equity. Its final disbursements enabled the creation of seven Atlantic Fellowship programmes worldwide, including the programme based at LSE, all with an equity focus.
Christopher G. Oechsli, President and CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies, said: “The Atlantic Philanthropies is deeply gratified to be able to further LSE’s mission ‘to understand the causes of things’ and to support the III and the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity to address the causes of destructive inequalities. In a world that is urgently seeking ways to advance fair and sustainable societies, we are grateful to the leadership and staff at LSE, the III and AFSEE for developing and advancing this critical responsive effort.”
LSE Director Minouche Shafik commented: “As we welcome the fourth cohort of Atlantic Fellows into the School, we remain extremely proud that Atlantic Philanthropies chose LSE and our International Inequalities Institute to help achieve its goals and protect its legacy through the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme.
“Now, more than ever, in seeking to better understand and shape our rapidly changing world, we must nurture global leaders who advance fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. In parallel we have an obligation to promote rigorous, cutting-edge research to understand why inequalities continue to escalate in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges for the betterment of society. I reiterate my profound gratitude to Atlantic Philanthropies for their generous support, collaboration and guidance.”
Dr Armine Ishkanian, Executive Director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme and Associate Professor in LSE’s Department of Social Policy, said:
“The final execution of the grant award marks our programme’s transition from the incubation phase to a period of consolidation, strengthening and further development, as we welcome a new cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity to LSE. We are grateful to Chuck Feeney for his vision and generosity. I also want to express my thanks to Chris Oechsli for his faith in us and his continuing support. This gift will enable us to continue to support Fellows in their critical mission to building a fairer, healthier, and more inclusive world.”
As the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme enters its fourth year, there are now 68 Fellows from 35 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. A diverse cohort of mid-career policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, activists and movement-builders, the Fellows benefit from the International Inequalities Institute’s research-rich environment during their active fellowship year, and draw on the support of a lifelong Atlantic Fellowship community of peers from across all seven programmes.
Earlier this year, the International Inequalities Institute announced the appointment of Professor Francisco H.G. (Chico) Ferreira as the new head of the Institute. An LSE alumnus, Professor Ferreira joins the Institute following a career at the World Bank. As director of the III, he will be the inaugural holder of the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies, which was endowed through an additional gift from Atlantic Philanthropies.
The Institute's focus on inequality includes scholarly work carried out as part of its four cross-disciplinary research themes and a forthcoming Global Inequality Observatory. Find out more about the III's research into inequalities.