As National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month draws to a close, we’re excited to share some important organizational news. We have selected a new Executive Director for Free the Slaves. His name is Maurice Middleberg.
Maurice brings remarkable skills and experience to guide Free the Slaves. He has worked in the field of international development and social justice for 30 years, with experience on projects in 50 countries for CARE, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Futures Group, IntraHealth International, and others.
He has a 15-year record in senior and executive positions, including extensive relationships with international development institutions and the United Nations. He’s an accomplished writer and public speaker, and an effective fundraiser.
“Maurice’s background is precisely what Free the Slaves needs as we focus our organization on projects that prove to the world that ending slavery is possible,” says Acting Executive Director Jane Covey. “His experience with groups outside the anti-slavery movement, as well as with international development institutions, will be a great asset as Free the Slaves moves toward our strategic objective of persuading other organizations to include an anti-slavery component in their own international development work.”
Maurice says his decision to join Free the Slaves is both “personal and professional.”
“Fighting injustice has always been important to me, and modern-day slavery is one of the most serious injustices of our time,” Maurice says. “As well, my grandfather survived forced labor in Auschwitz in World War Two — and my wife is actually a descendant of the Lovejoy family, the outspoken American abolitionists from the 1800s. So, I am honored as someone whose family has been touched by slavery in the past to be in a position where I can work to eradicate slavery in the future.”
Maurice currently serves as the Vice President for Global Policy at IntraHealth International, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit that enables health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. He begins as Free the Slaves Executive Director on February 4th. He succeeds Indika Samarawickreme, who left in 2012. Jane Covey, who has been serving as Acting Executive Director, will return to her role as Free the Slaves Board Chair.
Please join us in welcoming Maurice. And, watch this space! He’ll be blogging about his insights into the modern abolition movement.