The Garrison Institute is pleased to announce that Robyn Brentano is its new Executive Director, effective September 4, 2012. Ms. Brentano brings a wide range of non-profit experience in the fields of international development, human services and the cultural arts to her new role in leading the Garrison Institute.
Most recently Ms. Brentano served as Executive Director of The Tibet Fund, which supports humanitarian aid, education, health and economic development programs that sustain Tibetan culture and national identity. Previously at Healing the Divide, a public charity founded by Richard Gere, she managed programs to revitalize the arts in Tibet and improve health care for Tibetan refugee monks and nuns. She also coordinated an initiative to support Israeli and Palestinian grassroots peace organizations. In an earlier position at the New York Association for New Americans, one of the nation’s largest refugee resettlement and immigrant services organizations, she led development for the agency’s education, employment, microenterprise, legal services, citizenship, domestic violence and substance abuse programs. She has also directed documentary and experimental dance films and produced visual and performing arts programs for Tibet House New York, the Meridian Trust London, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and other organizations.
After a thorough search process, the Institute’s Board of Trustees unanimously selected Ms. Brentano as the new Executive Director. “We’re very lucky to have Robyn leading the Institute,” said Board Chair and founding President Emerita Diana Calthorpe Rose. “Her non-profit leadership skills, her expertise in key social change fields, including international development and human services, and her demonstrated commitment to contemplative-based change work all dovetail with our needs now as our retreats and initiatives expand. She is exactly the right person to guide the Institute through the next phase of growth and raise the impact of its work to the next level.”
“I am honored to be stepping into this position at this point in The Garrison Institute’s development,” said Ms. Brentano. “By pioneering effective approaches to social and environmental change rooted in contemplative insight and practice, the Institute is having a powerful impact on fields of vital importance to our future. The Institute’s initiatives tie together many threads of my own career and present an ideal opportunity to work with a highly creative board, staff and partners to advance knowledge and build transformational leadership.”
Ms. Brentano succeeds outgoing interim executive director Beth Schechter, an expert in non-profit organizational transition, who ably led the Institute during the search process and prepared it for new leadership over the last nine months.
The Garrison Institute is a non-profit, non-sectarian 501[c]3 organization exploring the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world. Since it opened in 2003, over 35,000 people have participated in the Institute's retreats and social and environmental change initiatives.