FHI 360, one of the world’s largest global health and development organizations, announced on Tuesday that veteran CEO Albert J. Siemens, who has been with the organization for three decades, is stepping down effective May 2014.
Patrick Fine, FHI 360’s chief operating officer since April and former USAID mission chief in Afghanistan, will take over the position at that time.
“While Dr. Siemens has been considering retirement for some time, his strong commitment to the organization’s mission and seeing it through the post-acquisition transformation process was his first priority,” an FHI 360 spokesperson told Devex. “With the recognition of a now-harmonized culture and the alignment of key operating platforms and processes, an effective strategic plan developed, and a strong leadership team and board of directors in place, Dr. Siemens is confident that the time is right to transition to the next chapter in his life.”
Fine previously served as senior vice president at the Academy for Educational Development, which Family Health International acquired in 2011 after USAID barred AED from receiving any government contracts following allegations of “serious corporate misconduct, mismanagement, and a lack of internal controls” and questions surrounding the organization’s work in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Smooth transition process
After absorbing AED’s portfolio, FHI re-branded itself as FHI 360, emphasizing its intended “broader” approach to solving development challenges.
Siemens oversaw that operation and the subsequent transition to an integrated development NGO, including a number of internal reorganization initiatives, which saw department staff and top leadership come and go. Fine was also involved in the transition process, and recently told Devex that the key to success in their case was clarity of communication and objective, and to structure operations with very clear lines of accountability and responsibility.
That allowed, he explained last September at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, a smooth transition process that brought together the assets, talent and expertise of both AED and FHI.
At the time of the AED acquisition in 2011, Siemens told Devex that moving from health and science to economic strengthening to civil society to education was what compelled FHI to move ahead on the operation.
“We’ve been moving in the direction of a much broader development platform. And, AED happens to represent the extension of this platform,” he said two years before a former AED executive is set to take over his job and set FHI 360’s strategic vision for the future.
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