Mary T. An faces the camera in a black dotted shirt in front of a brick wall
August 8, 2022

Mary T. An Appointed as Groundswell Executive Director

On behalf of Groundswell’s Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Mary T. An as Groundswell’s next Executive Director. Mary is a seasoned professional who brings with her over two decades of experience in non-profit leadership, mission-driven programs and amplifying diverse voices for a more equitable world. Mary's background and compelling vision "to create a space for youth to share their powerful voices in building vibrant artwork and sparking transformational dialogue" will be valuable in furthering Groundswell's mission to use art as a tool for social change. 

Most recently, Mary was a Senior Director, International Programs at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street. She led Sesame Workshop's media and education work in Sub-Saharan Africa, established a branch office in South Africa in 2018 and relaunched the beloved local show Takalani Sesame, featuring "Kami", a girl Muppet who is HIV positive. Prior to joining Sesame, Mary oversaw development & planning at Brooklyn-based American Documentary POV ("Point-of-View"), the Emmy-award winning PBS documentary series known for putting a human face on contemporary social issues. Before POV, she served for over two years with the United Nations Development Programme in Khartoum, Sudan launching a $142 million program strengthening democratic and peacebuilding processes. Mary has consulted for UN Women, National Democratic Institute, Open Society Foundation, Emory University, and the United Nations Foundation; and is on the board of directors of The Alliance for Media Arts + Culture.

Mary started her career working in youth empowerment with REACH LA and Youth Radio in southern California. She holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College in Studio Art and English.

I would like to thank my colleagues who served on Groundswell's Search Committee as well as the interim leadership team, Erick Konczyk and José Ortiz, for leading us into this exciting phase of Groundswell's next chapter. A special thanks also goes to our outgoing Executive Director, Robyne Walker Murphy for her inspiring leadership during the last 5 years and Groundswell's broader community for their continued support. 

With much gratitude,

Seendy Fouron, President
Groundswell Board of Directors