Patrick Gaspard is the president and chief executive officer of the Center for American Progress and the chief executive officer of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Gaspard most recently served as the president of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), one of the largest private philanthropies in the world.
Gaspard was a key figure in President Barack Obama’s administration and held a number of prominent positions during Obama’s two terms in office, including serving as US ambassador to the Republic of South Africa in the second term. From 2009 until 2011, he was assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Political Affairs. He also served as the associate director of personnel for the Obama transition and the national political director for the historic 2008 campaign.
Gaspard was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to Haitian parents. He grew up in New York City and had a long career there and nationally in organized labor, electoral politics, and public service. Gaspard attended Columbia University and is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Columbia University and Bard College.