Christopher Stone

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 19: President of the Open Society Foundations, Christopher Stone speaks at the Foundations Reception at Zoom Restaurant during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)



Former President, Open Society Foundations

Former Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice, Harvard Kennedy School

Former Director, Vera Institute for Justice

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Christopher Stone was the president of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the principal philanthropic vehicle for liberal billionaire George Soros, from 2011 to 2017. An academic with a focus on liberalizing criminal justice before joining OSF, he returned to academia as the “Professor of Practice of Public Integrity” at the University of Oxford. 1

Stone is an honorary trustee of the Vera Institute of Justice, a left-of-center criminal justice organization with longstanding ties to the Open Society Foundations. 2

Before Open Society

Stone served as the faculty director at the Hauser Center on Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard, president of the Vera Institute of Justice and as a professor at the university’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 3

Tenure at Open Society

Stone was hired by George Soros as president of the Open Society Foundations in 2011, reportedly to streamline the organization and bring together its numerous pieces. 4 In Stone’s 2017 resignation letter to Soros, he wrote that his task was largely complete after six years of work. 5

Philanthropic observers put forward two theories to explain Stone’s relatively short six-year tenure. The first theory held that Soros believed the current president, former Obama administration official Patrick Gaspard, was fitter to lead OSF in light of the results of the 2016 presidential election. The second theory asserts that as Stone resolved OSF’s management issues and general disorganization, he upset several important figures along the way, resulting in many OSF staff in New York City and Baltimore joining the Communications Workers of America labor union in 2016. 6

After Stone left, OSF announced on December 13, 2017 that Patrick Gaspard, a political operative who previously worked in various capacities under the Obama Administration would become OSF’s new president on January 1, 2018. 7


  1. Blavatnik School of Government. “Christopher Stone.” Oxford University. Accessed June 25, 2019.
  2. “Vera Institute.” Vera. Accessed June 20, 2019.
  3. Strom, Stephanie. “Criminal Justice Expert Named to Lead Soros Foundations.” The New York Times. December 07, 2011. Accessed June 20, 2019.
  4. Callahan, David. “What Just Happened at the Open Society Foundations? And What Comes Next?” Inside Philanthropy. September 14, 2017. Accessed June 20, 2019.
  5. Callahan, David. “What Just Happened at the Open Society Foundations? And What Comes Next?” Inside Philanthropy. September 14, 2017. Accessed June 20, 2019.
  6. Callahan, David. “Staff at George Soros’s Foundation Just Voted to Join a Union. Is That a Good Thing?” Inside Philanthropy. July 21, 2016. Accessed June 20, 2019.
  7. “Patrick Gaspard Named President of the Open Society Foundations.” Open Society Foundations. Accessed June 20, 2019.
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