Avaaz has become the world’s biggest global civic movement in only a decade. More than 43 million people have joined the nonprofit organization. Its top leaders helped make this achievement possible. They include Executive Director Ricken Patel, Deputy Director Emma Ruby-Sachs and Treasurer Ben Brandzel.
The story of the Avaaz co-founder’s life begins in 1977, the year when he was born. His family had a home in Edmonton, Canada. As a young boy, he developed a strong interest in politics and history. Patel learned about injustice while attending a school on a reservation for Native Americans.
He eventually studied at Oxford and Harvard universities. Patel earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as a black belt. The young man studied politics, philosophy, economics and public policy. His current occupation involves all of these subjects.
Ricken Patel worked for several nonprofits after graduating from college. They included the Gates Foundation, International Center for Transitional Justice, United Nations and International Crisis Group. He traveled to multiple war-torn countries in Africa and Central Asia. Even after witnessing the terrible consequences of armed conflict, he refused to become cynical.
Patel eventually decided to live in the United States. After he played a major role in establishing Avaaz, The Huffington Post identified him as one of the top political “game changers.” Foreign Policy listed the executive director among the world’s 100 most important thinkers. During 2013, he delivered a Commonwealth lecture in London.
Avaaz’s deputy director also works as an attorney and writer. She attended both the University of Toronto and Wesleyan University. Ruby-Sachs focused on false arrests and convictions while working as a lawyer in Canada. She presently has a home in northern Illinois.
Emma Ruby-Sachs finished writing her first book several years ago. A publisher began to distribute “The Waterman’s Daughter” in 2011. This 336-page novel focuses on the privatization of South Africa’s public water systems. Amazon members rate it 4.2 stars on average.
The top leaders of Avaaz seek to oversee the organization in an optimistic yet pragmatic way. These individuals use their long-term experience and education to bring about beneficial outcomes. At the same time, Avaaz’s directors often allow members to make important decisions collectively.