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Announcing Our New Leadership Team

27 January 2022
By Meridian Institute

Today, we are pleased to announce Kauthar Rahman as our new Chief Operating Officer. As our organization scales to meet the challenges of climate change and other global issues that require bold thinking, collaboration, and action, we are investing in proven leadership to advance our work with partners around the globe.

Rahman joins our leadership team, which is led by Chief Executive Officer Todd Barker and includes Chief Financial Officer Jackie Manguso. Todd and Jackie have worked together at Meridian for nearly two decades. Kauthar joins Meridian after an international search.

  • Kauthar Rahman, Chief Operating Officer, joins Meridian from Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, PA, where she served as the organization’s COO. She brings deep expertise managing operations and business systems and implementing change management initiatives. She held previous operations roles with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, FAVOR Greenville, and the American Red Cross.
  • Jackie Manguso, Chief Financial Officer, was previously a Partner and Director of Finance at Meridian. Ms. Manguso directs a Meridian finance team that supports more than 130 projects and 15 fiscal sponsor clients around the world.
  • Todd Barker, Chief Executive Officer, leads the senior leadership team. He also directs projects related to agriculture, climate, food systems, big data, corporate sustainability, and more. He is a sought-after mediator, facilitator, and strategist who blends his expertise in collaboration, policy, and politics to support multi-stakeholder work, including implementation activities. In addition, he is a trusted advisor to foundations and funder collaboratives.

Together, they lead a growing Meridian team that is more than 80 people strong including staff, Affiliates, Senior Fellows, and Board Members in 15 U.S. states and nine countries. With offices in Washington, DC, and Dillon, Colorado, as well as a growing concentration of staff in the United Kingdom, we continue to expand our reach in breadth and depth.

“We have restructured our leadership to deepen the impact of our projects, which are helping people drive action to address our world’s most challenging problems. In an era of growing polarization, Meridian is demonstrating through our more than 130 projects that collaboration is alive and well and can lead to positive change. With steady growth over the past 18 months and the unwavering support of our project partners and funders, we are pleased to be investing in new, proven leadership that will strengthen our business systems and the work we do together,” said Barker. “I am thrilled to be working with Kauthar Rahman and Jackie Manguso to lead Meridian into the future.”

Meridian Institute fills a special niche in our increasingly complex and interconnected world. I am proud to be affiliated with its important work to build consensus and solutions. I have great trust in the leadership team, led by Todd Barker, Jackie Manguso, and Kauthar Rahman.

The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, Chair of the Meridian Board of Directors