Jim O’Brien Named to Foley Foundation Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation announced today the addition of Jim O’Brien, former special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, to its board of directors. O’Brien is vice chair of Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) and heads the firm’s Europe practice. 

The foundation was created in 2014 to honor the legacy of James Foley, a conflict journalist who was captured and beheaded by ISIS in Syria.  The foundation is dedicated to improving the safety and treatment of independent journalists working in dangerous areas, advocating for the freedom of all Americans kidnapped and wrongfully detained abroad and improving U.S. hostage policy.

“We are very grateful to Jim O’Brien for his willingness to lend his expertise in hostage affairs to the work of the Foley Foundation,” said Diane Foley, mother of James and founder and president of the foundation. “He brings years of experience in this difficult area and his help will be invaluable as the foundation continues its work on behalf of Americans unjustly held abroad.”

O’Brien has served two U.S. administrations as special presidential envoy, securing the release of Americans held hostage abroad and overseeing U.S. policy toward the Balkans. He was a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and served as the principal deputy director of policy planning at the State Department. He worked to end armed conflicts in Europe, helped develop non-proliferation initiatives after the Cold War, negotiated environmental agreements, and supported initiatives to investigate and prosecute persons responsible for war crimes.

“I look forward to doing what I can to help the Foley Foundation continue its work,” said O’Brien. “The US Government should bring our people home quickly and safely, and the Foundation helps that happen.”

O’Brien earned a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

About the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

James W. Foley was an independent American conflict journalist who worked extensively across the Middle East. He was taken hostage by ISIS in Syria in 2012 and was killed in 2014. His impact on colleagues and friends has been highlighted in the award-winning documentary film “Jim: The James Foley Story.”

The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation is a registered nonprofit foundation that advocates for the freedom of all Americans held hostage abroad and promotes the safety of journalists worldwide.

For more information about the foundation, or to learn how you can make an impact, please visit www.jamesfoleyfoundation.org or contact Amy Coyne at amy.coyne@jamesfoleyfoundation.org.