Awanuiārangi deputy CEO appointed to Oxford role

By Regan Paranihi

Yvonne (Evie) O’Brien, deputy chief executive of Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, has been named the Programme Director of the Atlantic Institute at the University of Oxford in England.

O'Brien was made a fellow of the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity last year.  Months after her appointment she was invited to apply for the new position.

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity looks into indigenous self-determination, relationships between race, power and Treaty-making and negotiations.

Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi chief executive, Professor Wiremu Doherty, says the staff at Awanuiārangi were proud to learn that O’Brien was selected for the role after a global search.

"It is with profound sadness that we begin the process of saying goodbye to Evie.  She has made a significant contribution to Awanuiārangi and we are overwhelmingly proud that a member of our organisation has been selected for this global role.  This appointment is an acknowledgment of Evie and her whānau, and just reward for her selfless dedication to our people and our organisation." 

O’Brien says she loves being part of an organisation where the success of Māori is paramount.

“I love being part of something that is bigger than all of us and feels privileged to be working for an organisation where Māori can succeed as Māori and one that has such a positive effect on people's lives and their whānau.”

In her new role, she will lead the design and implementation of programmes of the Atlantic Fellows Programme to support the work and the development of a lifelong "community of action" among senior fellows.

"Our aim is to support the collaboration of leaders from around the world to address complex social problems and to find solutions that have the potential to change the world," Ms O'Brien says, "The goal is fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies."

O’Brien is set to leave for Oxford in September to take up the role.