Dear friends and colleagues,

After fifteen years at POMED and twelve years as its Executive Director, this week has been my last with the organization. My time with POMED has been the most incredible experience of my life, and I cannot adequately express my gratitude for the opportunity to lead an organization committed to a mission so completely aligned with my most deeply held personal beliefs.

I came to Washington in 2007 to fight to change the policies of the U.S. government toward the Middle East and North Africa, to shift from providing overwhelming support to some of the world’s most loathsome dictators to instead supporting the rights and democratic aspirations of the region’s citizens. It has been an honor and a pleasure to lead a remarkable team that shares a commitment to these goals.

I could not be prouder of POMED’s efforts, through advocacy and fact-based research and analysis, to counter the propaganda of the region’s authoritarian regimes and the lobbying efforts of those who benefit from their relationships with those regimes.

In addition, I have treasured the opportunity to partner with truly inspiring individuals and organizations from across the Middle East and North Africa who are courageously fighting for the rights of their fellow citizens and tirelessly working to bring about democratic change in their own countries. More than anything else, it is these continued efforts of the citizens of the Middle East that give me hope for the future of the region.

As I leave POMED, I would like to sincerely thank all of POMED’s staff for their extraordinary commitment and hard work on behalf of our mission over the years and also thank our Board of Directors for their guidance and support. I am excited to see POMED continue its growth under the leadership of Tess McEnery, who brings 15 years of invaluable experience inside the U.S. government to our organization, along with her own deep commitment to the democratic values that have always driven our work.

With gratitude,

Stephen McInerney