The Helmsley Charitable Trust, which has quickly become a major player in health and medical research grants, has brought on two new program directors to head its Type 1 Diabetes research and Digestive Diseases research areas.
James O'Sullivan, the new head of the Crohn's and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) program at Helmsley, comes to the organization from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, where he was highly involved in guiding the grantmaking strategy. Before Rockefeller, he worked at the John A. Hartford Foundation, where he directed the center's $64.5 million Geriatric Social Work Initiative.
Elliot Brenner, PhD, comes to the Helmsley Charitable Trust from Casey Family Services, a division of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he served as deputy executive director. Prior to his experience in philanthropy, Brenner served as chief consulting psychologist for the Illinois Department of Family and Children's Services. At Helmsley, he will direct the Type 1 Diabetes grantmaking program.
Both of these men have had long, successful careers as part of big organizations. Brenner coordinated almost 300 staff members in his position at Casey, and O'Sullivan has no shortage of experience working with big money. Helmsley Charitable Trust is doing exactly what it needs to be doing as a young philanthropy: bringing in people with decades of experience in the field who can help guide its strategy, interests, and giving in the years to come. Clearly, Helmsley is positioning itself to become a major, storied institution in the world of philanthropy, with decades of history behind it and major breakthroughs under its belt. Bringing in these accomplished players is a good first step toward building a philanthropic empire.