Former Perth lawyer Nick Grono will return to Europe to run a new anti-slavery fund backed by his most recent boss, iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest, and other leading philanthropists.
Just a year after returning to Western Australia to head the Forrest family’s own efforts to end modern-day slavery, the Walk Free Foundation, Mr Grono has accepted the role as inaugural CEO of the Freedom Fund, a move which is both a natural progression and will take him back to where his family is based.
Two other activists and donors – Humanity United and Legatum Foundation – have joined Walk Free to pledge a combined $30 million to seed the Freedom Fund, which will be run by Mr Grono from London next month.
Humanity United is a vehicle linked to Pierre Omidyar, the founder and chairman of eBay, while New Zealand-born billionaire property entrepreneur and retail heir, Christopher Chandler established Legatum.
The Freedom Fund has a seven-year strategy to raise and deploy $100 million or more to combat modern-day slavery. Former US president Bill Clinton announced the establishment of the fund at the Clinton Global Initiative in September.
Before joining Walk Free, Mr Grono was deputy president and chief operating officer of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, during which time he served as deputy to former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans.