Chris Olver, a nonprofit leader with extensive fundraising experience and a former filmmaker and executive leader, is the new appointed executive director for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF), the foundation has announced.
“Chris brings a special medley of skills, longtime nonprofit experience, and passion that will serve us well as we continue to build CPARF into a global research leader in the cerebral palsy (CP) space, changing the lives of people with CP and the lives of those who care for and about them,” Jean-Louis Lelogeais, chairman of CPARF, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have Chris join us.”
CPARF is the only organization in the world exclusively focused on CP research. Its mission is to “ fund the world’s best and brightest researchers in the United States to find ways to improve current interventions and ultimately find a prevention and cure for cerebral palsy.”
CPARF hopes to advance cutting-edge research to change the lives of the approximately 17 million people living with CP worldwide.
To help pursue these goals, CPARF invited Olver to be its executive director. Olver has a proven record as development director and fundraiser for organizations on three different continents.
His most recent previous experience includes five years as the associate executive director for the non-profit Ramapo for Children, an institution dedicated to educational reform and based in New York. Ramapo for Children states as its goal a guarantee that children are able to “to learn, feel valued and experience success.”
His background on storytelling and his personal experience will also be of value to CPARF. Olver is the father of two children born prematurely — at 28 and 29 weeks of gestation — and he believes that he and his family, “have directly benefited from research into CP prevention and detection, including specific research-driven practices funded by CPARF.”
“It’s incredibly humbling and inspiring to have the chance to use my professional experience and skills to continue to expand that research and our impact on people with CP,” Olver said.
Olver also served as the visual storytelling lead for World Vision Australia, a charitable organization working to overcome poverty and injustice in that country, and helped to launch two start-up nonprofits: the anti-poverty group Boston Rising, and ROADS, a charter school network in New York City.
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