After 10 years as our fearless leader, Ben Keesey is passing the torch to Lisa Dougan who will serve as Invisible Children’s new President & CEO in 2015 and beyond. Lisa has worked with Invisible Children since 2006, and there is no one more capable or qualified than her to powerfully push our mission forward. We are thrilled that Ben will continue to support Invisible Children as the Chair of our Board of Directors.

++++ A message from Lisa ++++

Dear Invisible Children Family —

Our liberty is bound together. That belief is the undercurrent of everything we do at Invisible Children. It is our starting point and our fuel. Within every film we’ve made, every campaign we’ve launched, every lobby meeting you’ve held, ‘Our liberty is bound together’ is the core declaration.

Our work hasn’t only been about stopping Joseph Kony’s violence — though we are unequivocally committed to that mission. It has been about believing individually, and demanding collectively, that every human life should be treated as equally valuable and deserving of protection from violence. After more than 28 years of brutality against children and families in central and East Africa, Joseph Kony’s impunity remains one of the clearest and most shameful examples of our world’s failure to treat every human life as equal. And that’s why we are committed to seeing him brought to justice and the communities he has terrorized given the protection and support that they deserve; because we are only truly free when we are all free.

Most of you likely don’t know who I am, but for almost ten years, I’ve worked alongside you, in our shared pursuit of peace and justice for LRA-affected communities. My time with Invisible Children has been filled with unbelievable highs, debilitating lows, “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities, and “what-the-hell-am-I-doing?” moments (you Rescue Riders know what I’m talking about.) Along the way, we may have crossed paths when I visited your school as a “roadie” in 2007, or when I trained you to be a roadie from 2008-2010. Perhaps we camped out next to each other on the frigid sidewalk outside of Senator Tom Coburn’s office during the “Oklahoma Holdout” (2010), or maybe I helped prepare you for a lobby meeting with your representative sometime over the last five years. But even if we’ve never met or spoken, I’ve had the honor of representing your voices to policymakers around the world, and witnessing first-hand the beautiful partnership between your tireless advocacy and the brave work of community leaders on the front lines of the LRA conflict.

From Omaha, Nebraska, to Obo, Central African Republic, we have formed a powerful international coalition for peace. Together, we have moved world leaders to take unprecedented action to end the LRA crisis, and we have helped reduce the group’s violence to a fraction of what it once was. There is so much for all of us to be proud of and so much evidence that our collective, persistent efforts can change the world for the better.

But the fight is not over. Joseph Kony remains at large and his crimes continue. In fact, over the past year, LRA attacks and abductions have actually increased. If communities in central Africa can’t walk away from the reality of LRA violence, then neither can we.

While Invisible Children has gone through some significant changes in the past year, our work continues with as much tenacity as ever. To be clear, we activated a significant downsize of our San Diego office at the end of last year, but we did not close our doors. Rather, we made an intentional decision to prioritize our most critical, life-saving work in central Africa and our strategic political advocacy efforts in Washington, DC. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR), our teams continue to work hand-in-hand with community partners to help protect families from violence and encourage LRA fighters to peacefully surrender. And from our new headquarters in Washington, D.C., our advocacy team is working hard to mobilize our Citizen network of world class activists to ensure that policymakers stay the course and see this mission through to success.

The fearless and brilliant Invisible Children DRC Team. Dungu, DRC (2015)

Our team is fired up, dynamic, and 100% committed to our mission — but we also need you more than ever. These are the most important ways for you to help:

1) DONATE. Strengthen the incredible work our staff and partners in central Africa are doing this year.

2) JOIN IC CITIZEN. Get immediate alerts whenever it’s time to speak up and get the attention of our leaders. (We actually have an important mission for you coming soon, so sign up and stay tuned!)

It is an honor and privilege for me to follow in the footsteps of my dear friends Jason Russell and Ben Keesey, by serving Invisible Children as the new President and CEO. In light of the realities that communities in central and East Africa face on a daily bases, and in light of all the tireless work you’ve done over the years in solidarity with them, I do not take this role lightly. Invisible Children may look and sound a little different these days, but our commitment to LRA-affected communities sure as hell hasn’t changed.

Our liberty is bound together. We’re not free until we’re all free. I’m excited to see this mission through together with you.

Stop at nothing.