Why did three GiveWell board members resign in April 2019?

post by Milan_Griffes · 2019-04-03T21:32:23.408Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · EA · GW · 5 comments

This is a question post.

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    Habryka's answer
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See here: https://www.givewell.org/changes-in-board-membership (a)

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answer by Habryka · 2019-04-03T21:49:41.703Z · score: 19 (6 votes) · EA · GW

I thought Elie's letter states the rationale quite clearly:

I understand their concerns and agree with them that it is crucial that GiveWell has a board that plays a serious role in its governance. After discussing alternative board constructions with staff, current GiveWell board members, and my counterparts at other nonprofits, I believe that the direction we have chosen (which means a smaller board for now) is the right one for GiveWell. In a nutshell, I believe it will mean a more focused, intensely engaged board, and ultimately a more robust, more impactful GiveWell. I recognize there is room for disagreement on this point, and the board will continue to revisit this decision over the coming years. We will expand in the future if we believe doing so will help us further GiveWell’s mission most effectively.

Seems like Givewell had a sense that the current board was large, and this made it harder for the board to serve its function, so they decided to reduce it in size.

comment by Milan_Griffes · 2019-04-03T21:53:29.364Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW
Seems like GiveWell had a sense that the current board was large, and this made it harder for the board to serve its function, so they decided to reduce it in size.

Sure, though I think it gets strange to think about what "GiveWell" decided to do for decisions like this, as the Board of Directors is an important constituent part of the GiveWell construct. (And some of the former board members seem to disagree with the decision.)

I'm guessing that Elie (& perhaps Holden also?) decided that the current board was too large. But that's just my speculation.

comment by Habryka · 2019-04-03T23:10:59.720Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Ah, yeah. That's also roughly my model.

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comment by Milan_Griffes · 2019-04-03T21:47:53.013Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Relatedly, I'm curious to learn more about how the decision procedure around who would resign was structured.