Deputy Director for the Fund and multi-award winner Ryan will lead new Avast worldwide social impact organization focused on keeping digital citizens safe
Avast (LSE:AVST), a global leader in digital security and privacy products, today announced the appointment of Shane Ryan as Global Executive Director of the newly established Avast Foundation. The social impact organization was established by Avast in December 2020 and will align closely with the company’s purpose of securing people’s digital lives by driving programs focused on online safety, trust and freedom, inclusivity, transparency and working with youth.
Ryan joins from The National Lottery Community Fund, the UK’s largest funder of community activity, where he held the role of Deputy Director and was responsible for oversight of a number of strategic national funding programs including the design of their partnerships funding mechanisms and associated policy. He was also a multi award winning former CEO with Future Men, a solution-based organization which provides evidence-based approaches to community needs and issues around conflict and transition, paternal development, masculinity, and youth unemployment.
Ondrej Vlcek, CEO, Avast, said of the appointment, “When Avast was founded over 30 years ago in former Czechoslovakia, our commitment to freedom, democracy and equitability in all that we do was embedded into our company culture. As such, we have always been a keen contributor to supporting social initiatives where our expertise can have positive impact and Shane joins our new Foundation at a critical time. We believe technology has the power to change the world for the better – our original foundation supported a number of NGO-led and charitable projects; and as a company, we donated $25 million to technology-driven COVID-19 vaccine development initiatives. The mission of the new Avast Foundation is focused on empowering and enabling the next generation of confident digital citizens, and we are grateful to have Shane’s expertise on board.”
Shane Ryan said, “I have worked with some incredible colleagues and organisations during my time at the National Lottery and I am now looking forward to working with Ondrej and the rest of the Avast leadership team as I take the helm at this exciting new Foundation. We have the appetite, platform and an opportunity to drive fairness, equity and freedom within the digital space. We will listen first, with a view to shaping an agenda set by the communities we serve worldwide.”
Ryan has spent over 25 years working with young people and continues to be a regular advisor and speaker on non-profit matters across his range of charitable engagements in the U.K. His experience includes managing the U.K.’s first mobile health care facilities for the National Health Service (NHS) to tackling drug use in inner city areas and overseas experience in the U.S. and Japan on voluntary sector projects.
He also founded The Father’s Development Foundation, a hub providing practice-led, community-focused research and evaluation on fathers’ development for use by parents, practitioners and policy makers, and continues to be active in its work. In his spare time, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has published two research reports: ‘Collaborative parenting: Barriers faced by separated fathers’ for the U.K.’s government Department of Work and Pensions (co-authored); and ‘A Father’s Development Programme’ for the Working with Men organisation.
The former Avast Foundation, Prague-based ‘Nadační fond Avast’, is in the process of transitioning into a new family-run foundation, Abakus, established by the Avast founders Pavel Baudis and Eduard Kucera, which will focus on important social issues in the Czech Republic and continue the existing local programs established through Avast over the last ten years.