Today is a very bittersweet day here at Global Integrity. Our longtime friend and colleague Raymond June is returning to his homeland — the San Francisco Bay area — and leaving us. Raymond has long threatened to return to San Francisco, particularly as the Washington, DC summers have seemingly become worse and worse, so we all knew this day was coming. But it doesn't make it any easier.
Raymond's contributions to Global Integrity have been enormous. An anthropologist by training, he's brought a critical eye to what he (and others) have termed "the anti-corruption industry" — the collection of professional non-government groups (Global Integrity included), aid donors, and government officials that comprise the "official" and elite community of practice. That introspective critical analysis has helped to shape and define the way in which Global Integrity has increasingly oriented its own work and mission over the years: to not jump at the latest fad, to avoid cheerleading conventional wisdom unless we understand its full implications, and to pause and consider why citizens in developing countries would actually be interested in Western-style "good governance." Our recent critiques of the rah rah enthusiasm around "open data" have been very much informed by Raymond's world view.
When he wasn't shaping our intellectual approach to our work, Raymond was running the work itself. He managed Global Integrity's first foray into sub-national work by guiding teams of civil society researchers in all of Liberia's counties following the country's return to democracy. He has helped to spearhead some of our early attempts to understand access to information issues in the health and education sectors. Last year he led our first-ever formal technical assistance engagement — helping a well-regarded Indonesian anti-corruption group design and implement an indicators-style corruption risk assessment in social safety net programs — entirely on his own. Without Raymond, Global Integrity would be nowhere near as accomplished as we are today.
We wish Raymond all the best and will miss him deeply.
— Nathaniel Heller