The executive director of the National Policy Institute has resigned after less than a year heading the group backed by racist alt-right front man Richard B. Spencer.
Evan McLaren took to Twitter to announce the move, describing it as simply a shuffling of personnel in order to put the best people in the right spots at NPI.
“Part of the process of assembling professional institutions and a winning movement is positioning personnel in roles suited to them, where, based on their backgrounds and abilities, they can thrive and be successful,” McLaren wrote on Saturday.
Neither McLaren nor Spencer, who serves as President and Creative Director of the National Policy Institute, immediately announced a new executive director.
Spencer, who has tweeted on a variety of subjects since McLaren’s announcement, did not make any mention of the change at NPI.
The website for the National Policy Institute made no mention of the change on Monday.
It is unclear exactly what the executive director of NPI does or what McLaren did for the group during his nine months in the position.
McLaren indicated that Spencer would stay on as both president and creative director of NPI, positions he assumed in 2011, following the death of its chairman, longtime white nationalist Louis R. Andrews.
McLaren signed on to Spencer’s group in July 2017, tweeting thanks to Spencer and the NPI Board.
“Hail victory!” McLaren wrote on July 26, 2017.
Before signing on with Spencer, McLaren served as a volunteer clerk at the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, where top prosecutor David Freed told PennLive that he had little interaction with McLaren.
"At some point in 2017 he just stopped showing up," Freed said.
A month after taking the executive director’s role, McLaren and Spencer attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The August 2017 gathering of racists, white nationalists and white supremacists turned violent, leaving one protestor, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, dead, and an alt-right attendee, James Alex Fields Jr., charged with murder and accused of running his car into a crowd and causing the death.
In December, McLaren, Spencer and others announced the formation of Operation Homeland. On altright.com, Spencer described the group as an umbrella to “take activism to the next level.”
Operation Homeland initially sought to position itself as the public face of the Identitarian movement while Identity Evropa may be stepping back from larger public displays, like Unite the Right, which has resulted in multiple lawsuits and murder charges against one white supremacist.
The group held an immediate rally in December in Washington, D.C. with Matthew Heimbach and Tony Hovater of the Traditional Workers Party in attendance. TWP is no longer in existence after Heimbach’s arrest in March and the revelations about his extramarital affair with the wife of his primary financial backer.
The rally focused on President Donald Trump’s promise to build a border wall with Mexico the case of an immigrant being acquitted of shooting and killing Katie Steimle in San Francisco as justification for the move.
But, the organization has done little in public since.
Operation Homeland’s website contains no information about the organization, only a logo and a note directing all inquiries to an email address.
Photo credit: McCausland