bannick.bmpOmidyar Network, the organization created eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, has appointed a new leader to help expand the group.

Matt Bannick, an executive at eBay for eight years, takes over as managing partner next month. He will more than double the group’s staff within the next 12 to 18 months, he told VentureBeat in an interview today. It has a staff of 30.

Omidyar Network has invested in dozens of start-ups, both profit and non-profit in a variety of areas.

The group’s stated goal is to help empower people globally so that they can make the most of their talents to positively impact the world.

It has backed news sites like Digg, community news and event sites like Backfence and Eventful, clean-tech companies like Ethos Water, and has been a supporter of the micro-finance movement.

Bannick, former president of eBay International and general manager of PayPal, said he will expand Omidyar Network beyond investments into public policy and other areas.

Most recently, Bannick led eBay’s corporate philanthropy.

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