Council on Foundations President to Lead New England Aquarium

Council on Foundations President to Lead New England Aquarium

The Council on Foundations has announced that Vikki Spruill, its president and CEO since 2012, is leaving to become president and CEO of the New England Aquarium.

Spruill will continue to serve the council as president until June 1, when Gene Cochrane, the recently retired CEO of the Duke Endowment and a former member of the council's board of directors, will become interim CEO, serving alongside chief operating officer Julianne Sobral. Jamie Merisotis, vice chair of the council board and president of the Lumina Foundation, will chair the search committee, while board chair Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of the Miami Foundation, will lead an outreach committee that gathers input from council members on the qualities and qualifications they consider most important for the organization's next leader.

For Spruill, the move is a return to the field of ocean conservation. Before becoming head of the council, she served as president and CEO of the Ocean Conservancy, a science-based education and citizen empowerment organization that works to preserve healthy oceans. Earlier, she founded and led SeaWeb, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing ocean issues through strategic communications and social marketing, and was a co-founder of the Communications Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), where she continues to serve as a board member.

Early in Spruill's tenure at the council, the organization eliminated nineteen positions as part of a reorganization aimed at reducing a longstanding deficit while remaining relevant to its members.

"Vikki has been a transformational leader for the council in her nearly six years at the helm," said Soto. "Working in partnership with the board and staff, she has helped focus the work of the council at a time when the challenges facing our nation and the world grow more and more significant. With relevant new programming, an expanded policy presence, a dedicated and talented staff, a solid membership base, a sound financial platform from which to operate, and soon-to-be new offices in the District of Columbia, the council is well-positioned to continue to amplify, advocate for, and strengthen the field of philanthropy."