Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation, has announced that he will step down from his position in September.
Ubiñas joined the New York City-based foundation, the nation's second-largest philanthropy, in 2007 and led it through a period of profound transformation. During his six-year tenure, he helped launch a refocusing of the foundation's programs aimed at enabling it to achieve even greater scale and impact by concentrating grant resources behind a set of transparent strategies with clearly stated goals; directed an evolution of the foundation's investment strategy, enabling it to recover all the wealth lost in the financial crisis and increasing its endowment to nearly $11 billion from a low of $8 billion in 2009; and expanded its global programs and partnerships.
In the United States, Ubiñas led a vigorous foundation-wide response to the financial crisis, supporting programs focused on job creation, access to financial services for low-income people, and streamlining government services and benefits; pushed for greater support of expanded and redesigned learning time in public education; and guided arts investments as a way to drive economic growth and encourage diverse communities to cultivate their creativity and voice. Under his leadership, the foundation also launched its first program on climate change; forged new partnerships around an initiative designed to end child marriage; and developed a program to support films and documentaries that shine a light on social justice issues. In addition, the foundation ramped up its approaches to migration, global human rights, and market-based approaches to financial inclusion and saving among low-income and rural populations.
A committee of board members has been formed to oversee the selection of Ubiñas' successor.
"The foundation has been fortunate to have someone of Luis's business acumen and ability devote an important part of his career to a philanthropic institution such as Ford," said Ford Foundation board chair Irene Hirano Inouye. "He has led us to our next era of accomplishment, and we are grateful for his commitment to the foundation and its mission. Equally important, the board stands fully behind the foundation's staff and grantees, and we are committed to the continuity of their important work."