The New York City-based Ford Foundation has announced the appointment of MARIA TORRES-SPRINGER as its next vice president for U.S. programs, succeeding Xavier de Souza Briggs, who has served as vice president for five years. In nearly fifteen years of public service with the City of New York, Torres-Springer has led three agencies with over three thousand employees and approximately $2 billion in annual operating budgets. She currently serves as commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the nation's largest municipal housing agency, and has led the implementation of Housing New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s five-borough, twelve-year plan to create or preserve three hundred thousand affordable homes and apartments. Earlier, as the first woman to serve as president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Torres-Springer led the implementation of the new citywide ferry service, and as commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services, she prioritized efforts to raise wages and support women and immigrant-owned businesses. She also launched Women Entrepreneurs NYC, and with the innovative Tech Talent Pipeline program worked to prepare New Yorkers for twenty-first century jobs. When she succeeds Briggs this summer, Torres-Springer will work alongside Martin Abregú, vice president for international programs, and report to Hilary Pennington, executive vice president for program.
The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has announced the appointment of BENJAMIN S. KENNEDY as vice president. In that role, Kennedy will be responsible for overseeing the foundation’s place-based work in Detroit, Memphis, and New Orleans, as well as multi-city efforts like the Shared Prosperity Partnership and the foundation’s support for national community development intermediaries. Kennedy joined the foundation in 2009 and previously served as co-managing director of the Detroit Program and managing director of its American Cities Practice, which he helped launch in 2016 and which has invested some $31.4 million in more than eighty grantees across the country. His new role will involve oversight of both programs. Before joining Kresge, he worked with JPMorgan Chase in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was an associate on the firm’s mergers and acquisitions team, and as an economic and political analyst within IHS Global Insight's sub-Saharan Africa country intelligence group.
The Surdna Foundation in New York City has announced that ROBERT SMITH III will be joining the foundation in March as program officer for its Thriving Cultures program. In his new role, Smith will help guide the implementation of the program’s revamped Radical Imagination for Racial Justice strategy and will develop and leverage relationships to advance the program’s goals. Smith most recently served as associate director of the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM), which is set to open in 2020 in Chicago, and prior to that held positions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center, the Minnesota Historical Society, and OutRight Action International.
The board of directors of the California Wellness Foundation has announced the election of JOSEPH M. LUMARDA as chair, PAMELA SIMMS-MACKEY as treasurer, and ISABEL BECERRA as secretary. In addition to the election of new officers, the board also approved a new leadership structure to better align its governance responsibilities with the foundation’s mission and strategic initiatives. Lumarda is senior vice president and an investment counselor at Capital Group Private Client Services and a vice president at Capital Guardian Trust Company. Simms-Mackey is the director of graduate medical education at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and as an attending physician in the hospital’s Primary Care Center. And Becerra is the chief executive officer of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers, which represents twenty-six community health center organizations providing services across the county.
The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) has announced the election of ZOILA D. ESCOBAR to its board of directors. Escobar, who will join the board in March, is a senior vice president and chief administrative officer at AltaMed, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in California and caregiver to 300,000 people in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Earlier in her career, Escobar led Los Angeles County’s first program for Latinas and AIDS, directed HIV Services at the UCLA Family Planning Clinic, and was involved in the policy work that laid the foundation for the Ryan White Act. She also served as a field officer for development for special populations at the American Cancer Society, where she helped develop regional policies to improve breast and cervical cancer screening, reduce smoking, and prevent HIV/AIDS among Spanish-speaking populations. In addition to her role as president of the AltaMed Foundation, she serves on the boards of the American Nurses Foundation, the Center for Latino Culture and Health at California State University, Long Beach, and the University of La Verne, from which she holds both a bachelor's degree in health services administration and a master’s degree in business administration.
The board of the Global Fund for Women in San Francisco has announced the appointment of LATANYA MAPP FRETT as its the next president and CEO, effective July 1. An attorney by training, Mapp Frett currently serves as executive director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. Prior to joining Planned Parenthood Global, Mapp Frett worked for eight years as a human rights officer for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and for ten years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). She currently serves on the board of Oxfam America and CHANGE and is an adjunct professor of population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania has appointed Erie Community Foundation president MICHAEL L. BATCHELOR to its board of directors. Batchelor was selected as the first executive director of the Erie Community Foundation in 1990 and was named president of the foundation in 1996. Under his leadership, the foundation’s assets grew from $20 million to $248 million, placing ECF within the top 10 percent of community foundations nationwide. He also established Erie Vital Signs, a regional key indicator project, and Erie Gives, a successful online giving day, and is a founder of the Nonprofit Partnership, a significant capacity-building project.
The board and staff of the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has announced the selection of JEFF RODGERS as its new executive director, effective April 1, the exact anniversary of the museum’s original opening in 1903. Rodgers comes to the museum from the South Florida Museum, where he spent four years as provost and chief operating officer and helped establish an inclusive management and organizational structure, stewarded important fundraising relationships, and built robust community partnerships.
The Tucson Museum of Art has announced the appointment of KRISTOPHER DRIGGERS as Assistant Curator, Bernard and Jeanette Schmidt Curator of Latin American Art. Currently a lecturer at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the nation’s second-largest Hispanic-serving Institution, Driggers will finish his semester of teaching and join TMA full time in early May to manage and develop TMA’s Latin American, Spanish Colonial, post-Colonial, and Latin American folk art collections, with an emphasis on pre-Columbian art. Driggers obtained his bachelor’s degree in History of Art from Yale University in 2011, his master’s degree in Art History from the University of Chicago in 2014, and is on track to receiving a PhD in Art History, Pre-Columbian and Colonial Latin American Art from the University of Chicago in May.
In other news, Carrie Walton Penner, chair of the Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, has announced that KYLE PETERSON, the foundation’s executive director, will be leaving the foundation this summer. As executive director, Peterson led changes that, Penner writes, “positioned the foundation to meet the needs of our staff and grantees, now and in the future. Specifically, he ushered in a new focus on people development, initiated a journey for a more inclusive and diverse organization, improved operations, brought a new focus to learning and strategy, stewarded a stronger foundation identity with increased transparency, deepened collaboration with the social sector, and built a One Foundation culture.” During his tenure, the foundation also grew its professional staff by 50 percent and distributed nearly $600 million in annual giving. Peterson will stay on in a key role as the foundation begins a national search for his successor.