People in the News (02/24/19): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

People in the News (02/24/19): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced CHEIKH OUMAR SEYDI as its new Africa director. A Senegalese national, Seydi joins the foundation from the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he was the regional director for sub-Saharan Africa, based in Nairobi, and served as its director for eastern and southern Africa as well as as global director of human resources, covering IFC offices worldwide. He originally joined the organization in 1997 as an investment officer. Prior to IFC, Seydi was a manager at Ernst & Young in New York, where he advised corporate clients on restructuring, reorganization, corporate finance, and business valuation. The foundation has doubled its Africa-based staff over the past two years and continues to deepen its work in Ethiopia and Nigeria and strengthen its engagement across sub-Saharan Africa.

The board of trustees of the Boston-based Patrick J. McGovern Foundation has announced the appointment of MELINDA MARBLE as the foundation's first executive director. Marble brings several decades of experience in philanthropy to the foundation, most recently as deputy director of the Barr Foundation, as director of family philanthropy at Pilot House Associates, and as executive director of the Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation. She also has managed major giving programs at both family and community foundations, including the San Francisco Foundation and the Boston Foundation, and has served in both staff and board positions at The Philanthropic Initiative.

The New York City-based Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFG), a leader in understanding violence, has named JOEL WALLMAN as director of research. In that role, Wallman will guide the foundation's research agenda on the nature, consequences, and responses to violence in its many forms, including human aggression, crime, and war. An anthropologist by training, Wallman is a recognized expert on violent crime in the United States and Latin America and has undertaken significant research, written extensively and advised policymakers, and currently is a member of a group of criminologists working with the foundation's support to develop a crime-forecasting model for use by law enforcement and other government officials. He joined the foundation in 1991, serving first as program officer and more recently as senior program officer.

The Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska, has announced the hiring of SHAWN RIVERA as IT operations manager, JESS HALEY as executive assistant to the president and board liaison, STEPHANIE HUBERS as executive assistant to the vice presidents, and SAMONA NOROMBABA as administrative assistant. A lifelong Alaskan, Rivera joined the foundation in December and has spent the bulk of his career working in IT positions for public and private entities, including Municipal Light & Power and the state Department of Natural Resources. Before joining Rasmuson, he served as a program officer with the Alaska Community Foundation. Born and raised in Alaska, Haley joined the foundation’s staff in January and most recently worked at the University of Alaska Foundation. Originally from Orange City, Iowa, Hubers joined the foundation in November and prior to that worked at the Alaska Primary Care Association and spent four years at Covenant House Alaska. And Norombaba, who joined the foundation in October and grew up in Florida and Illinois, works as program director for the Anchorage International Film Festival.

The Northwest Area Foundation in St. Paul, Minnesota, has announced the appointment of three new members to its board. JOYCE LEE is the chief financial officer of the Seattle-based Margeurite Casey Foundation, which works to help low-income families in pursuit of a just and equitable society. Before joining the foundation, she was a principal at Clark Nuber, a CPA and consulting firm, where she specialized in helping foundations and nonprofits optimize their mission through improved financial practices. Lee also serves on the boards of nonprofit organizations Hispanics in Philanthropy and 501 Commons. Based in Seattle, JENNIFER C. WILLIAMS is the financial center (FC) operational excellence executive for Bank of America, responsible for evaluating business processes for the bank's sales, and also is a member of three internal groups at BofA: the Executive Leadership Council, a leadership group of senior executives; the Black Professional Group, where she's an executive sponsor of the Seattle chapter; and the leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) for Women program, for which she's also an executive sponsor. LIBBY HLAVKA currently serves as president of the Driscoll Foundation in St. Paul and brings more than twenty years of experience in strategic planning, program development, and financial management for academic, corporate, and nonprofit organizations to the NAF board. Since 2015, she has been a member of the board of the Jerome Foundation, and she also serves on the boards of Minnesota Public Radio and St. Paul Academy and Summit School. As a member of the Hill family, Hlavka represents a living link to the legacy of NAF founder, Louis W. Hill.

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in New York City has announced the appointment of KELLI JONES, GLENN D. LOWRY, and A.C. HUDGINS to its board of directors. Jones — the daughter of poets Hettie Jones and Amiri Baraka — is a professor in Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University and is an accomplished curator of exhibitions at various institutions, including the Hammer and Brooklyn museums. She also is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including a grant from Creative Capital and the Warhol Foundation, a term as a scholar-in-residence at the Terra Foundation in France, and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. An Islamist by training, Lowry has been the director of the Museum of Modern Art for nearly twenty-five years and leads a staff of more than seventy hundred and fifty people and an active program of exhibitions, acquisitions, and publications. He is, in addition, a member of the board of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a resident member of the American Philosophical Society, and serves on the advisory council of the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and as a trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors. In 2004, the French government honored Lowry with the title of Officier dans L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Hudgins is a private collector of African-American art, including early works by David Hammons, Senga Nengudi, and Henry Taylor. He has served on the board of trustees of the Museum of Modern Art since 2012 and has donated several African-American pieces to the museum's collection.

The Denver-based Lowrie Family Foundation, which supports organizations and causes that improve the health, safety, and welfare of communities, has announced the addition of HOUSTON LOWRIE and GABRIELLE LOWRIE to its board. In addition to serving on the board, Houston will serve as executive director, while Gabrielle will serve as director of public relations. 

The New York City-based Ford Foundation has announced the election of HENRY FORD III to its board of trustees, marking the first time in more than forty years that a member of the Ford family will occupy a board seat. Ford is the great-grandson of Edsel Ford, who created the Ford Foundation in 1936, and currently serves as a member of the corporate strategy team at Ford Motor Company. Since joining the company in 2006, Ford has spent time in labor relations as a member of the UAW-Ford negotiations team; in purchasing as a vehicle programs analyst; and in marketing and sales as the Lincoln marketing lead for the western United States and as global marketing manager for Ford Performance. Prior to joining the company, he worked for Carney, Sandoe and Associates, where he recruited new teachers and helped place them in schools across the country, and then became a teacher himself, teaching middle school and high school math and history.

In other news, Woods Fund Chicago has announced that its president, GRACE HOU, is leaving the foundation after seven years to become secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, effective March 15. Under Hou’s leadership, the foundation was named a partner in the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) initiative, a multiyear commitment led by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to bring about transformational, sustainable change in addressing the effects of racism. She also has been a champion for Woods Fund Chicago grantees as they work in communities across the city to combat injustice and has helped deepen public awareness and understanding of the significance of policy, advocacy initiatives, and community organizing as fundamental tools for social transformation in Chicago.

Oladeinde Olawoyin. "Gates Foundation Announces New Africa Director." Premium Tmes 02/21/2019. "Patrick J. McGovern Foundation Appoints Melinda Marble as Executive Director." Patrick J. McGovern Foundation News Release 02/20/2019. "Joel Wallman Named Director of Research at Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation." Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Press Release 02/20/2019. "Meet Rasmuson Foundation’s Four New Staff Members." Rasmuson Foundation Press Release 02/20/2019. "Three New Board Members Add Expertise and Diverse Perspectives." Northwest Area Foundation News Release 02/21/2019. "Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Appoints Three New Board Members." Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Email 02/22/2019. "Lowrie Family Foundation Announces New Board Members Houston Lowrie and Gabrielle Lowrie." Lowrie Family Foundation News Release 02/11/2019. "Ford Foundation Elects Henry Ford III to Board of Trustees." Ford Foundation News Release 02/22/2019. "Woods Fund Statement Regarding Grace Hou's Departure." Woods Fund Chicago News Release 02/19/2019.