People in the News (05/24/2020): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

People in the News (05/24/2020): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the appointments of ANKUR VORA as chief strategy officer, GARGEE GHOSH as president, global policy and advocacy, and SUSAN BYRNES as chief communications officer, effective June 1. In their new roles, all three will serve on the foundation’s executive leadership team. Ankur joined the foundation in 2013 as deputy director, strategy and was promoted to director, strategy innovation and impact team in 2015. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as a program director at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, where he managed a portfolio across the areas of health, nutrition, and education. Gargee first joined the foundation in 2003 as senior program officer for the Vaccine Fund, the financing arm of GAVI, and played a critical role in the foundation’s early work in global health delivery. She rejoined the foundation in 2012 as director of the development policy and finance team and later took on leadership roles in the foundation’s Strategy and Program Advocacy and Communications offices. Her career has taken her from the public sector in Canada and at the UN, to the private sector at McKinsey and Google, to the nonprofit sector at the Center for Global Development. Byrnes joined the foundation in 2007 and has served in a variety of communications leadership roles, including interim chief communications officer. In 2015, she joined foundation grantee Malaria No More as a managing director, partnering with global malaria organizations on coordinated communications campaigns to mobilize resources and political will to end malaria. She returned to the foundation in 2017 as director, external communications. Prior to her career in communications, Byrnes spent a decade as a journalist, working as a staff writer, editorial writer, and columnist for the Seattle Times, general assignment report for the Los Angeles Times, and a news producer for Italian national television (RAI-Uno).

Following a nationwide search, the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG), a national philanthropic affinity group that supports grassroots power building in low-income communities and communities of color, has announced ADRINA ROCHA as its new president. Rocha has served as NFG's vice president of programs since May 2017 and in that role helped deepen the organization’s programming, including the development and launch of the Philanthropy Forward leadership program for CEOs and the Integrated Rural Strategies Group. For the past ten months, she and SARITA AHUJA have been serving as interim co-directors after the organization's former president, Dennis Quirin, left to become executive director at the Raikes Foundation. 

The California Endowment has announced the election of KIAH WILLIAMS, co-founder of SIRUM, a 501(c)(3) social venture that is working to solve the high cost of drugs in America, and MICHELE SIQUERIOS, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, to its board of directors. Williams’ work at SIRUM has earned her recognition as a Forbes 30-Under-30 Social Entrepreneur and an Outstanding Alumni, 40-Under-40 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, as a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, as a winner of the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, and as the inaugural Westly Foundation Social Innovator. Under Siquerios' leadership, CCO led the effort in 2010 for historic transfer reform, making it easier for students to transfer from any California community college to the California State University system. In the years since, more than 217,000 California students have earned a degree, and in 2018 the University of California announced a formal MOU with the California Community College system to provide a UC guarantee for associate degree for transfer earners.

The European Foundation Centre has announced the election of ANGEL FONT, corporate director of research and strategy at "la Caixa" Foundation in Spain, as its new chair. Font has worked in the philanthropic sector for almost thirty years and has served in leadership positions at Intermón Oxfam, Un sol món, and "la Caixa" since 2010.  He will succeed MASSIMO LAPUCCI, secretary-general of Fondazione CRT, who is stepping down after a three-year term as chair. Font will be supported in his role by newly elected Vice Chair AXELLE DAVEZAC (Fondation de France) and returning Treasurer CHRISTINA LAMBROPOULOU (Stavros Niarchos Foundation).

Interim chancellor BRIAN COLE has been named chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Cole joined UNCSA in 2016 as dean of the School of Music and has served as interim chancellor since August 2019. As dean, he oversaw all operations and programs at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels, as well as the Summer Intensive programs and the UNCSA Community Music School; developed the school's first-ever strategic plan; modernized existing and created new academic programs; and facilitated international partnerships with institutions in Germany, Austria, and China. He will succeed LINDSAY BIERMAN, who served as chancellor from 2014-19 and departed to become chief executive officer of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina.

"Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Appoints Three New Members to Executive Leadership Team." Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 05/21/2020. "Neighborhood Funders Group Announces New President: Adriana Rocha." Neighborhood Funders Group News Release 05/21/2020. "The California Endowment Elects Two Social Justice Nonprofit Leaders to its Board of Directors." California Endowment Press Release 05/20/2020. "Angel Font appointment as New EFC Chair Heralds New Era of Cohesion, Cooperation and Partnerships." European Foundation Centre Press Release 05/20/2020. "Brian Cole Named Ninth Chancellor of University of North Carolina School of the Arts." University of North Carolina School of the Arts Email 05/20/2020.