The Obama Foundation has announced ADEWALE “WALLY" ADEYEMO as its first-ever president. Working closely with current foundation leadership, including board chair MARTIN NESBITT and CEO DAVID SIMAS, Adeyemo will manage the foundation’s day-to-day operations and help to implement the organization’s strategic goals and vision. Appointed in 2015 as President Barack Obama’s senior international economics adviser, Adeyemo has also served in senior management positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and helped launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2011 as its first chief of staff. He is currently a senior advisor at BlackRock and the Center for Strategic and International Studies and serves on the board of a number of organizations devoted to community empowerment and addressing inequality, including the Golden State Opportunity Foundation and Demos.
The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation in Rochester, New York, has announced the appointment of MEGAN BELL as its new director of grants and programs. In that role, Bell, who has served as executive director of the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation in Rochester since 2010, where she managed a $20 million endowment and a grantmaking budget of nearly $1 million annually, will assume responsibility for developing, facilitating, and overseeing the foundation’s grantmaking in conjunction with the foundation’s trustees and executive director. A native of the Rochester area, Bell held key positions at the American Institute of Architects and with the Chicago Architecture Foundation in Chicago before joining the Wilson Foundation. In Rochester, her community work has included membership on the boards of Venture Jobs Foundation, Wilson Commencement Park (where she served as chair), Rochester/Monroe County Homeless Continuum of Care, he Grantmakers Forum of New York, and Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women.
JOHN CHURCHILL has been announced as director of programs at the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. In that role, Churchill will lead the foundations’ grantmaking in the areas of private higher education, public media, interfaith leadership and religious literacy, palliative care, and environmental engagement, stewardship, and solutions. Churchill joins AVDF from the John Templeton Foundation (JTF), where he served as director of philosophy and theology, a program that awards approximately $50 million in grants to organizations around the globe. In that capacity, he significantly expanded JTF’s support for interdisciplinary research and managed the expansion of the foundation’s support for work in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.
The Austin-based Moody Foundation has announced the hiring of EMILY GREER as its regional grants officer for Central Texas. A native of Houston, Greer brings more than twenty years of philanthropy and education experience to the foundation, having served in the Austin nonprofit community since 1999. Her hiring comes as the foundation continues to expand its presence across the state, especially in Austin.
The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation has announced that DARREN REISBERG has joined the foundation as vice president of programs and strategy. Reisberg joins the foundation from the University of Chicago, where as vice president for strategic initiatives and deputy provost he managed the office’s budget and operations, supported faculty governance, led the coordination of the university’s initiatives in K-12 education, and oversaw university arts initiatives as well as the majority of the centers and institutes that report directly to the provost. Reisberg previously served as vice president and secretary of the university and as the first executive director of its Institute of Politics, where he currently serves on the board of advisors. He also chairs the Illinois State Board of Education and serves on the board of the Center on Halsted, an LGBT community center in Chicago. Earlier in his career, Reisberg worked as an employment and labor attorney at Sidley Austin LLP and clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer.
The foundation also announced the addition of SALLY BLOUNT, dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and CARTER STEWART, former U.S. attorney for Southern Ohio and managing director at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, to its board of directors. Blount, an internationally recognized thought leader in management and negotiation, has served as dean at Kellogg since 2010, during which time she led an ambitious seven-year plan for its transformation that included construction of a new global education center on the shores of Lake Michigan. As U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Stewart, a noted expert and leader in alternatives to incarceration and crime prevention, created the district’s first community outreach position and established a community leadership committee. He also took a leadership role at the Department of Justice in addressing inequities in the criminal justice system, chairing a working group of U.S. attorneys focused on reducing racial disparities. In 2016, he joined the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in Owings Mills, Maryland, has announced the selection of NIMROD GOOR to its board of trustees. Goor, the first Israeli trustee in the foundation’s history, is a founding partner at Helios Energy Investments, the largest private equity fund in Israel specializing in renewable energy power generation in Europe and Israel. Prior to Helios, he was a partner at Precede Technologies and held multiple managerial positions in various technology and aerospace companies in the U.S. and Israel, including Model N, MedSim, and Banner Aerospace. In addition to his business activities, Goor has been engaged in various nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Israel, including the San Francisco Federation, AIPAC, and the Hausner Jewish Community Day School in Palo Alto, California. He currently serves as chair of the Gvanim Association in Sderot, Israel; as a board member at the Shalom Hartman Institute; and as a member of the steering committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution’s Lay Leadership Center in Israel.
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver has announced the appointment of MELISSA CHEONG, managing partner at Blackhorn Ventures, to its board of trustees and the departure of DENISE O’LEARY, who recently stepped down from the board after eight years of service. Cheong has worked in finance and investment roles with Zoma Capital, Treehouse Investments, Plainfield Asset Management, Metzler Bank, and Deutsche Bank and as a managing director at Imprint Capital worked with a broad range of family offices, foundations. and financial institutions to build out customized mission-aligned social impact investment portfolios. In both 2017 and 2018 she was featured by “Trusted Insight” as one of the “Top 30 Family Office Chief Investment Officers,” and she is a frequent speaker and presenter at events and conferences on social and environmental impact investing issues.
In other news, CAROL COLETTA — who has been serving as a loaned executive from the Kresge Foundation to the Memphis River Parks Partnership as that organization’s CEO and president since March 2018 — will be transitioning out of the foundation to further advance the reimagination of the Memphis riverfront. During her tenure at Kresge, Coletta, a Memphis native, played a central part in its efforts to contribute to that city’s community development strategy and revitalization and also led implementation of the Reimagining the Civic Commons Initiative, a national collaboration of foundations, nonprofits and governments to more fully use and democratize civic assets such as parks, libraries, and other public spaces. Memphis is one of five cities participating in the initiative, with much of that effort focused on the re-imagination of the Fourth Bluff in the heart of the city’s historic downtown. Prior to her work with the foundation, Coletta served as vice president of Community and National Initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; led the two-year start-up of ArtPlace, a public-private collaboration to accelerate creative placemaking in communities across the U.S.; and served as president and CEO of CEOs for Cities for seven years. She also served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the American Architectural Foundation. In 2017, she was named one of the hundred most influential urbanists of all time by Planetizen, one of only seventeen women to make the list, and for nine years she was host and producer of the nationally syndicated weekly public radio show “Smart City,” where she interviewed more than nine hundred leaders in business, the arts and cities.