People in the News (12/15/2019): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

People in the News (12/15/2019): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced the promotion of SAM GILL to the newly created position of senior vice president and chief program officer. Gill has played a central role in aligning Knight's research and grantmaking strategy since joining the foundation in 2015 as vice president for learning and impact and has spearheaded the evolution of the foundation's Communities and National Initiatives program toward a greater focus on impact, promoting community engagement through projects ranging from reimagining public spaces, to efforts to revitalize downtowns, to experiments in the use of digital technology. He also led the expansion of the foundation's Learning and Impact program from grants evaluation to field-leading research, including an ongoing series of surveys with Gallup on American views toward media, and over the past year has spearheaded a $50 million investment by the foundation to help develop a new field of research on technology's impact on democracy. The foundation also announced that it will launch an immediate national search, led by the firm Phillips Oppenheim, to fill the position of vice president, community and national initiatives. 

After a national search, the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis has named NICHOL HIGDON as its new vice president of finance and operations, effective January 6, 2020. In that role, Higdon will oversee the foundation's finance, human resources, information and technology, compliance, and reception and facilities departments and, working closely with the McKnight board, interim president Debby Landesman, and other senior leaders, will work to responsibly steward the foundation's finances and operationally advance its mission. After twelve years in senior executive leadership roles serving YMCAs, Higdon joins the foundation as it is preparing for a presidential search, expands its Midwest Climate & Energy program, and builds a new community program aimed at creating a more equitable and inclusive Minnesota.

The James Irvine Foundation in San Francisco has announced the election of MICHAEL CHUI to its board of trustees. Chui is a partner at the San Francisco-based McKinsey Global Institute, where he leads research on the impact of innovation and technology for companies, the economy, and society at large. Before joining McKinsey in 2002, he served as chief information officer for the City of Bloomington, Indiana, as founder and executive director of HoosierNet, Inc. (a nonprofit Internet provider), and on the software research and development team at IBM.

The board of trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund has announced the election of Rev. JENNIFER BAILEY to a five-year term on the board. An ordained minister who is helping to lead the national multi-faith movement for justice, Bailey is the founder and executive director of the Faith Matters Network and a co-founder of the People's Supper, which uses shared meals to build trust and connection among people of different identities and perspectives. Among her honors, Bailey has been an Ashoka Fellow, a Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, an Aspen Ideas Scholar, an On Being Fellow, and a Truman Scholar. She also writes regularly for On Being, Sojourners, the Huffington Post, and other publications and is a member of the boards of Open Table Nashville, World Faith, and the Healing Trust.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has announced that JOSE DOMNIGUEZ, director of development partnerships for the mid-Atlantic at the League of Conservation Voters and a fellowship coach at the Obama Foundation, is joining the organization in the newly created position of vice president and chief operating officer. In that role, Domínguez will oversee the organization's financial management, human resources, and administrative functions and will also serve on NCRP's leadership team along with president/CEO Aaron Dorfman, vice president and chief content officer Timi Gerson, and vice president and chief engagement officer Jeanné Lewis. Domínguez previously served as director of development and communication at Strong City Baltimore, as executive director of Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, and as director of grants administration at DC Trust. He also chaired the board of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training for three years.

In other news, online racial justice group Color Of Change has announced HEATHER McGHEE as the new chair of its board of directors. McGhee, a member of the Color Of Change board for the past year, served as president of progress think tank Demos from 2014 through 2018 and, in that role, led efforts to increase the racial diversity of the organization's staff and bring a racial equity lens to its work. "Color Of Change's mission has always been about making government and the private sector responsive to black people," said Color Of Change founder James Rucker. "Heather taking on this new capacity is another decision the folks at Color Of Change are making in an effort to achieve this goal. Today, with white supremacists fighting in our streets, online, and in the halls of government, we need innovative leaders like Heather. She's shown in her fights for environmental justice, voting rights and economic freedom that she not only knows what's wrong with the system, but how to fight back and fix it."

"Sam Gill Named Chief Program Officer at Knight Foundation." John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press Release 12/10/2019. "McKnight Welcomes Nichol Higdon as Vice President of Finance and Operations." McKnight Foundation Announcement 12/09/2019. "Michael Chui Elected to Irvine Board of Directors." James Irvine Foundation Blog Post 12/09/2019. "Jessie Ball duPont Fund Names Respected Public Theologian Reverend Jennifer Bailey as New Trustee." Jessie Ball duPont Fund News Release 12/12/2019. "Heather McGhee to Direct Color of Change Board." Philanthropy Women Blog Post 12/09/2019. "Jose Dominguez to be NCRP’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer." National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy News Release 12/09/2019.