People in the News (12/25/16): Appointments and Promotions

People in the News (12/25/16): Appointments and Promotions

The Duke Endowment in Charlotte, North Carolina, has named MEKA S. SALES as its director of special initiatives. In that role, Sales, who joined the endowment in 2007 as a program officer in the Health Care program area, will manage the foundation’s developing place-based strategy, which envisions a decade-long investment in selected communities to improve outcomes for young children along social/emotional, physical health, and educational lines. Target communities are expected to be selected in 2017. Sales began her career as a communications professional with C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., and subsequently worked at American University as an adjunct professor and manager of the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters Health Promotion Program. In 2005, she joined North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund as its first childhood obesity program officer.

The European Climate Foundation has announced the appointment of LAURENCE TUBIANA as chief executive officer of the organization, effective March 1, 2017. Tubiana, a French economist and diplomat, was appointed French ambassador for international climate negotiations in connection with the 2015 COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. She founded and has headed the Paris-based Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), is a professor at Sciences Po, and served as senior adviser on the environment to the former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. She also was responsible for conducting international environmental negotiations for the French government and has been a member of the Economic Analysis Council (Conseil d’analyse économique) attached to the French Prime Minister’s office. Tubiana will succeed JOHANNES MEIER, who has held the position for six years and is resigning for family reasons.

The board of the Initiative Foundation has announced the selection of MATT VARILEK, outgoing chief operating officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, D.C., as its new president and chief executive officer. As chief operating officer of the SBA, Varilek, 41, oversaw agency-wide operations in support of the agency's small-business lending, venture capital, and private equity work, as well as its entrepreneurial training, government contracting and disaster recovery efforts. At IF, he will succeed founding president KATHY GAASLWYK, who is transitioning out of the organization at year's end and under whose leadership the foundation grew from a start-up community foundation with $2.6 million in seed money into an organization with assets of $63 million.

The board of trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles has announced that RONALD S. LAUDER has joined the Getty's board. A renowned art collector, Lauder served as chair of the Museum of Modern Art from 1995 to 2005 and now serves that institution as honorary chair. In 1997, he established the Commission for Art Recovery, which advocates and fights for the recovery of Nazi looted art, and in 2001 he established the Neue Galerie in New York, of which he is president. He has served as chair of Clinique Laboratories since 1994 and was a member of the Estée Lauder Companies’ board of directors from 1968-1986, 1988-2009, and since November of this year. In 2007, Lauder was elected to lead the World Jewish Congress and has served as the organization’s president ever since, and he also serves as chair of the Jewish National Fund. Among his honors, Lauder (together with his wife, Jo Carole) received the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2011 and in 2013; was named an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by President François Hollande of France; was decorated with Germany's highest honor, the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit, in 2015; was awarded the Guardian of Zion prize by the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar Ilan University in 2016; and received honorary doctoral degrees from Ben Gurion University in 2009 and Yeshiva University in 2011.

The board of Miami Jewish Health has announced the election of JAY SOLOWSKY, founding partner at Solowsky Allen law firm in Miami, as chairman of its board and JEFFREY RITTENBERG, CEO of Surfmed, as vice chair. 

In other news, the board of the San Francisco-based Christensen Fund has announced that, in compliance with the fund’s bylaws, ATOSSA SOLTANI will be stepping down as chair at the end of the year. Atossa, who founded Amazon Watch in 1996 and served as the organization's executive director until last year, joined the Christensen board in 2008 and took over as chair in 2011. She will continue to serve as a trustee and will be succeeded as chair by MICHAEL NICOLL YAHGULANAAS, a Haida leader, activist, and visual artist who joined the Christensen board in 2009. The fund also announced that RODOLFO DIRZO will rejoin the board in January. An expert in the ecology of tropical ecosystems, Dirzo is the Bing Professor in Environmental Science and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. 

"Meka S. Sales Has Been Named Director of Special Initiatives at the Duke Endowment." Duke Endowment Press Release 12/20/2016. "Laurence Tubiana Appointed as CEO of the European Climate Foundation." . European Climate Foundation Press Release 12/20/2016. "Opportunity to Run High-Impact Regional Community Foundation Draws Varilek Back to Minnesota." Initiative Foundation Press Release 12/16/2016. "Ronald S. Lauder Joins J. Paul Getty Trust Board." J. Paul Getty Trust Press Release 12/19/2016. "Miami Jewish Health Elects New Officers to Board of Directors" Email Press Release 12/22/2016. "Trustee Transitions." Christensen Fund News Release 12/19/2016.