The Denver-based Daniels Fund has announced that R. JAMES "JIM" NICHOLSON has been elected chair of its board of directors. Nicholson, senior counsel with the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, was named by Daniels Fund founder Bill Daniels as one of the fund’s nine original directors and has served on the board since the fund's inception. He will succeed outgoing board chair JUNE TRAVIS, who has completed her term and will remain on the board.
Boston-based Pathfinder International has announced that MOHAMED ABOU NAR, senior program director for Bangladesh, Egypt, India, and Pakistan, will become its first chief programs and impact officer, effective June 1. In that role, Abou Nar will work closely with Lois Quam, the organization's president and CEO, to identify and prioritize global sexual and reproductive health challenges and solutions. Abou Nar, who has been with Pathfinder since 2003, has more than twenty years of experience in international development, project management, quality assurance, and project design, implementation and evaluation.
The New York Philharmonic has announced the appointment of ISAAC THOMPSON as vice president, artistic planning, effective July 1. Thompson has served as director of artistic administration for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati May Festival since 2015, after serving as vice president of artistic planning for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In his new role, Thompson will work closely with Music Director Designate Jaap van Zweden and incoming President/CEO Deborah Borda on implementing the organization’s artistic vision.
The Arizona Commission on the Arts has announced that ROBERT C. BOOKER will retire after more than a decade as executive director on August 7. Booker is stepping down after a forty-year career in the arts, starting as an intern at the South Dakota Arts Council, then as a museum professional, then leading state arts agencies in Minnesota and Arizona. Over his career, he has also served on the boards of Art over AIDS, the Minnesota AIDS Project, the Western States Arts Federation, Arts Midwest, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (chair), Grantmakers in the Arts (chair), and the Minnesota Governor’s Residence Council (chair). Booker currently co-chairs the Arts Committee for the Arizona-Mexico Commission and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Center for LGBTQ Philanthropy at the Arizona Community Foundation. He will be succeeded by JAIME DEMPSEY, the commission’s deputy director since 2006. Dempsey has served on the national board for DataArts (formerly the Cultural Data Project) since 2012 and in 2016 was elected to the board of Grantmakers in the Arts.
In other news, NPR reports that the NAACP, America's oldest civil rights group, is replacing its president, CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, and planning a "transformational retooling." The organization says the change is part of "an organization-wide refresh" that includes changing its structure and tactics in response to what it calls "audacious challenges" and "today's volatile political, media and social climates." The search for a new leader will start immediately. In the meantime, board chair LEON RUSSELL and vice chair DERRICK JOHNSON will handle the organization's day-to-day operations.