People in the News (8/02/15): Appointments and Promotions

People in the News (8/02/15): Appointments and Promotions

The John Templeton Foundation has announced the appointment of HEATHER TEMPLETON DILL as president. Dill, who succeeds her late father, JACK TEMPLETON, as president, most recently acted as executive liaison to the president, working closely with her father and staff. Earlier, she taught high school history, government, and economics and was a homeschool educator as well as a manuscript editor and research assistant at the University of Virginia. A trustee of the foundation for twelve years, Dill has served on its executive, finance, and strategic planning committees as well as the steering committee of the Templeton Religion Trust and the Templeton World Charity Foundation board.

The George Gund Foundation has announced the appointment of JENNIFER COLEMAN as senior program officer for the arts, effective August 10. Coleman, an architect, is president of her own design firm, Jennifer Coleman Creative LLC. She also founded, which produces digital audio walking tours of Cleveland, and has served on the boards of several civic institutions, including the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Cleveland International Film Festival, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. She will succeed DEENA EPSTEIN, who retired earlier this month after twenty-five years in the role.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has announced the appointment of KAREN BROOKS HOPKINS as senior fellow in residence, a new position. Hopkins, who stepped down this June after thirty-six years as president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, will work with the foundation from this September through next September on topics related to arts administration and the role of the arts in urban revitalization; she also plans to write a book about her experiences in the field. Brooks’s involvement with the arts and public affairs has included board leadership roles at several institutions, including the Cultural Institutions Group, the Onassis Foundation, and the Performing Arts Center Consortium. In 2006, PND interviewed Hopkins about BAM’s goals and role in the Brooklyn community, as well as her approach to fundraising for the arts.

The Firelight Foundation has announced the appointment of NINA BLACKWELL as executive director. Blackwell, most recently senior strategic advisor and head of external affairs at Humanity United, previously spent several years at Yahoo! Inc. as senior director of communications for the Americas communications and global public affairs and also created its global CSR communications practice. Earlier, she worked for Hillary Clinton, first as special advisor and then as press secretary and spokesperson during Clinton’s tenure as a U.S. senator (D-NY) and her 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. A native of Australia, Blackwell spent almost ten years working in Australian politics before moving to the States. Blackwell will succeed PETER LAUGHARN, who was recently appointed president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

The Samuel S. Fels Fund has announced the selection of SARAH MARTINEZ-HELFMAN as president, effective October 1. Martinez-Helfman has served as founding executive director of the Eagles Youth Partnership – the charitable wing of the Philadelphia Eagles baseball team -- for twenty years and before that was assistant director for service at the National Civilian Community Corps, an AmeriCorps program. Earlier, she was a program director with Atlantic Philanthropies in England, Ireland, and Russi and also served as deputy director of research and development for City Year, as the chief clinician of a residential treatment center for adolescent males in the juvenile justice system, and as lead advocate at a rape crisis center. Martinez-Helfman will take over from HELEN CUNNINGHAM, who announced her retirement from the foundation in January after twenty-three years at the helm.

In other news, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced the appointment of JAY JENSEN as director of its new Southern Regional Office. In that position, Jensen will be responsible for conservation initiatives and securing funding for NFWF grantmaking in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. A forester and former wildland firefighter, Jensen most recently worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he was responsible for liaising with the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on land and water policy. Earlier, Jensen served as deputy undersecretary for natural resources and environment at USDA, as executive director of the Council of Western State Foresters/Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, and as a senior policy advisor for the Western Governors Association. 

"Heather Templeton Dill Appointed President of the John Templeton Foundation." John Templeton Foundation Press Release 07/22/2015. "The George Gund Foundation Appoints Jennifer Coleman as Senior Program Officer for the Arts." George Gund Foundation Press Release 07/30/2015. "Former Brooklyn Academy of Music President Karen Brooks Hopkins Appointed Senior Fellow in Residence at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation." Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Press Release 07/27/2015. " Firelight Welcomes New Executive Director, Nina Blackwell." Firelight Foundation Press Release 07/22/2015. "Leadership Transition Update." Samuel S. Fels Fund Announcement 07/14/2015. "Jay Jensen to Join National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as Director of the Southern Regional Office." National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Press Release 07/29/2015.