The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has announced the appointment of Richard "Rip" Rapson, a one-time Minneapolis mayoral candidate and former president of the McKnight Foundation, as its new president and CEO.
Rapson will succeed John E. Marshall, who will retire in June 2006 after twenty-seven years at the head of the $2.9 billion foundation, which connects nonprofits with stakeholders in their communities and, most famously, provides challenge grants for capital projects. During his six years as the head of the McKnight Foundation, Rapson created a strategic framework for the foundation's programming; developed a regional growth and development initiative; managed annual grant distributions of between $75 million and $92 million; oversaw the launch of an initiative that convened public, civic, business, and higher education leaders to address regional challenges in the Twin Cities area; and guided a comprehensive, statewide effort to elevate investment in early childhood development as a priority. During his tenure, McKnight also received the inaugural Paul Ylvisaker Award for Outstanding Public Policy (2002) from the Council on Foundations.
A senior fellow with McKnight after stepping down as president this past July, Rapson has served as deputy mayor of Minneapolis, published works on urban and community development, and counseled nonprofits as an attorney. "The diversity of experience Mr. Rapson brings suits the Kresge Foundation, since our grants advance the work of many types of nonprofits," said Elaine Rosen, a foundation trustee and chair of the search committee that selected him.