People in the News (01/17/2021): appointments, promotions, obituaries

People in the News (01/17/2021): appointments, promotions, obituaries

The Ford Foundation has announced ANTHONY BEBBINGTON as international director of its natural resources and climate change program. In that role, Bebbington will lead the team that oversees the foundation’s global work supporting rural, low-income, indigenous, traditional, and Afro-descendant communities in the Global South working to mitigate climate change. An internationally recognized scholar in the area of extractive industries and natural resource governance, he joins the foundation from Clark University, where he was the Milton P. and Alice C. Higgins Professor of Environment and Society and, concurrently, served on the board of directors at Oxfam America.

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey, has announced the appointment of MARIANNA SCHAFFER as vice president of programs and JENNENE TIERNEY as vice president of people, culture, equity — both new senior leadership positions at the foundation. As vice president of programs, Schaffer (she/her/hers), a philanthropic leader with nearly twenty years' experience, will lead the foundation’s grantmaking activities as it shifts its program priorities to a focus on equity, anti-racism, and justice. The New York City resident and mother of two most recently served as director of artist initiatives at Creative Capital and, prior to that, was a program officer at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and a program director at the David Rockefeller Fund. In her role as vice president of people, culture, and equity, Tierney (she/her/hers) will oversee the foundation's human resources, culture building and internal and external communications strategies and will guide the implementation of an overarching diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. She joins the foundation from Koya Leadership Partners, where she was a vice president, and prior to that worked as vice president of human resources at the Arcus Foundation and in various talent management and development roles with UNICEF USA, the International Rescue Committee, and CARE USA.

The Kresge Foundation in Troy, Michigan, has announced the promotions of ZENNA ELHASAN to general counsel and NEESHA MODI to director of program and social investment operations. Elhasan joined Kresge in 2018 and advises the foundation on legal matters, supports the development and enforcement of foundation policies and practices, and manages outside counsel relationships. In her new role, she will also assume responsibilities related to Kresge’s board of trustees as staff liaison to the nominating and governance committee. Previously, Elhasan served as corporation counsel for Wayne County, where she led commercial litigation, federal civil rights compliance, labor and employment law, and real estate and tax matters and also oversaw major projects and restructuring efforts, including the Wayne County jail project, the county’s consent agreement with the State of Michigan, and transfers of the county’s major sewer systems. Modi joined Kresge in 2015 and led grant strategies and portfolios in early childhood, civic capacity, leadership development, and community activation. She also chairs the foundation’s Leadership and Infrastructure Funding Team, which invests in talent and leadership development for grantees across the country. In her new role, Modi will work across the organization to refine and strengthen the systems, processes, and culture of the Program and Social Investment departments to ensure that they are increasingly consistent, effective, and supportive of the foundation’s overall mission.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, has announced the selection of CHAMIZA PACHECO de ALAS as director of its New Mexico programs. In that role, Pacheco de Alas, who will be based in Albuquerque, will provide oversight of the foundation’s longstanding investments in New Mexico and will lead its statewide grantmaking priorities in partnership with the foundation’s New Mexico team, grantees, communities, and other stakeholders in the region. Pacheco de Alas has held various positions at the University of New Mexico, most recently as chief of staff for the executive vice president at the UNM Health Sciences Center (HSC) in Albuquerque and as director of community outreach at the UNM Health Sciences Center Office of the Chancellor, where her determined focus on racial equity principles led to the successful engagement with medical experts and partners in tribal, immigrant and refugee communities across the state. She also served as associate university counsel at UNM Health Sciences Center, where she served as primary counsel to the University of New Mexico Hospital, a four-hundred-bed facility that includes the state’s only Level I trauma center, a children's hospital, and adult and children'ss psychiatric hospitals.

KELLY JIN, chief analytics officer for the City of New York and head of the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics, will join the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as vice president for community and national initiatives in February. Jin's office in In New York City recently launched the NYC Recovery Data Partnership, a first-of-its-kind effort in which community, nonprofit, and private organizations share data with the city to aid in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Previously, she served as a director at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, worked in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and helped build the City of Boston’s analytics team, working alongside front-line workers to gain a deeper understanding of how to collect data to make informed decisions and recommendations.

KATY MOORE has been named the first CEO of the Virginia Funders Network (VFN), a new coalition of funders operating in Virginia modeled after similar networks in North Carolina, Washington D.C., Maryland, and other states. Moore began her career in philanthropy at a small community foundation in Arkansas, has led the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations at the Council on Foundations, and worked to promote an equity focus while holding leadership positions during her ten years at the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. She presently serves as senior director at the Orr Group, a nonprofit fundraising consultancy. 

After a national search, Borealis Philanthropy has announced AMORETTA MORRIS as its new president, effective February 16. Morris comes to the Minneapolis-based social justice organization from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which she joined in 2013 as a senior associate responsible for overseeing its Family-Centered Community Change initiative. In 2016, she was named director of the foundation's national community strategies, leading its efforts to help local partners and community stakeholders strengthen their neighborhoods. Before joining AECF, Morris served as director of student attendance for the District of Columbia Public Schools and was a youth and education policy adviser in the Executive Office of the Mayor in the Anthony Williams and Adrian Fenty administrations. She joined local government after serving as the founding director and lead organizer for the Justice 4 DC Youth! Coalition, an advocacy group that mobilized youth and adults to promote juvenile justice reform.

Enterprise Community Partners in Columbia, Maryland, has named JUDI KENDE as senior vice president and chief program officer of its Solutions division. In the newly created position, the New York City-based Kende will report to Jacqueline Waggoner, the newly appointed president of the division, and will be a member of the organization’s senior management team. As an Enterprise vice president and New York market leader, Kende led a cross-functional team that worked with New York City officials, financial institutions, foundations, developers, and other partners to build and preserve affordable homes. In 2014, she was invited to serve on the mayor's Housing New York Implementation Advisory Board and Office of Sustainability Technical Working Group, and in 2016 she was appointed to the mayor’s Supportive Housing Task Force. Prior to joining Enterprise in 2014, Kende headed up the Low Income Investment Fund's Eastern and Central region, served as director of nonprofit finance for Citibank Community Development, and spent six years in Citigroup’s corporate and investment bank.

TIMOTHY KNOWLES, EdD, has joined the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Stanford, California, as the organization's tenth president. A Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago, Knowles has served as a Carnegie Foundation trustee since 2018 and has been deeply engaged with questions of strategy, organizational development, and finance. He comes to his new position as the founder and managing partner of the Academy Group, which prepares young people from the nation’s most resilient communities for success in school, career, and life. Previously, he founded and served as the Pritzker Director of the University of Chicago Urban Labs, served as John Dewey Clinical Professor of Education at the University of Chicago, and established and directed the University’s Urban Education Institute. Prior to that, he served as deputy superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, as a school leader in Bedford-Stuyvesant, as founding director of Teach for America in New York, and as a teacher of African history in Botswana.

Indianapolis-based Strada Education Network has announced University of Utah president RUTH V. WATKINS as the new president of Strada Impact. As Utah's president since 2018, and senior vice president for academic affairs prior to that time, she helped forge partnerships with alumni, state policy makers, and industry and community stakeholders that led to a significant increase in the public research institution's graduation rates as well as stronger career pathways for graduates. In 2019, the university was invited to join the Association of American Universities, recognition of its status as one of the sixty-five leading research universities in the nation. Watkins joined the university in 2013 as senior vice president for academic affairs and became its first female president in 2018. Prior to her career in Utah, she spent twenty years in leadership and faculty roles at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and earlier worked at the University of Texas at Dallas.

In other news, GLSEN, a leading organization on LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education, has announced that executive director ELIZA BYARD will be stepping down on March 1 and that deputy executive director MELANIE WILLINGHAM-JAGGERS will serve as interim executive director while the GLSEN board of directors launches a national search for the organization’s next leader. Byard has served on the GLSEN leadership team for twenty years and as executive director for the past twelve. Over that time, her leadership has been instrumental in advancing legislation at the federal and state level, developing a robust research-based approach to LGBTQ+ student advocacy, and changing the conversation around educational equity issues to better center the voices of LGBTQ+ students and educators. "We are grateful for Eliza’s two decades of dedicated service to GLSEN, which have driven astonishing progress for LGBTQ+ students and educators," said GLSEN board chair Michael Manthei. "Working with staff, students and educators across the country, Eliza has built up a formidable organization and we look forward to building on her legacy as we begin a national search for a new executive director. Thanks to Eliza’s incredible work, GLSEN is well positioned to take on the challenges of the next two decades."

And NAN ARON, founder and president of the D.C.-based Alliance for Justice for the past forty-two years, has announced she will be stepping down from her position at the end of July. During her tenure, Aron and AFJ staff led the charge against ultra-conservative judicial nominees and paved the way for hundreds of confirmations of well-qualified, fair-minded judges to the federal bench; created a sprawling network of coalitions, partnerships, and relationships, on Capitol Hill and with philanthropic institutions and donors; and launched Bolder Advocacy, AFJ's effort to strengthen the progressive infrastructure and its organizations by giving them knowledge, tools, and technical support to advocate more effectively and courageously. "Nan has been a remarkable steward of AFJ’s mission, bringing brilliance, humility, and integrity to the work of the organization," said Paulette Meyer, chair of the AFJ board of directors. "Her effective leadership and commitment to AFJ’s values have kept AFJ strong, relevant, and on a clear and steady course — one that positions it well for the future. We could not be more grateful for her original vision and exceptional leadership." Working in partnership with Russell Reynolds Associates, the board has launched a national search for Aron's successor.

"Ford Foundation Appoints Anthony Bebbington as Director of Natural Resources and Climate Change." Ford Foundation News Release 01/12/2021. "Introducing the Dodge Foundation’s two new senior leaders." Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Announcement "Zenna Elhasan named Kresge General Counsel; Neesha Modi promoted to Director of Program and Social Investment Operations." Kresge Foundation News Release 01/14/2021. "W.K. Kellogg Foundation names Chamiza Pacheco de Alas as director of New Mexico programs." W.K. Kellogg Foundation Press Release 01/13/2021. "Kelly Jin, New York City’s chief analytics officer, will join Knight Foundation as vice president for community and national initiatives." John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 01/13/2021. "Announcing the Formation of the Virginia Funders Network and the Hiring of Katy Moore As Its First CEO." Virginia Funders Network Press Release 01/14/2021. "Borealis Philanthropy Welcomes Amoretta Morris as President." Borealis Philanthropy Announcement 01/13/2021. "Judi Kende Named Senior Vice President, Chief Program Officer at Enterprise Community Partners." Enterprise Community Partners Email 01/12/2021. "Carnegie Welcomes New President Timothy Knowles." Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching News Release 01/13/2021. "Ruth V. Watkins Named President of Strada Impact." Strada Education Network 01/12/2021. "GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard Stepping Down After 20 Years." GLSEN Email 01/13/2021. "Nan Aron to Step Down as President of Alliance for Justice." Alliance for Justice Press Release 01/11/2021.