People in the News (04/04/2021): appointments, promotions, obituaries

People in the News (04/04/2021): appointments, promotions, obituaries

The Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, has announced appointments to newly created positions on its Environment Program's leadership team. Under the new structure, PIPA ELIAS will serve as the program's deputy director; HEATHER D'AGNES will serve as senior program officer and Ocean initiative lead; and KRISTIN TRACZ will serve as senior program officer and Mississippi River initiative lead. Elias comes to the foundation from The Nature Conservancy, where she served as director of agriculture for North America. D'Agnes has been with the foundation since 2017 and before that spent twelve years with the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she deployed U.S. development assistance in partnership with governments across Africa and Asia to protect terrestrial and marine biodiversity, mitigate climate change through clean energy and land-based emissions reduction, adapt to climate impacts, and increase access to clean water and safe sanitation. And Tracz was a program officer for the Blue Moon Fund and an energy policy specialist for the Mountain Association, a community development financial institution in eastern Kentucky, before joining the foundation in 2014.

The Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco has announced the appointment of RAUL MACIAS and DAN TORRES to lead its democracy and immigrant rights programs. A native Californian, Macias has over the last decade helped lead voting and election reform efforts for the Brennan Center for Justice and the Voting Rights Project of the ACLU of California. In those positions, he played a leadership role in advancing legislation and advocacy, including the successful adoption of the Voters Choice Act in 2018. Torres served as California's first director of immigrant integration, leading policy, legislative, and budget planning for immigrant integration programs and services statewide. More recently, he was special assistant on immigrant rights to former California attorney general Xavier Becerra, advising on immigration issues while leading multistate advocacy coalitions related to DACA, the 2020 Census, and the border.

The Libra Foundation in San Francisco has announced the appointment of DANIEL LAU as democracy frontlines fund initiative officer, a newly created position. Lau joins the foundation from Northern California Grantmakers, where he worked to center philanthropy around the values of justice and equity. Prior to that, he managed several multimillion-dollar funder collaboratives and worked to promote health equity through cross-sectoral collaboration among community developers and health practitioners with the Public Health Institute. At Libra, he will serve as point person for the foundation's DFF work, with a focus on making sure that all partners are engaged and supported throughout the foundation's learning journey.

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York City has announced the appointment of WALTER SWEET as senior vice president for sponsored projects; GREG RATLIFF as senior vice president for advisory; HEATHER GRADY as group lead for environment, rights, and global development practice; and HENRIETTA BANKOLE-OLUSINA and ADEDEJI OGUNTONADE as leads of a new team focused on building capacity in Nigeria for pro-poor digital financial services. Sweet brings nearly two decades of experience in philanthropy to his role, including a stint as head of RPA's philanthropy's advisory practice. Prior to joining RPA in 2019, Ratliff was a pioneer in impact investing at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Formerly vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, Grady brings significant experience in development, Indigenous rights, the environment, and systems approaches in philanthropy to her new position. Bankole-Olusina, RPA's new Nigeria Program director, previously served as head of corporate transformation and information technology at Asset & Resource Management and as financial services management consulting lead and head of mobility and payments at Accenture in Nigeria. And prior to his appointment as Nigeria payments director, Oguntonade served as the Fintech and Innovation Division head at Guaranty Trust Bank and, before that, as group head, electronic payments at the bank.

The Markle Foundation in New York City has announced the election of MARGARET HOOVER, the host of "Firing Line with Margaret Hoover" on PBS, to its board of directors. Hoover also is a political commentator for CNN and serves as president of the American Unity Fund, a political organization focused on achieving full freedom and equality for LGBT Americans. A best-selling author, she previously held roles in the White House under former President George W. Bush, in the Department of Homeland Security, on Capitol Hill, and on two presidential campaigns.

UNICEF USA in New York City has announced the appointment of BRANNIGAN C. THOMPSON to its national board of directors. Thompson currently serves as SVP, Corporate and Organization for Voya Financial, a retirement, investment, and insurance company. His previous business and corporate roles at the company range from Finance to HR, and he also serves as executive sponsor for the company's Mentoring Advantage Program and African American Employee Resource Group and on its Community Investment Review Committee.

And New York City-based Candid (PND's parent organization) has announced the appointment of three new members to its board of trustees. KAMI DAR is CEO of Uniti Networks, a startup that seeks to accelerate digital service adoption among people unconnected to the global economy. Dar previously served as co-founder and innovator-in-chief at Devex, where he spent nearly two decades leading a team of analysts, researchers, engineers, and designers working to make the Devex platform the definitive hub for more than a million development professionals. KENNETH JONES is vice president and CFO at the MacArthur Foundation, where he is responsible for all aspects of the Chicago-based foundation's finance, accounting, tax, audit, information technology, administrative services, and facilities functions. Before joining MacArthur, he served as vice president and CFO for the Annie E. Casey Foundation and held corporate finance positions at Ford Motor Company, Pfizer Corporation, and the Prudential. And DONNA MURRAY-BROWN is president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, a charitable organization dedicated to serving the nonprofit sector in Michigan through advocacy, training, technology services, and civic engagement. Previously, Murray-Brown served as director of the Metro Detroit Partnership Office and as senior director of capacity building at MNA, where she led a successful strategic alliance program for arts and culture organizations in metro Detroit and merger negotiations among four organizations leading to the creation of the Belle Isle Park Conservancy. She is the past chair of the National Council of Nonprofits and vice chair of Detroit Public Television. 

"Walton Family Foundation Names Environment Leaders to Key Roles." Walton Family Foundation Press Release 04/01/2021. "Welcoming Raúl Macías and Dan Torres." Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Announcement 03/31/2021. "The Libra Foundation Announces Appointment of Daniel Lau." Libra Foundation Announcement 03/29/2021. "Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Announces Leadership Changes, New Teams focused on Financial Inclusion and Environment, Rights, & Global Development." Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Email 03/29/2021. "Margaret Hoover Joins the Board of the Markle Foundation." Markle Foundation Press Release 03/31/2021. "UNICEF USA welcomes Brannigan C. Thompson to National Board of Directors." UNICEF USA Email 04/01/2021. "Candid Announces Three New Appointments to Board of Trustees." Candid Press Release 03/31/2021.