Newsmakers for December 2002

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After announcing that it would restructure its grant making around seven business units, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (assets: $1.6 billion) offered buyouts to all of its 174 employees. The announcement was made by CEO Carl Schramm in September, just six months into his tenure at Kauffman.

As of the Nov. 15 buyout deadline, 75 employees had accepted. Among those departing is Stephen Roling, a 12-year executive at the foundation who was president of youth development until Schramm made him senior counsel. Roling made it clear that despite his decision to leave, the youth development program was “still in play.”

Joining Roling among the departing youth development staff is Senior Program Officer Barbara Haar, who will teach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Also on the move are Donna Aritigua, a former senior program officer who will become the program director for the Battle Creek, Mich.-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation (assets: $5.1 billion), and fellow senior program officer, Lynn Leonard. Leonard handled service learning and was affectionately known as “the mother of Project Choice,” a long-term mentoring program for disadvantaged youth that was dear to the heart of founder Ewing Marion Kauffman, who died in 1993.

The foundation’s assets have decreased by 33 percent since a peak of $2.4 billion two years ago. Contact: (816) 932-1000,

Kauffman isn’t the only grant maker struggling under the weight of a sputtering economy. The Case Foundation, founded by AOL co-founder Stephen Case and his wife, Jean Case, saw its assets drop from $145 million in 1999 to $88.9 million the following year. AOL executive James Kimsey’s Kimsey Foundation saw its assets plummet from $76 million to $30 million.

For Case, the ensuing bailout included unplugging PowerUP, a program predominantly funded by Case that helped hundreds of youth-serving agencies develop computer technology centers. PowerUP was its own entity, but Case served as chairman of the board, while his wife served as CEO. The board decided in September to shut down the program, and informed the staff of 14 (mostly program officers consulting with blocks of local PowerUP affiliates) of their impending Oct. 31 layoff date a month ahead of time. According to PowerUP COO Kevin O’Shaughnessey, who will remain until December to transfer PowerUP “intellectual assets” to the YMCA, Atlanta-based Boys & Girls Clubs of America and D.C.-based Aspira, the staff members were given, “by industry standards, generous severance packages.”

Despite the Case Foundation’s financial woes, Jean Case was named to the 17-member board of America’s Promise: The Alliance for Youth (AP). Moving up to co-chair of the board was former vice chairwoman Alma Powell (Secretary of State Colin Powell’s wife), whose bump up the ladder, says an AP official, recognizes the load that she has helped Chairman Harris Wofford shoulder for some time. Contact: (703) 684-4500,


Ohio native and former local administrator David Abbott was tapped by the Cleveland-based George Gund Foundation (assets: $410 million) to fill the large shoes of retiring Executive Director David Bergholz. Abbott was Cuyahoga County administrator from 1985 to 1993, and most recently served as executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Bergholz, who headed Gund for 14 years, is contemplating his future options. Contact: (216) 241-3114,


The Spencer Foundation’s search for its fifth president in 20 years ended at the St. Paul, Minn., campus of Macalester College. The small liberal arts school’s president, Michael McPherson, departs after 22 years for the Chicago foundation (assets: $350 million). McPherson replaces Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, who left Spencer after just two years to become dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass. Spencer grants money predominantly through university departments to research educational and youth issues. Contact: (312) 337-0282,


Molly White is off and running as the new director of United States community affairs for Beaverton, Ore.-based Nike. Nike’s most recent philanthropic focus is NikeGO, an effort to promote increased physical activity for kids ages 9 to 15. The program has so far granted $50,000 (half in cash, half in product donations) to each of 30 Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 14 cities – money well spent, considering the ever-worsening numbers regarding youth obesity. Fifteen percent of youth ages 6 to 11 were obese and 30 percent were overweight in 2000 (a 16 percent increase from the year before), according to the American Obesity Association.

White has years of experience as a corporate and nonprofit community relations consultant, working with Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, the Ford and Surdna foundations, and the Walter & Elise Haas Sr. Fund. Contact: (503) 671-3069,


The Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation has several new senior program staffers: Ruth Mayden, past president of the National Association of Social Workers, is director of the Program for Families with Young Children; Brian Lyght, a former program director for the Baltimore-based Enterprise Foundation, is senior associate for the School to Career Partnerships Initiative; Bonnie Howard, former program director at Jobs for the Future in Boston, is senior associate working with the Family Economic Success Group; Dana Vickers Shelley, former senior vice president at Fenton Communications and Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, is director of Strategic Communications; and Scot T. Spencer, former deputy director of the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, is senior associate in charge of Baltimore grant making. Contact: (410) 547-6600,

National Nonprofits

Kathleen McChesney, assistant director for law enforcement services for the FBI, left one of the most powerful positions in the bureau to head a new office created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to ensure the protection of youth, after the sexual abuse scandals revealed in the past year.

McChesney has been a pioneer in law enforcement for decades. One of King County, Washington’s first female patrol officers, she joined the FBI when only 50 of the bureau’s 9,000 agents were women. She ascended to her last position, the FBI’s third-highest rank, last December after 24 years at the bureau.

The new job move is a downshift on anyone’s power scale, but McChesney’s name will probably become more recognizable to the public. The Office for Child and Youth Protection that she will direct is the foremost lay entity entrusted with monitoring and enforcing the recently approved charter that lays out the church’s policy for handling accusations of sexual abuse among the 191 Catholic dioceses in the United States.

Many victims’ groups have voiced concern about the internal nature of the trial process laid out in the charter. But McChesney and USCCB say the bishops will be held to a higher standard than recommended in the charter.

Media reports have noted McChesney’s ability to bring different and sometimes difficult factions together on the side of good (read: FBI agents and local law enforcement officials), and this will be her biggest test. Her first hurdle: Provide an annual report in 2003 detailing which dioceses are following the new policy that secular organizations will find credible.

Helping with the report will be the National Review Board, a committee of prominent lay Catholics headed by outgoing Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R).

Mike Emerton, spokesman for Voice of the Faithful, commended the bishops’ decision to hire McChesney, but wondered in The Washington Post: “How much power will she have when she disagrees with the people who hired her?”

The Office for Child and Youth Protection has a $1 million budget for this year. Contact: USCCB, (202) 541-3000,

The Academy for Educational Development (AED) named longtime senior program officer Bonnie Politz as its co-director for the AED Center for Youth Development and Policy Research in Washington. Politz, who has been with AED for 10 years, will serve alongside current director Richard Murphy, who will split his time between AED and the Community Food Resource Center, a New York City nonprofit addressing the city’s nutrition, hunger and poverty issues. Contact: AED (202) 884-8000,

Nancy Nye, director of international children’s rights organization Youth Advocate Program International (YAP), left her post in December. Nye plans on consulting and working on children’s rights issues. She will also assist her interim replacement, YAP child soldier and sexual exploitation expert Laura Barnitz, on a part-time basis. Contact: YAP (202) 244-1986,


Cheryle Dyle-Palmer was named COO of Parents as Teachers National Center in St. Louis, Mo., a 17-year-old international organization that uses its 3,000-plus sites to teach early childhood parent education. Dyle-Palmer comes from the National Benevolent Association, also in St. Louis, where she served as vice president of children and family services. Contact: (314) 432-4330,


The National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) named Deborah Brody its senior program director. Brody is the founder of Grantmakers in Health’s Support Center for Health Philanthropy, in Bellingham, Wash. NCFP is a D.C.-based nonprofit that helps make family philanthropy projects effective. Contact: (202) 293-3424,


The Search Institute and the YMCA kicked off a new alliance, dubbed Abundant Assets, with a surprising study of parental support. Only 4 percent of parents report seeking help from friends, family and community organizations, but 67 percent said that “others telling them they were doing a good job” would help.

Search President Peter Benson, who headed the study, says the problem lies in finding support programs that accommodate parents’ schedules. While the study garnered little media attention, Benson says he is convinced that more should be done to create flexible and informal connections among parents, and the alliance hopes to carry out projects based on the findings.

Former Denver YMCA chief Thomas Craine was named the director of the newly formed North American Urban Group of YMCAs last month. Craine, who served as CEO in Denver for four years, will head the forum for the CEOs of the 35 largest urban YMCAs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The YMCA city agenda targets literacy, after-school programs and job development. Contact: Search, (800) 888-7828,; YMCA, (312) 977-0031,

The Somerville, Mass.-based YouthBuild USA opened its Academy for Transformation in November. The national nonprofit, which supports 180 programs helping youth obtain high school diplomas and learn entry level construction skills, will operate the academy under its Training and Learning Center and its director, John Bell. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation kicked in a $500,000 grant.

The academy will feature a full slate of workshops in 2003, with information available on YouthBuild’s website. Bell says he was happy with the academies “test-run”: a November workshop entitled “Accelerating Youth Transformation.” With 80 percent of the audience from Youthbuild staff, Bell says his primary task is to steadily increase outside attendance in an
effort to make the academy a mainstay. Contact: (617) 623-9900,


Connect for Kids, the six-year-old multimedia project of the D.C.-based Benton Foundation (endowment: $12 million), is carefully creeping out from Benton’s shelter. Connect, whose website links visitors to youth-related resources and highlights youth-related news, research and other developments, will stay in its offices in the foundation’s Lobbyist Row building, but is spinning off as an independent nonprofit.

Senior Associate Julee Newberger expects the move to help Connect for Kids attract new and larger funders. Benton, whose staff of 33 and $6 million budget are overseen by President Andrea Taylor, is not primarily a grant-making foundation. Contact: (202) 638-5770,


Attorney General John Ashcroft’s most prominent staff member, Drug Enforcement Administration chief Asa Hutchinson, is being reassigned by the Bush administration. President Bush announced in late November that the former congressman from Arkansas was nominated to be undersecretary for border and transportation security within the new Homeland Security Department.

The new office will take over border security responsibilities from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was abolished by the legislation enacting the Homeland Security department. Contact DEA: (202) 307-1000,

Former State Department Deputy Chief of Consular Affairs Maura Harty was confirmed (with dissension from the right) to replace her former boss, Mary Ryan. Ryan was axed after the department retroactively issued passports to the Sept. 11 terrorists. Harty, who in her former position handled children’s affairs for the bureau, has been criticized by conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly and Gary Bauer for being overly concerned with the interests of foreign governments in cases where American children have been abducted by their foreign parents.

State Department officials defend Harty, saying the children’s office was her creation and has helped return 170 U.S.-born children. But a letter signed by 35 organizations protesting Harty’s nomination says the office “had a reputation of capitulating to the demands of foreign states in cases of child abduction.” Contact: (202) 647-6575,


Renowned neuroscience expert Dr. Tom Insel is the new director for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Serving under National Institutes of Health Director Elias Zerhouni, Insel is expected to steer NIMH’s $1.3 billion budget toward the study of brain biology and genetic explanations for behavior. Insel is no stranger to NIMH: He joined the institute as a clinical associate and spent 15 years there in various research positions and is currently using an NIMH grant to develop an autism research center. Contact: NIMH, (301) 443-4536,


Frank Jones Jr., former director of counseling for the prestigious Boys Choir of Harlem in New York City, was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old boy last month. Jones was secretly tape-recorded by his teenage victim. The tape, in which he does not contradict the boy’s accusations of molestation, was admitted in court during the trial in early November. Jones faces up to two years in prison.


Harold “Doc” Howe, 84, a champion of educational opportunity for poor children and a commissioner of education during the Johnson administration. Howe came late to appreciate the importance of youth development as an equal partner with classroom learning when he chaired the W.T. Grant Foundation Commission on Youth and America’s Future from 1986 to 1988. The commission’s final report, “The Forgotten Half: Pathways to Success for America’s Youth and Young Families,” helped to put youth development on the national social agenda. At the end of his career, which included serving as vice president of the Ford Foundation and a professor at Harvard, Howe said, “Poor children need more contact with committed adults who like them and whom they like; poor communities need to be provided with whatever it takes to educate their children in school and outside of school.”

Lauren Ziegler, 34, special assistant to U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance Deputy Director Eileen Garry. A former staffer at playground-building KaBOOM!, she served at the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as coordinator of what is now the Drug-Free Communities Program.