Newsmakers for November 2003

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The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (assets: $1.7 billion) board voted to hire CEO Carl Schramm in April 2002. That appears to have been the high point of his relationship with a good portion of the board.

As Schramm has pared down staff through generous buyouts and refocused Kauffman’s grant making (eliminating the youth development and entrepreneurial leadership divisions), some board members feel that he’s moving the foundation – Kansas City’s largest philanthropic organization – away from its local roots. Former board members Bob Rogers, Jim McGraw and Lou Smith (all of whom have left since Schramm took over) wrote a letter in August outlining complaints against the new CEO.

“Carl has hijacked the foundation,” Rogers says. “His work is inconsistent with Mr. K’s values and beliefs.”

At the annual board meeting in September, Schramm barely survived a 4-3 vote to retain him, and board members Bob Compton, Michael Morrissey and Michie Slaughter resigned immediately afterward.

Board member Brian O’Connell’s term ended in September. O’Connell, founder of D.C.-based Independent Sector, voted against hiring Schramm in 2002, but recently provided the swing vote to retain him. While O’Connell voiced concern about the changes Schramm wanted to make, he told the Kansas City Star that it was only fair to “give him a chance” to see through those changes. O’Connell will remain with the foundation as a consultant.

Schramm and company caught heat again when, a week after the September resignations, the first replacement was Siobhan Nicolau. Nicolau, president of the Hispanic Policy Development Project, has served on the board previously, but is based in New York City.

Hoping to reassure Kansas City hawks that Kauffman is staying true to its local mission, the board elected two local members.

One is Thomas Rhone, a former Kansas City high school principal and a consultant to the Kauffman Scholars Program, a 19-year-old, $70 million initiative expected to support 2,300 Kansas City youth from seventh grade through completion of college. Rhone has also been a program director for the foundation’s Project Choice, the original program that begat Kauffman Scholars.

The other new local is Thomas McDonnell, who has served 20 years as CEO of Kansas City’s DST Systems, a large property owner responsible for much of the city’s redevelopment. McDonnell is a noted civic leader who sits on several local boards, and he used his acceptance to the Kauffman board to voice his support for the foundation’s leadership.

“Mr. Kauffman cared about Kansas City, and I see no evidence to suggest that this board or his foundation will retreat from its ongoing commitment to Kansas City as a laboratory for innovation,” McDonnell said in a prepared statement. He added that he was confident he will “be joined by other trustees who are from Kansas City and who share that commitment.”

Rhone and McDonnell are good additions, Rogers says, since Rhone “knew Mr. K well” and McDonnell is “one of the top five activists in Kansas City. ... But it’s only a move in the right direction,” he says. “Only two board members [out of seven] are from Kansas City.”

Kauffman’s early fiscal 2004 grant making has included a $1 million grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City; a $500,000 grant to YouthNet (a Kansas City network of youth-serving organizations), and a $500,000 grant to the Kansas City-based Partnership for Children. Contact: (816) 932-1000,


The Santa Monica, Calif.-based Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (assets: $38.3 million) has added three senior staff members to its Washington office. Jeanne Ireland, an adviser to U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) on health and child care issues from 1997 to 2001, will serve as director of public policy. Ireland has also served as a minority staff director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s subcommittee on children and families. Prior to that, Ireland spent four years in a variety of positions at the National Institutes of Health and at the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Felice Apter, former policy adviser to USAID on HIV/AIDS, will serve as vice president of research and programs. Philip Dufour, executive director of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, will serve as director of development. Contact: (888) 499-4673,


Kim Belshe is the new vice president at The California Endowment (assets: $2.7 billion) in Woodland Hills, Calif. Belshe comes to the health grant-making foundation from San Francisco, where she served as a program director for the James Irvine Foundation (assets: $1.4 billion). Contact: (818) 703-3311,


Kimberly Roberson was promoted to program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Mich. Roberson, who for a year served as associate program officer on the Civil Society Team, will be the program officer in charge of grant making that involves race relations in the United States. Contact: (810) 238-5651,


Ted Chen joined the Battle Creek, Mich.-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation (assets: $5.5 billion) as a program director for youth and education. Chen will share director duties with another recent hire, Greg Taylor, former chief program officer for the D.C.-based Fannie Mae Foundation. Chen was executive director of the Big Idea Foundation, the charitable arm of children’s entertainment media company Big Idea. Contact: (269) 968-1611,


After 22 years leading the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), a national representative for boards and volunteers carrying out local job training projects, Bob Knight stepped down as president in early October.

He will continue providing work force development services as the managing director of the Arbor Workforce Institute, the new D.C.-based policy arm of Arbor Education and Training, based in Media, Pa. Arbor E&T is a division of ResCare, the nationwide special needs provider.

Knight is a work force development veteran, credited with essentially creating the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) in 1973. The act provided block grants for states to support youth programs such as Job Corps and Summer Youth Employment. (CETA was superseded in 1982 by the Job Training Partnership Act.) In 1978, Knight developed the Private Sector Initiative Program, which created the private industry councils (PICs) that are now called work force development boards.

NAWB was prepared for the departure and named Stephanie Powers as CEO a year ago. Now she also takes on the title of president. Before joining NAWB, Powers ran the National School-to-Work program during the Clinton administration. She has also served as chief of staff and director of communication at the Employment and Training Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor.

In August, NAWB also hired Mack Brantley as a work force policy specialist and congressional liaison. Contact: (202) 775-0960,


Nancy Ely-Raphel, a counsel to the U.S. Department of State on international law, will join Save the Children’s Washington staff as vice president of development programs. Ely-Raphel, who has also served as U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia, will oversee the organization’s international development programs that focus on maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, economic opportunities and basic education. Contact: (203) 221-4228, http://www.savethechildren.or.


Ben Smilowitz, the 22-year-old who made a name for himself directing the development of a youth cabinet for Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, has landed at the Arlington, Va.-based Youth Venture. (See “Profiles in Youth Work,” May 2003.) Smilowitz serves as mid-Atlantic manager for the organization, which supports youth activism and business ideas through grants of up to $1,000. Youth Venture is headed by acting President Roy Gamse. Contact: (703) 527-4126,


The National Children’s Music Project (NCMP) elected Gene Wenner, president of Arts and Education Consultants in Pittsfield, Mass., as president of its board of directors. NCMP is a new nonprofit directed by musician David Grover, and jump-started with funds from the foundation of Grover’s famous friend, folk music giant Arlo Guthrie. Grover plans to compose collections of music with messages for youth. Contact: (413) 232-0195,


Alan Levitt, director of the youth anti-drug campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced in September that he will resign at the end of the year. But, with calls from some members of Congress to cut funding for the agency’s media program, along with pressure by anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco groups to expand that program beyond illegal drugs, ONDCP decided it would be better if Levitt left immediately.

In as interim director is Bob Denniston, Levitt’s deputy director. If he’s around long enough, Denniston will have to decide next year whether to renew ONDCP’s contract with Ogilvy Mather, the agency that provides ads for the campaign. The contract was renewed in July 2002 even though the firm had just agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit for overcharging ONDCP in its previous contract with the agency. Before going to ONDCP, Denniston managed media campaigns for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention under the Department of Health and Human Services. Contact: (800) 666- 3332,


Raymond Simon has been nominated to be assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the Department of Education. Simon serves as director of education at the Arkansas Department of Education. He would take over a post held by Ron Tomalis, who was named acting assistant secretary in July, six months after original Bush appointee Susan Neuman resigned.


Things are getting quite lonely at the top for Education Secretary Rod Paige. President George W. Bush announced in September that the United States would rejoin the United Nation’s Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), then nominated Paige to serve as the U.S. representative to the international body. In addition, Paige has been without a full-time right-hand man since July, when Deputy Secretary William Hansen stepped down. (Undersecretary Gene Hickok will continue to shoulder his and Hansen’s jobs until someone is nominated to fill the latter post.) Contact: (800) 872-5327, The president nominated Henry Lozano and Cynthia Boich to serve on the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Lozano entered the Teen Challenge program as a heroin addict, kicked the habit, then served as the director of Teen Challenge’s sites in Riverside and Orange County, Calif., from 1975 to 1984. He now serves as CEO of Californians for Drug Free Youth, a nonprofit that develops drug prevention strategies and policies, based in Forest Falls, Calif.

Teen Challenge, a 40-year-old evangelical organization, works with youth drug-abusers from a religious perspective. That’s why many advocates of church/state separation griped when Lozano showed up on first lady Laura Bush’s State of the Union guest list this year. (Even her husband’s faith-based initiative is too liberal for Teen Challenge, whose president, John Castellani, has testified that it will not hire non-Christians for its 150 centers in the United States.)

Boich is a real estate investor and founder of Charter 100, an international women’s leadership organization based in Phoenix.

The president also renominated board member Dorothy Johnson, the predecessor of current Board Chairman Stephen Goldsmith. Johnson served as president of the Council of Michigan Foundations for 25 years and sits on the board of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich. Contact: CNCS (202) 606-5000,