Newsmakers | March-April 2015

darren walkerThe U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing has announced the selection of Darren Walker, current president of the Ford Foundation, as its new chair. After earning his bachelor of arts in government and bachelor of science in speech communication from the University of Texas at Austin, he went on to graduate with a juris doctor from the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law. Walker’s career began in 1986 when he joined the international law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Two years later he began a position at the Union Bank of Switzerland, where he ended up spending seven years in its capital markets division. Subsequently, he left the corporate world and spent almost a year volunteering at a school in Harlem, New York City. This path led him to eventually become chief executive officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a Harlem-based community development organization. In 2002, Walker was appointed as the vice president for foundation initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, a position in which he served until joining the Ford Foundation in 2010. He first joined the Ford Foundation as the newly-appointed vice president for education, creativity, and free expression. This constitutes one of the foundation’s three major program focus areas. Walker was named the president of the Ford Foundation in 2013 after three years of exemplary work and leadership with the organization. In his new role as chair at the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, Darren Walker will help to shape investment strategies, domestically and internationally, to create the most efficient and most impactful projects possible by bringing together organizations and government bodies from all sectors.


don chenDon Chen has been chosen as the Ford Foundation’s director of Metropolitan Opportunity, a position which is tasked with leading the foundation’s programs on equitable urban development around the nation and internationally. Chen is not new to the foundation, where has served as acting director since July of 2014, having joined in 2008 as a program officer. During his time at the foundation he has gained national recognition for leading the creation of three successful initiatives – Promoting Metropolitan Land Use Innovation, Connecting People to Opportunity, and Just Cities. Chen is widely known as the founder and CEO of Smart Growth America, a national coalition of over 100 organizations focused on urban and community development. He is also a prolific author of books and articles focused on the social and political issues surrounding urban development and planning in the modern world. Chen earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale and a master’s from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His educational background and his accomplished, exemplary career in the field of urban development and planning makes Don Chen a perfect fit for his new leadership role at the Ford Foundation where he says he, “[looks] forward to working with colleagues and partners to support thoughtful and creative ways to foster inclusive economic growth, sustainability, and social equity in cities and regions across the world.”


michael j klagDr. Michael J. Klag is the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s newest member of its board of trustees after a unanimous vote to approve his appointment occurred in early December. Dr. Klag is currently the Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which has been consistently ranked as the number one school of public health in the nation for over 20 years. Being an internist and epidemiologist, Dr. Klag earned his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and his MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. As dean, Klag has had a particular focus on advocating for programs which support women and children’s health. Before becoming dean, Dr. Klag held numerous leadership roles at Johns Hopkins, authored over 200 publications and served as editor-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book. He was also chair of the National Institutes of Health Advisory Board on Clinical Research and the Association of Schools of Public Health. Dr. Michael J. Klag’s career and academic background have made him a prime candidate for his position as a trustee at the Packard Foundation, which focuses its philanthropic and engagement efforts on improving the lives of children and families around the world.


james s marksThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has named Dr. James S. Marks, MD, MPH as the organization’s new executive vice president. Dr. Marks first joined the RWJF in 2004, serving as the senior vice president and director, program portfolios. He came to the RWJF after retiring from his position as assistant surgeon general. He also served as the director of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for nearly a decade. Dr. Marks is a nationally-known and prominent figure in public health, having received honors such as the U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Award, the Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Directors’ Award for Excellence and the American Cancer Society’s Distinguished Service Award. His published work in the areas of chronic disease prevention, maternal and child health and health promotion has contributed vital knowledge to each of these fields. With an MD from the State University of New York in Buffalo and a masters of public health from Yale University, Dr. James S. Marks’s knowledge and experience will undoubtedly lead the country’s largest foundation dedicated to health in the right direction.


The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation recently announced the appointment of Maura Pally as its new senior vice president of women and youth programs. Concurrently, the foundation also acknowledged the resignation of its chief executive officer (CEO), Eric Braverman, who will stay on in a helping role during the transition period. Pally, whose educational background includes a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California, will be tasked with the duties of acting CEO before taking on the responsibilities of her new position while the search for a permanent CEO is undertaken. She has been with the Clinton Foundation for some time, most recently serving as the executive director for the office of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Before joining the Clinton Foundation, Pally served as the director of operational management and program activities at Bloomberg Philanthropies. Prior to her time at Bloomberg, she led a department of 450 employees as the acting assistant and deputy assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs while overseeing its exchange activities and strategy for its $635 million allocated budget. Her private sector work experience also includes a long stint as the manager of politics and public policy at Oxygen Media, where she managed the network’s television and internet-based initiatives aimed at politically engaging women. With an extensive career working in both government and private sectors, Maura Pally will be a large part of successfully executing the foundation’s goals of improving the lives of its beneficiaries.


The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the efficacy of social and environmental investments around the world, announced the appointment of Amit Bouri as its new chief executive officer. He officially began his role as CEO on Jan. 2, 2015. Mr. Bouri co-founded GIIN in 2009 and has since been a member of the organization’s leadership team, most recently serving as managing director. Earlier in his career, Bouri served as a strategy consultant for the Monitor Institute as well as Bain & Company. His educational background includes an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, an MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College. With his extensive education, exemplary work at GIIN and additional experience in corporate and nonprofit philanthropy, Amit Bouri will continue to grow the initiatives undertaken under Luther M. Ragin Jr, the outgoing CEO. The Chair of the GIIN Board of Directors, Antony Bugg-Levine, expressed to reporters that Mr. Amit Bouri also has his own “bold vision for taking the GIIN to higher levels of leadership and influence.”


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