The has announced the planned departure of its president and CEO, ALBERT RUESGA, on June 30, 2016. Over Rusega’s seven years in that position, GNOF added an Organizational Effectiveness department, launched the online GiveNOLA Day campaign, expanded the foundation’s programmatic work in areas such as workforce development and advocacy, and laid the groundwork for its Center for Philanthropy to open next fall. According to a statement form the foundation, Ruesga plans to return to consulting for foundations and nonprofit organizations after a short hiatus. “We are incredibly grateful for Albert’s leadership,” said Cheryl Teamer, GNOF board chair. “Thanks to his extraordinary vision and keen intellect, the foundation and its work have been significantly transformed.” The description for the foundation’s top job will be posted on its website in January.
The has announced the planned departure of JOANNE KRELL, effective January 31. Krell, the foundation’s first vice president of communications, started working at Kellogg in 2009 and since then has led a number of communications efforts, including the launch of America Healing, a redesign of the the foundation’s website, and creation of an employee engagement strategy. “This is bittersweet news for the foundation and for me personally,” said president and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron. “I remember interviewing Joanne for this role when we didn’t have a centralized communications strategy. We are grateful for her many contributions to this organization and wish her every success in her new role.” Krell has accepted a significant position in Detroit, with a formal announcement to come in January.
The has announced the appointment of HENRY S. BIENEN as president. Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern University, has served as interim president of the foundation since July. A political scientist with interests in political and economic development, comparative politics, civil-military relations, and U.S. foreign policy, Bienen was one of the first university presidents awarded the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award for innovative leadership in higher education. Before taking the president’s job at Northwestern, he was a longtime professor at Princeton. “[Despite] a thorough and open search for president that yielded many excellent prospects...Henry’s enthusiasm, experience, and deep connections in Chicago and beyond made him a clear choice for this position,” said Poetry Foundation board chair Richard Kiphart.
The has announced personnel changes in several of its program areas. RAFI RONE has been hired to fill a newly-created program director position responsible for grants related to low-income and vulnerable older adults in Israel as well as general community grants awarded primarily in Israel and Baltimore. Previously, the older adults area was managed by MICHAEL MARCUS, who is leaving the foundation in February to pursue other interests. The foundation’s current older adults program associate AARON MERKI will continue to manage that portfolio’s United States grants, while KATE SORESTAD, currently program officer for general community support and libraries, will shift her focus to the foundation’s library and veterans initiatives as well as grantmaking in northeastern Pennsylvania. Rone, most recently vice president of Jewish and Israel Initiatives at the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, just completed a six-year volunteer term on the Maryland governor’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs. He also is a founding board member of the Leading Edge, a coalition of foundations and the Jewish federation system working to address the issue of executive succession in the Jewish NGO sector. Earlier, he served as deputy director of the Baltimore Jewish Council and was director of education and training at the United Jewish Communities.
The has announced the reelection of RICHARD J. WALSH to its board. Walsh, who served on the foundation’s board from 2007 to 2013, currently serves as CEO of the Knob Hill Companies, a media, investments, agriculture, and business strategy enterprise. Earlier, he had a twenty-five-year career at Darden Restaurants and its predecessor General Mills Restaurants. His community-based activities includes service on the boards of the Career Source Workforce of Central Florida, the University of Central Florida Foundation, and OneBlood, where he is board chair. In addition, he previously served as board chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, the National Employment Policy Institute, the Florida governor's Task Force on Affordable Health Care, Enterprise Florida, and the Florida State Tourism Council.
In other news, PND notes the passing of DOUGLAS TOMPKINS, 72, clothing and apparel entrepreneur and conservationist, as the result of a kayaking accident in southern Chile. A passionate environmentalist, Tompkins founded outdoor clothing and equipment company The North Face and co-founded clothing company Esprit before establishing the in 1990 and the in 1992. He subsequently purchased some two million acres of wilderness in the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina and converted them into protected but publicly accessible nature parks. At his death, Tompkins was working on creating new parks in Patagonia and in the Iberá wetlands in northeastern Argentina.