Adam Meyerson has been named president of The Philanthropy Roundtable, succeeding John P. Walters, who has been nominated to be director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. James F. X. O’Gara and Tom Riley will be joining Walters.
Louise V. Oliver, chairman of the Roundtable, thanked Walters for his service: “We are honored that our nation’s President has looked to the Roundtable in selecting a key official of his national security team.” Under Walters’ leadership, she added, “the Roundtable grew dramatically in membership, financial strength, and influence.”
Meyerson comes to the Roundtable from the Heritage Foundation, where he was vice president for educational affairs for the last eight years. From 1983-1998, he was also editor in chief of Heritage’s magazine, Policy Review. Most recently, he was the architect of the think tank’s No Excuses campaign, which celebrates and seeks to replicate the achievements of high-performing schools that serve impoverished areas. Previously, Meyerson worked as an editorial writer at the Wall Street Journal and was co-editor of The Wall Street Journal on Management. A graduate of Yale, he pursued doctoral studies in international business at the Harvard Business School.
In an interview with the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Meyerson stressed the continuity of his life’s work, saying he has devoted his life “to the study of excellence.” At the Wall Street Journal, he studied “excellent companies”; at Heritage, he studied “schools serving low-income children where academic achievement is the rule rather than the exception.” Now “what I’m really looking forward to most is the opportunity to study and celebrate excellence in philanthropy.”
To that end, Meyerson says he’s looking forward to getting to know each of the Roundtable’s Associates personally, learning their strengths, communicating their achievements to others, and encouraging each of them “to think through how they can make the greatest difference in solving our country’s most serious problems. I want to capture the imagination of donors and prospective donors,” he adds, “and show them how they can really make a difference if they think strategically and entrepreneurially about their giving.”
Meyerson’s emphasis will be on ways this community of donors can “strengthen freedom, opportunity, and civil society, by which we mean marriage, religion, personal responsibility, independent private institutions, and strong local communities where neighbors help neighbors.”
In his first act as president of the Roundtable, Meyerson elevated Lisa Griffin, formerly director of programs, to vice president for finance and administration. Griffin joined the Roundtable in 1998 as director of programs and was promoted in 1999 to chief financial officer as well. She previously worked at the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, the drug czar’s office, and the Department of Education, before leaving the work force for seven years to raise her three children. As vice president of the Roundtable, she is responsible for budget and accounting, event planning, database management, information systems, membership, the management of fund raising proposals, and office and personnel management. One of her first decisions was to promote Dorothy Martinez, formerly program assistant, to be director of programs. The Corpus Christi, Texas native will be in charge of regional meetings and special events.
Meyerson also hired Scott Walter to serve as vice president for publications and research. For the past seven years, Walter had been senior editor of The American Enterprise magazine, where he oversaw special issues on such topics as education reform, fatherhood, and science. The Georgetown University graduate was previously research assistant to Michael Novak at the American Enterprise Institute before serving six years as managing editor of Crisis magazine. He will be editor of Philanthropy, assisted by veteran managing editor Justin Torres, and will also be responsible for all the written, audio, and video products of the Roundtable, including books, electronic newsletters, and the Web site, www.philanthropyroundtable.org. Walter will be in charge of research and will play a key role in choosing speakers for Roundtable programs.