Margaret Bowman joined the Walton Family Foundation on September 1, 2008, as senior program officer of the Freshwater Conservation Initiative. The initiative seeks to restore the Colorado and Mississippi river systems, and to use economic incentives and other conservation tools to ensure healthy and resilient communities for both humans and wildlife.
Bowman will aid the foundation in developing a strategy for the initiative, which should be complete within nine months.
Bowman says she is excited to be working with the Walton Foundation in this new role. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to find solutions for the challenges facing the Colorado and Mississippi Rivers that will ensure durable river conservation into the future,” she says.
Before joining the Walton Foundation, Bowman directed the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Lenfest Ocean Program, which focuses on supporting scientific marine research to inform policy regarding the sustainable use of living marine resources. She also has 10 years of experience at American Rivers, a conservation organization protecting America’s rivers, where she held a number of positions, including vice president of conservation.
Bowman received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation recently named Barbara Chow its new director of education programs. Chow will replace Marshall Smith, who will leave Hewlett on December 31, 2008.
Chow currently serves as Policy Director for the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. From 1997 to 2001, she worked in the Office of Management and Budget as Associate Director for education, income maintenance, and labor. In 2000, she also became Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. From 1993 to 1997, Chow served in the Clinton White House as Special Assistant to the President for legislative affairs.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Hewlett Foundation,” says Chow. “I think philanthropy is the most exciting money out there. It presents an exciting opportunity to try new things, to be innovative and daring. Fascinating new ideas have been springing up through the philanthropic sector.”
Among Chow’s responsibilities at Hewlett will be overseeing grantmaking related to raising student achievement, reforming California’s public school system, improving California’s community colleges, and broadening access to educational materials on the internet through the foundation’s open educational resources initiative.
“Barbara’s sure grasp of how policy and government interact, combined with her knowledge of education issues, makes her the ideal candidate to lead our education program,” says Paul Brest, president of the Hewlett Foundation.
Chow says she is ready to work with the many resources the foundation has, and is also looking forward to its pragmatic, nonpartisan approach to solving social problems. She says she will be primarily focusing on California schools, but may in time extend her work to reform efforts in other states.
She has served on the board of Grantmakers for Education, as an ex-officio board member of the National Environmental Education Foundation, and as a member of the steering committee of the Geography Education National Implementation Plan.
Chow received her bachelor’s degree in government from Pomona College and her master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Timothy Kriewall joined the Kern Family Foundation in July 2008 as program director of engineering entrepreneurship. His primary responsibility is the leadership of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN), which is active on 22 university campuses across the United States and is focused on teaching the entrepreneurial mindset to undergraduate engineering majors.
“With Kriewall’s broad experience, proven leadership, background in education, and in-depth knowledge of entrepreneurial engineering, he is the ideal person to head up the KEEN program,” says Jim Rahn, president of the Kern Family Foundation.
As program director, Kriewall will work with faculty, administrators, and students to develop business-oriented programs that teach young engineers how to become “intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs.”
“It’s been very exciting and very enjoyable,” says Kriewall. “The encouraging thing is that there are many engineering schools across the country that are aware of this need and are working diligently at inculcating the entrepreneurial mindset into education.”
Kriewall says it may be a challenge to change the minds of engineering educators and curriculum, but he is encouraged by what he has seen.
Kriewall comes to the Kern Family Foundation from Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he has served as president since 2003. He also served for eight years as a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan. Kriewall has firsthand experience as an intrapreneur, having worked with 3M and Medtronic as a technical manager in research and development (R&D). He is the co-inventor on five patents in the area of cardiovascular surgery, and he was the technical director of the R&D team that was first to receive FDA approval to commercialize a cochlear implant in the United States.
Kriewall holds a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan.
Martin Lehfeldt has stepped down as president and CEO of the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF), one of the nation’s largest regional associations of grantmakers. He has served in this role since 1998, and will remain as a senior advisor until formally retiring at the end of this year. Lehfeldt is succeeded by Michael Howland, former CEO of Noble of Indiana.
“Martin Lehfeldt set a high standard in philanthropic leadership,” says Debra M. Jacobs, chair-elect of SECF, about Lehfeldt’s retirement.
Among SECF’s achievements during his tenure, Lehfeldt is especially proud of the creation of the Hull Fellows Program. The program was established in 2000 to nurture, inspire, and strengthen emerging leaders in philanthropy throughout the Southeast, giving them a broader understanding of, and appreciation for, philanthropic history. “We have now put about 160 folks through the program,” says Lehfeldt.
He is also pleased by the work the council did to promote the creation of new philanthropy. “We collaborated with the Southern Rural Development Initiative to develop The Philanthropy Index for Small Towns and Rural Areas,” he says.
Lehfeldt intends to continue working—writing, teaching, consulting, and remaining involved with a variety of foundations and nonprofits. His latest book, a collection of essays titled Notes from a Non-Profitable Life, will be published this fall.
“I hope the Southeastern Council of Foundations will continue to grow in membership,” he says, “and that those members will continue to look for ways to have an even greater impact on the region through their philanthropy.”
Ryan Olson was recently named program director for education reform at the Kern Family Foundation. His work will focus on developing and monitoring investments in programs to support K-12 reforms and innovations that benefit conventional public schools, charter public schools, and private schools.
Olson previously worked for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, where he served as director of education policy. Olson said his interest in, and concern for, education reform grew from his eye-opening experiences teaching in college classrooms.
“I’m very excited to take the position here so I can work with the Kern family in further developing a national education strategy that addresses what the Kerns see as the desperate need to recover America’s economic competitiveness,” he says. “They understand that education allows civil society to thrive, and it is my pleasure to work on their behalf, finding and partnering with organizations doing innovative, results-oriented work in K-12 education.”
The Kern Family Foundation plans to continue exploring initiatives that allow all parents to choose high-quality, safe schools where visionary administrators are equipped to lead, teachers are supported and rewarded, and students are able to fully develop their character and talent. “There are many opportunities to invest in talent that can move into the education sector and multiply efforts to reform American schools,” he says.
Jim Rahn, president of the Kern Family Foundation, says the foundation is honored to have someone of Olson’s caliber steering its education program. “His prominence in the field and strong voice will be of great benefit as we move forward on a number of new and promising initiatives,” says Rahn.
Sue Santa joined The Philanthropy Roundtable in September 2008 as senior vice president for public policy. In this newly created position, she will work to amplify the Roundtable’s voice for philanthropic freedom at the state and national levels. She will closely monitor the political environment to identify potential threats and develop strategies for confronting emerging challenges.
Santa will work closely with the Alliance for Charitable Reform, the Roundtable’s legislative arm. Among her primary tasks will be actively increasing the Roundtable’s presence in the public policy arena and developing partnerships with practitioners, policymakers, researchers, academics, the media, and other interested stakeholders.
Santa formerly served as senior director of public and legal affairs for International Speedway Corporation, where she led the company’s federal, state, and local government affairs agenda. Prior to ISC, she was an associate in the legislative practice of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand, and served on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).
“Several challenges face the philanthropic sector, both here in Washington and in states across the country,” says Santa. “The recent financial upheaval has amplified our concerns. Governments will be looking for ways to fund programs and fill gaps. There will be growing efforts to direct foundation dollars to specific causes, to change the tax code, and to scrutinize our internal decisions as to who serves on our boards, who works on our staffs, and which charitable endeavors we choose to support. We need to be vigilant in protecting philanthropic freedom.”
Santa received a B.A. in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Gretchen Crosby Sims
The Joyce Foundation recently named Gretchen Crosby Sims its director of strategic initiatives, a new position developed within the organization. Sims was formerly manager of the foundation’s education program, where she led efforts to improve the quality of teachers in high-need schools, expand the supply of effective charter schools, and increase access to high-quality early childhood education.
Sims previously served as domestic policy advisor for education and family issues to Senator Bill Bradley in his 2000 presidential campaign. She has also worked for the Council on Foreign Relations, CNN, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation, says Sims is a strategic thinker who has used her skills to greatly enhance Joyce’s education program.
“I’ll be looking at questions of how, in today’s world, does a philanthropic institution focused on public policy respond to changing needs and opportunities, and remain forward-thinking, nimble, and opportunistic,” says Sims.
Sims will lead efforts across the foundation’s six program areas to explore new short- and long-term opportunities for promoting the organization’s policy goals, including opportunities related to the decennial Census, advocacy applications of new media tools, and efforts to promote public policy leadership.
“The perspective of having worked intensively in one program area is valuable experience for trying to think more cross-programmatically,” says Sims. “Having done a deep dive into one issue, it informs efforts to try to find connections between programs and look at the tools and tactics that could be valuable across programs.”
Sims holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from Stanford University and a B.A. from Harvard University.