Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Leadership

Board of Trustees

Ford Foundation trustees set policies relating to grant making, geographic focus, spending, investment, management, governance and professional standards, and they oversee internal and independent audits. They also set the compensation and review the performance of the president and all foundation officers.

Our Board of Trustees is currently composed of 15 members, including the president. Nominated by a trustee committee and appointed by the full board, trustees generally serve two six-year terms. The board, board committees and individual trustees are evaluated on a regular basis by our Executive Committee.

Foundation trustees bring a vast range of knowledge and experience to the task of governing the foundation. Over the years, trustees have hailed from four continents and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business, law, government, nonprofit management and the civic sector.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Irene Hirano Inouye Irene Hirano Inouye Chair of the Board

President
U.S.-Japan Council
Washington, D.C.
Darren Walker Darren Walker President
New York, N.Y.
Kofi Appenteng Kofi Appenteng Senior Counsel
Dentons
New York, N.Y.
Tim Berners-Lee Tim Berners-Lee Professor
School of Engineering, and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Mass.

Professor
School of Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
South Hampton, United Kingdom
Martin Eakes Martin Eakes Co-Founder and CEO
Self-Help

CEO
Center for Responsible Lending
Durham, N.C.
Amy C. Falls Amy C. Falls Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
The Rockefeller University
New York, N.Y.
Juliet V. García Juliet V. García President
University of Texas at Brownsville
Brownsville, Tex.
J. Clifford Hudson J. Clifford Hudson Chairman, CEO and President
Sonic Corp.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Robert S. Kaplan Robert S. Kaplan Senior Associate Dean for External Relations
Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice in Business Administration
Harvard Business School
Boston, Mass.
Lourdes Lopez Lourdes Lopez Artistic Director
Miami City Ballet
Miami, Fla.
Thurgood Marshall Jr. Thurgood Marshall Jr. Partner
Bingham McCutchen

Principal
Bingham Consulting Group
Washington, D.C.
Paula Moreno Paula Moreno Founder and Director
Manos Visibles
Bogotá, Colombia
N.R. Narayana Murthy N.R. Narayana Murthy Founder
Infosys Limited
Bangalore, India
Peter A. Nadosy Peter A. Nadosy Managing Partner
East End Advisors, LLC
New York, N.Y.
Cecile Richards Cecile Richards President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
New York, N.Y.

The President

The trustees select the president, who implements board policies and oversees foundation programs and operations on a day-to-day basis. The trustees and the president share the responsibility of representing the foundation in the public sphere along with other senior staff. The president continually re-examines our work, looking for opportunities to hone our strategies and improve our effectiveness. The president meets with people around the world to help deepen the foundation's grasp of different perspectives on how to solve problems. In addition to overseeing operations, the president works to communicate what we have learned to a broad array of audiences and strives to strengthen the philanthropic sector's performance, legal compliance and transparency.


The Board's Oversight of Grant Making

Our Board of Trustees determines the substantive areas and geographic focus of the foundation's grant making. Within the budget approved by the board, the foundation makes about 1,400 grants throughout the year. The board has delegated authority for approving these grants to the president and senior staff. However, all trustees serve on one of the board's three program committees, which help design program strategy. Membership on the committees rotates so that trustees serving 12 years become steeped in the work of all three program areas and contribute to their development and assessment. The trustees review approved grants at their regular board meetings, which take place three times a year. At those meetings, and during annual board visits to grantees worldwide, trustees meet grant recipients and learn about their work.


Trustee Independence

The Ford Foundation places high value on the independence of our board members. We require that a majority of our trustees be independent, that all trustees serving on the Audit Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee be independent, and that trustees on the Audit Committee satisfy additional standards of independence. When the staff proposes that the foundation fund an organization with which a trustee, or the spouse, domestic partner or child of a trustee, is affiliated as an officer, director, trustee or employee, that grant must be reviewed and approved by the Audit Committee. The grant action document—which is reviewed and approved by management before submission to the Audit Committee—discloses the nature of the trustee affiliation and confirms that the trustee played no role in the initiation or negotiation of the grant.

Learn more about the foundation's governance policies.

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