VP of Education, Creativity, and Free Expression explains her commitment to social justice.

Published in Crain’s New York Business

Ford Foundation exec develops young minds

By Theresa Agovino

Hilary Pennington was so shocked when Ford Foundation President Darren Walker called her about filling the role he once had that she locked herself out of her car and had to call a locksmith. Scores had lobbied to become the $12 billion foundation’s vice president of the Education, Creativity and Free Expression program. Ms. Pennington, 58, was not among them.

“Darren said I was the one person who didn’t call him,” said Ms. Pennington, who started in October.

She has worked in education for most of her career and shares the foundation’s dedication to social justice. As a child, she spent time in her father’s home country of South Africa, where she witnessed apartheid. And she saw her mother carve an education path for her sister, who has serious learning issues.

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Learn more about Hilary Pennington

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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