NEW YORK – The Ford Foundation announced today the election of George H. Walker, chairman and chief executive officer of Neuberger Berman, to its Board of Trustees. 

Walker brings decades of global management and investment experience to the foundation’s board, in addition to a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace and across the financial services industry. Under his leadership, Neuberger Berman has been acknowledged as a leader on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and has advanced efforts on sustainable and impact investing, industry governance and engagement, and the use and impact of big data and artificial intelligence on the investment industry. 

Walker currently serves as chairman of the Investment Company Institute, which represents over 98% of all registered assets managed in the United States; vice chair of the Partnership for New York City; and on the boards of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Trinity School.

“I have long admired the Ford Foundation’s extraordinary work to empower individuals, institutions, and communities to make our planet more just and improve lives,” said George H. Walker. “I am honored to join them in their fight for others, especially those whose voices are too often silenced and unheard.”

“I’ve known George for over 20 years, and I’m delighted to welcome him to the board. He will bring many assets to the foundation— financial expertise, a commitment to mission investing, and a belief in diversity as a bedrock democratic value,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

Prior to Neuberger Berman’s re-emergence as an independent firm in 2009, Walker was global head of the investment management division at its former corporate parent, Lehman Brothers. He previously spent 14 years at Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner and a member of the firm’s Partnership Committee. Walker additionally served on the Board of Trustees of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a nonprofit community development financial institution created with seed funding from the Ford Foundation in 1979.

Francisco G. Cigarroa, Ford Foundation Board of Trustees chair, said, “It is an honor to welcome George H. Walker to the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees. I look forward to working alongside him and our existing board members to advance the foundation’s mission to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.”

Ford Foundation trustees are elected to the full board and serve six-year terms. Trustees set broad policies relating to grantmaking, geographic focus, investments, governance, and professional standards, and they oversee independent audits. The foundation’s trustees come from around the world and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business and finance, technology, law, government, and the nonprofit sector.

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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