The Ford Foundation announced today the election of Paula Moreno to serve as a member of its board of trustees and the election of Kofi Appenteng as the 11th board chair.

Ms. Moreno is a social justice pioneer who previously served as Colombia’s minister of culture, the first Afro-Colombian woman and the youngest person to hold a cabinet-level ministry in the history of the country. Moreno founded and directs Manos Visibles, a nonprofit foundation established to promote social inclusion and peace building in Colombia. In addition, she was a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow for Urban and Regional Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Paula brings incredible expertise on a global scale to a wide array of issues, including courageously working to advance the inclusion and equality of people of African descent in Latin America,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “We are truly honored to welcome Paula to our board. She has not just broken down barriers in her own life, but has worked tirelessly to expand opportunity for others.”

Ms. Moreno received a degree in Italian language and culture at the Italian Institute of Culture and a bachelor of science in industrial engineering from the Autonomous University of Colombia. Studying the sustainable use of biodiversity by local communities in Colombia, Moreno obtained a master of philosophy in management studies at University of Cambridge. In 2010, she was selected by the Council of the Americas as one of the most influential young leaders in the region, and the same year, she received Order of Saint Charles for her work in government. In 2011, Moreno was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by Mexican President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa for contributing to the improvement of Mexico-Colombia relations. She was recently selected to be a Yale World Fellow.

“The Ford Foundation has been steadfast in its commitment to promoting inclusion and equal opportunities for underrepresented groups. Yet even with our collective progress in human rights across the globe, intolerance, marginalization and widespread conflict remain stubbornly entrenched,” said Paula Moreno. “For me it is a tremendous honor to join the board of this institution and contribute to achieving social justice through far-reaching, strategic and pragmatic initiatives that create a better world for us all.”

Kofi Appenteng joined the board in 2007 and will succeed Irene Hirano Inouye, who will continue as a trustee until 2017, as board chair. He was born in Ghana and came to the U.S. in 1977 to study at Wesleyan University and went on to earn his law degree at Columbia University School of Law. He is a partner at Constant Capital (Ghana) Limited and chairs the boards of the Africa-America Institute and the International Center for Transitional Justice. He also serves on the board of the Instituto de Empresa Fund Inc.

“We have been fortunate to have the remarkable leadership of Irene over the last four years as she has led with distinction and integrity,” said Walker. “Kofi has been a steadfast and committed board member and will bring his talents to bear as the foundation continues to build on its legacy of social justice and championing visionaries around the globe.”

Ford Foundation trustees are elected by the full board and serve six-year terms. Trustees set broad policy relating to grantmaking, geographic focus, investments, governance and professional standards, and they oversee internal and independent audits. The foundation’s trustees hail from four continents 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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