Board of Trustees

Chairman, Board of Trustees
President, Africa-America Institute
New York, USA
Trustee
Chairman, Veon Ltd
Norwalk, USA
Trustee
Professor of Surgery, Director of Pediatric Transplantation, The University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio, USA
Trustee
Chief Investment Officer and Vice President for Investments, The Rockefeller University
New York, USA
Trustee
Artistic Director, Miami City Ballet
Miami, USA
Trustee
Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Washington, DC, USA
Trustee
President, Manos Visibles
Bogota, Colombia
Trustee
Founder, Infosys
Bengaluru, India
Trustee
Managing Partner, East End Advisors LLC
New York, USA
Trustee
Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Chicago, USA
Trustee
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund
New York, USA
Trustee
Founder, Equal Justice Initiative
Montgomery, USA
Trustee
General Partner, Fontis Partners
New York, USA
President, Ford Foundation
New York, USA

Ford Foundation trustees set policies relating to grant making, geographic focus, spending, investment, management, governance, and professional standards, and review the performance of the president. The Audit Committee of the board oversees internal and independent audits and sets the compensation of all officers.

Our Board of Trustees is currently composed of 14 members, including the president. Nominated by the Nominating and Governance Committee and appointed by the full board, trustees may serve up to two six-year terms. The board, board committees, and individual trustees are evaluated on a regular basis by the Nominating and Governance 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 five continents, and they have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business, law, government, technology, health care, nonprofit management, the arts, and the civic sector.

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, along with other senior staff, share the responsibility of representing the foundation in the public sphere. The president continually reexamines 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 two terms 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. During annual board program trips, trustees meet grant recipients in the U.S. and globally 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 and that all trustees serving on the Audit Committee meet a heightened independence standard. 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.


Board Committees