New York, 23 October 2014 — The Ford Foundation announced today the election of Dr. Francisco Cigarroa to serve as a member of its Board of Trustees.
Dr. Cigarroa is the departing chancellor of the University of Texas System, consisting of nine universities and six health institutions. He assumed the position in 2009 and as a Mexican American was the first Hispanic to lead a major university system in the United States.
A nationally renowned transplant surgeon, Dr. Cigarroa will return as head of pediatric transplant surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he served as president for eight years prior to being named system chancellor.
In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Cigarroa to serve as a commissioner on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. And in 2003, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science, one of twelve of the nation’s most prominent leaders in the fields of research, science and engineering.
“Francisco is an incredible addition to the board with his keen intellect and wide-ranging experience, including leading the UT system with a goal of excellence,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “We will benefit an extraordinary amount as an institution from his wisdom and his incredible commitment to improve opportunities for all.”
Born in Laredo, Texas, Dr. Cigarroa is a third generation physician. Dr. Cigarroa received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. During his postgraduate training, he was chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and completed pediatric surgery and transplant surgery fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“It is an honor for me to serve on the Board of the Ford Foundation, one of the greatest foundations benefitting humanity,” said Dr. Cigarroa. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members in advancing the mission of this remarkable and transformative institution.”
Dr. Cigarroa recently served on the National Research Council Committee on Research Universities and on the American Academy Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is also a member of the American College of Surgery, the Institute of Medicine, the American Board of Surgery and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary member of the National Academy of Science in Mexico. In 2011, Dr. Cigarroa was awarded the Massachusetts General Hospital Trustees’ Medal in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the practice of medicine and patient care.
Ford Foundation trustees are elected by the full board and serve six-year terms. Trustees set broad policy relating to grant making, 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.