Darren Walker Named Foundation's President
DARREN WALKER has been named president of the Ford Foundation, the tenth in its 77-year history.
Walker had been Ford’s vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression since he was hired in 2010. Before that he was a vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation after serving as chief operating officer of the Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem.
“Darren is the kind of thoughtful, intellectually curious and engaging leader that we had all hoped to find,” said the Foundation’s chair of its Board of Trustees, Irene Hirano Inouye. “He brings to the role extensive experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors, which we consider valuable in an era that demands collaboration across many fields.”
Walker grew up in the small town of Goose Creek, Texas, near Houston and is a graduate of the University of Texas. He worked as an international lawyer and in the capital markets division of the Union Bank of Switzerland before entering the nonprofit world.
He serves on several boards, including the Arcus Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the New York City Ballet.
More background is available on the Foundation’s website.
At a recent gathering of Ford staff, he linked the work of current and past staff in determining “What should we help build next?”
He said, “…whatever we help the social justice visionaries of this generation to build next—at its foundation will be our staff. Because, like those who came before them and those who will follow, they are passionate about this place and its mission, and the enduring legacy we leave.
“In this way, one of the most indispensable elements of our culture is stewardship across generations. We’re not just stewards of what we’ve helped build, but of the hard work and intellectual rigor of our predecessors. Together, we are part of an unbroken chain of commitment to social justice that reaches back to our earliest years and stretches far ahead of us. What a thrill to recognize the power inherent in that inter-generational bond.”