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The Rockefeller Foundation Appoints Three Esteemed Individuals to Board of Trustees

Financial Expert Mellody Hobson, Humanities Advocate Sharon Percy Rockefeller and International Strategist Admiral James Stavridis will join the Board of Trustees


NEW YORK—The Rockefeller Foundation announced today the appointment of three new members to its Board of Trustees: Mellody Hobson, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, and Admiral James Stavridis. Sharon Percy Rockefeller started her service as a trustee in November 2017, and Mellody Hobson and Jim Stavridis will begin serving in 2018.

“Mellody, Sharon, and James will bring decades of experience and diverse professional expertise to our Board of Trustees, ensuring that The Rockefeller Foundation and its mission are further propelled into the 21st Century,” said Board Chair Richard D. Parsons. “From financial literacy to humanities to global security, our new trustees have the skills and experiences necessary to serve the Foundation, its new leadership, and our programmatic teams. I know that I speak for the entire Board in saying we are thrilled they will be joining our storied institution.”

Our new trustees will play an instrumental role in helping to guide our organization through a crucial time for philanthropy and for our country. The Foundation could not ask for three better or more qualified people to support us in our mission amidst new and growing challenges,” said Rajiv Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “I look forward to working with Mellody, Sharon, and James to identify innovative solutions and achieve massive impact.”

Mellody Hobson is the current President of Ariel Investments and serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees for Ariel Investment Trust. She is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education, regularly commenting on finance, the market, and economic trends for CBS News. Hobson previously served as chairman of the board for DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and is currently a director of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. and Starbucks Corporation. Hobson earned her AB from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy.

“I have long admired The Rockefeller Foundation’s efforts to maximize impact through strategic investments, providing both direct and peripheral benefits to communities around the world. I am proud to join an organization that is at the forefront of innovation in philanthropy and business, and am eager to continue advancing its mission,” said Hobson.

Sharon Percy Rockefeller has served the public broadcasting community for more than 30 years as a leader and policymaker. Since 1989, she has been president and CEO of WETA, Washington, D.C.’s flagship public broadcaster, and continues to guide WETA to outstanding accomplishments as the producer of PBS NewsHour. A graduate of Stanford University, Rockefeller is active in a number of areas including education, fine arts, government, and women’s rights, serving on the boards of the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and Johns Hopkins Medicine. She is also the recipient of the Charles Frankel Prize by the National Endowment for the Humanities in recognition of her outstanding achievements. She is married to former West Virginia Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV.

“Joining the Board of Trustees of The Rockefeller Foundation, one of the leaders in the field of arts and humanities, is truly an honor, especially at a moment in our national history when the power of free speech has never been more critical. I look forward to bringing to bear my experience on behalf of this organization and becoming a part of its vital work,” said Rockefeller.

James Stavridis spent over thirty years in the Navy, rising to the rank of 4-star Admiral. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Admiral Stavridis served for four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Balkans, piracy off the coast of Africa and cyber security. He also commanded US Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years. He was the longest serving Combatant Commander in recent U.S. history. Admiral Stavridis is currently the 12th Dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a monthly columnist for TIME Magazine and Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News.

“In my decades of service in the Navy, I saw firsthand the impact of some of the most pressing issues facing vulnerable regions around the world—from food scarcity to a lack of economic mobility, it was clear that more always needed to be done. Now, I am thrilled to continue that work on behalf of The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees. Leveraging the Foundation’s resources and influence, I am confident we can find new and scalable means to overcome these obstacles and serve communities all over,” said Stavridis.

Contact Info:

The Rockefeller Foundation: Laura Gordon, (212) 852-8216,


About The Rockefeller Foundation:

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being  of humanity throughout the world. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot—or will not. For more information, please visit