News and Announcements / News and Announcements

The Rockefeller Foundation Appoints Two Global Leaders to Board of Trustees

Patty Stonesifer is outgoing President and CEO of Martha’s Table, and former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Paul Polman is former CEO of Unilever and current Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

NEW YORK – The Rockefeller Foundation announced today the appointment of two new members to its Board of Trustees: Paul Polman and Patty Stonesifer. Mr. Polman and Ms. Stonesifer began their tenure as Trustees in March 2019.

“Patty and Paul are deeply experienced and respected professionals whose skills and life’s work make them valuable additions to our Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Richard D. Parsons. “They bring strong business acumen and a proven commitment to building organizations that improve people’s lives. I know I speak for the entire Board in saying we are thrilled to welcome Paul and Patty to The Rockefeller Foundation.”

“It is an honor to welcome these two highly-skilled and esteemed professionals to our Board of Trustees. For more than two decades, Patty’s groundbreaking work in the non-profit sector has given millions of people around the world the opportunity to live healthier and more productive lives,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Paul’s fierce leadership of Unilever took corporate social responsibility a notch above others, integrating sustainability throughout the company to benefit employees, customers and communities. As The Rockefeller Foundation continues to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity, I look forward to working with Patty and Paul to build on our work in food and nutrition, community health, productive power, and economic mobility.”

Patty Stonesifer is the outgoing President and CEO of Martha’s Table. Patty has been a leader in the philanthropic world since 1997, helping to launch the Gates Library Foundation, and serving as CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for over 10 years. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Ms. Stonesifer spent two decades working in technology, with her final role as Senior Vice President at Microsoft Corporation leading the consumer and interactive products division. She also serves on the board of, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a member of the State Early Childhood Development Coordinating Council of DC and Raise DC’s executive committee. She is a graduate of Indiana University and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Indiana University, Tufts University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“I am thrilled to join the Board of Trustees of The Rockefeller Foundation, a history-making organization, advancing the well-being of humanity through innovative and science-driven work. I look forward to sharing my experiences and supporting our shared passion for its mission,” said Ms. Stonesifer.

Paul Polman is Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), The B Team and Vice-Chair of the U.N. Global Compact. Paul previously served as the CEO of Unilever (2009-2018) and amassed extensive experience as a leader in the consumer goods industry while serving in senior leadership roles at both Nestle and Procter & Gamble. Mr. Polman was appointed to the U.N. Secretary General’s High-level Panel that developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and continues to serve as a U.N.-appointed SDG Advocate. In recognition of his contribution to responsible business, Mr. Polman has received numerous awards, including the Rainforest Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award, the U.N. Environment Program’s Champion of the Earth Award, the Oslo Business for Peace Award and 13 honorary degrees.

“The Rockefeller Foundation has a long and deep heritage of pitting itself against our greatest challenges,” said Mr. Polman. “Through ground-breaking research, innovation and strategic alliance building it has already done a tremendous amount to improve the well-being of humanity. Yet, its work today has never been more crucial, so I am absolutely delighted to join the Board of Trustees to help support the Foundation’s drive for even higher ambition in delivering transformational change.”

# # #

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, the Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, visit

# # #