NEW YORK, March 13, 2019 – The Rockefeller Foundation today announced that Steve VanRoekel has been named Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation after serving as interim COO since September 2018. In this role, Mr. VanRoekel will oversee the organization’s Operations, Human Resources, Organizational Performance, Information Technology, and Finance teams.
Since 2009, Mr. VanRoekel has served in a number of senior-level public sector roles including Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Communications Commission, where he oversaw all operational, technical, financial, and human resource aspects of the agency. He was later appointed the nation’s second Chief Information Officer by President Obama and tasked with driving savings and promoting innovation across the federal IT portfolio including upgrading the nation’s cyber security capabilities, creating new open data policies, fostering delivery of mobile services to citizens, consolidating data centers, and promoting the federal government’s transition to cloud computing.
“Steve is a singular talent. I have seen firsthand how Steve improves employee and partner experiences, modernizes organizations and delivers measurable results for those they serve,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “As our Foundation advances meaningful change in the areas of food and nutrition, community health, productive power, and economic mobility, Steve’s leadership will ensure we bring the latest advances in science, data, and finance to the mission of promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world.”
“What an incredible honor to join The Rockefeller Foundation, an institution with outstanding talent grounded in positively impacting the lives of billions of people,” said Mr. VanRoekel. “It is our history of harnessing science and technology and always aspiring to be a best-in-class partner able to drive impact at scale around the world that makes me proud to serve as Chief Operating Officer.”
During his time in public service, Mr. VanRoekel was an instrumental member of the team that coordinated the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola virus outbreak in Western Africa. Before joining government in 2009, he spent his entire private-sector career at Microsoft Corporation, rising to lead one of the fastest growing parts of Microsoft – the Server and Tools Division. He also worked closely with Bill Gates during the formation of the global health aspects of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Steve began in his role as COO of the Foundation on March 12, 2019.