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The Rockefeller Foundation Elects Two New Members to Board of Trustees

NEW YORK | June 17, 2020 – The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to announce two new members to its distinguished Board of Trustees: Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia from 2010 to 2018, and Adam Silver, Commissioner of the National Basketball Association since 2014. They will assume their role on June 17, 2020.

“It is a pleasure to welcome President Santos and Adam Silver to our Board of Trustees. Their work embodies the spirit of The Rockefeller Foundation and their commitment to strong, principled leadership is impressive and emblematic of the work they will guide and advise on at the Foundation,” said Richard D. Parsons, Chair of The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees.

“The addition of President Santos and Adam Silver to our Board of Trustees reinforces that The Rockefeller Foundation draws exceptional people devoted to solving the world’s most complicated challenges and unleashing every person’s potential,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Both of these leaders have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place and their wisdom and guidance will help us do the same.”

Juan Manuel Santos served as President of Colombia from 2010 to 2018.  During that time, he significantly improved his country’s social and economic indicators. In 2016 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending more than 50 years of civil war in Colombia. For his aggressive environmental policies to protect his country’s biodiversity and fight climate change, he was awarded the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew International Medal and the Wildlife Conservation Society Theodore Roosevelt Award for Conservation Leadership. He was one of the initial promoters of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global goals agreed to in 2015 by 193 countries to end poverty, hunger, and inequality worldwide by 2030.

“I am honored and very excited to join the Board of such a prestigious foundation at this precise moment,” said President Santos. “It is a great way to continue to work for a more just and sustainable future and to confront the great challenges that we all now have in a new post-Covid world.”

Adam Silver was unanimously elected NBA Commissioner in 2014.  In that capacity he presides over a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues:  The National Basketball Association, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League and NBA 2K League.  He is dedicated to growing basketball around the world, embracing innovation and new technologies, increasing transparency and using basketball to bring people together and promote health and fitness.  Silver has been named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, and The Bloomberg 50, Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of 50 people who defined global business.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Board of The Rockefeller Foundation and support its invaluable and innovative work at such a crucial time,” said Mr. Silver.  “Whether it is through sports or science, global engagement is critically important, and the Foundation is uniquely positioned to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges and transform countless lives.”

The Board welcomed the two new Trustees this week as they convened to review the Foundation’s work so far with the National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan, which is being implemented across the United States, and consider additional opportunities to expand access to Covid-19 testing in other parts of the world, in addition to current support for global health workers facing the pandemic. The Foundation is also focused on expanding access to more equitable economic opportunity for America’s working families who have been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic, and supporting several organizations to ensure families who need food assistance can receive it. Their discussions will also include efforts to ensure a climate-positive, equitable and inclusive recovery that will accelerate the delivery of reliable, renewable electricity to hundreds of millions of people in underserved, low-income communities worldwide.

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, 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 Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity and unleash the potential of every life throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

Media contact:
Christy Feig