News and analysis
January 20, 2017

Ex-Clinton Foundation CEO Signs on With Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group

Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group

Eric Braverman, former chief executive officer of the Clinton Foundation, will lead the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Group’s philanthropic arm, which includes the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, the Schmidt Family Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

Mr. Braverman joined the Clinton Foundation in 2013 from management consultancy McKinsey & Company, where he worked with Chelsea Clinton and helped to create the firm’s public-sector practice. He left the former first family’s charity 18 months later amid reports of internal tension and financial problems. Since then, he has held a joint faculty appointment at Yale University’s School of Management and Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Mr. Schmidt is executive chairman of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. He previously appeared on The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 50 list of America’s top donors.

Alliance Defending Freedom

Michael Farris was appointed chief executive and general counsel. A chancellor emeritus of Patrick Henry College, he takes over from the alliance’s founding CEO, Alan Sears, who led the Christian legal nonprofit for 23 years.

American Composers Orchestra

Edward Yim was named president, succeeding Michael Geller, who held the post for 20 years. Mr. Yim is currently vice president for artistic planning at the New York Philharmonic.

Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust

Sara Kay was named chief executive. She was a senior fellow at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and previously served as head of advocacy and health-equity programs at the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

Jennie Lehua Watson, the fund’s vice president for special initiatives and communications, was named interim president for two years. Cathy Cha, currently program director of immigrant rights, was appointed vice president for programs and will become president of the fund in January 2019.

Hennepin Theatre Trust

Ann Simonds, a former chief marketing officer at General Mills who was recently made chair of the board at the Hennepin Theatre Trust, will also serve as its interim president. Founding President Tom Hoch plans to step down on February 3, earlier than previously announced. He has led the Minneapolis arts nonprofit for more than 20 years.

Institute for Educational Leadership

Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, will serve as president of the institute.

Palm Healthcare Foundation

Patrick McNamara was appointed president of the foundation. He is a former chief executive of Community Partners, which operates social-services groups Housing Partnership and Parent-Child Center.

Proteus Fund

Paul Di Donato, interim president of the fund, was formally appointed to the position. He previously served as director of the fund’s Civil Marriage Collaborative.

Other notable appointments:

Joe Bondi, assistant vice president for development, campus, and community at George Washington University, was appointed senior vice president for development at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Betsy Constantine, vice president for giving strategies at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, was promoted to executive vice president.

Doron Ezickson was named director of the Washington, D.C., regional office of the Anti-Defamation League. Mr. Ezickson is a senior counsel in the Washington offices of international law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Mike Kollins, chief operating officer at PATH, will serve as director of programs at Splash, a nonprofit that works to combat water-borne illness in children.

Ricki Marion, director of development and community relations at the Workhouse Arts Center, will serve as the Washington Ballet’s director of development.

Jonathan Pershing, special envoy for climate change at the State Department and the lead U.S. negotiator for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, will be director of the environment program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Lourdes Rivera, senior program officer at the Ford Foundation, was appointed senior vice president for U.S. programs at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Eileen Savage will join Cranbrook Educational Community in March as chief advancement officer. Ms. Savage is associate vice president for institutional advancement at the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles.

Michael Waxman-Lenz, former chief financial officer at digital-advertising company Undertone, has joined the American Technion Society as senior vice president for finance.


Lawrence Soler plans to step down as CEO of the Partnership for a Healthier America in July. Mr. Soler has overseen the nonprofit’s development from a start-up to an organization with more than 200 health and wellness partnerships in the private sector.


Herbert Kaplan, former chairman and chief executive of Warren Equities, died January 2 at age 81. He served as president of the Warren Alpert Foundation and shepherded a $100 million grant to support Brown University’s medical school in 2007.

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