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June 16, 2016

Judith Rodin to Depart From Rockefeller Foundation

Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin is stepping down after an 11-year tenure that saw her ramp up the venerable philanthropy’s impact investing and corporate partnerships, The Wall Street Journal writes. She announced her departure to the foundation's board Wednesday evening.

Ms. Rodin, 71, joined Rockefeller as its first female leader in 2005 after a career in academia. She told the Journal she felt her work revamping the foundation’s strategy was largely finished, adding, “Now there needs to be another round of decisions that are going to impact the next five to 10 years.” She will stay on until a successor is named.

Under her leadership the foundation followed a strategy of making small initial investments in projects then expanding them up through collaborations with business and government agencies. Her biggest venture has been a program to help cities around the world build resilience to disasters and economic shocks, an effort on which the foundation has spent more than $500 million, and about which Ms. Rodin published a book in 2014.

Rockefeller has also made major pushes in recent years on food waste and tech-focused job training for African youths. But Ms. Rodin also drew criticism within the nonprofit world for the foundation’s corporate focus, which some view as coming at the expense of grantees, and her high international profile.