July 10, 2015

New Leaders at the Smithsonian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and More

John Gibbons, Smithsonian
David Skorton, a cardiologist who led Cornell University for nine years, will be secretary of the Smithsonian.
Smithsonian Institution

David Skorton, who led Cornell University for nine years, has taken over as secretary of the Smithsonian. He succeeds Wayne Clough, who retired in December. Dr. Skorton, a cardiologist, is the first medical doctor to lead the institution.

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Colleen McDonough, former director of the foundation, will be its executive director.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Noha El-Ghobashy, managing director of engineering work force and global development, was promoted to an additional post, executive director of the foundation.

Children’s Rights

Sandy Santana, interim executive director, will permanently lead the organization.

Community IT Innovators

Johan Hammerstrom will retain his position as president when he succeeds founder David Deal as chief executive officer.

Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

Brian Rusch, former deputy director of the Dalai Lama Foundation, was named executive director.

Livestrong Foundation

Donna Palmer, former vice president for individual giving at the American Diabetes Association, will be chief development.


Jeffrey Herbst, former president of Colgate University, was appointed president.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mark Abbott, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, will take over as president and director of the institution.

Other Notable Changes:

Henry Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern University, was named interim president of the Poetry Foundation.

Michael Burke, former chief operating officer at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, was named corporate vice president for the corporate responsibility department and chief operating officer at the New York Life Foundation.

Bill Cosper, former vice president for institutional relations at Executive Service Corps, was named vice president for development and communications at Donors Forum.

Paul DeBasio, former vice president for network-engagement performance, was promoted to executive vice president for investor relations at United Way Worldwide.

Alison Kolwaite, former division director for philanthropy at the Trust for Public Land in Denver, was appointed chief development officer for the Nurse-Family Partnership.

Stacey Weston, former vice president for development at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, was appointed vice president for institutional advancement at the New York Botanical Garden.

Send an e-mail to Anais Strickland.