News and analysis
February 17, 2017

Project Concern International and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Name New CEOs

Project Concern International

After serving as director of the Peace Corps under President Obama, Carrie Hessler-Radelet (left) has been named CEO of antipoverty group Project Concern International.

Project Concern International

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who recently stepped down as director of the Peace Corps, was named chief executive of Project Concern International, a nonprofit that works to end poverty around the world.

Ms. Hessler-Radelet worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa in the early 1980s. She became the organization’s deputy director in 2010 and served as its top executive from August 2012 until last month.

She was previously vice president and director of the Washington office of John Snow, Inc., a company that provides public-health research and consulting, and was the lead consultant on the first five-year strategy for the federal HIV/AIDS program Pepfar.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Richard Besser, the chief health and medical editor at ABC News, was named chief executive of the foundation. Dr. Besser, a pediatrician, will succeed Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, who stepped down after 14 years at the helm.

Atlanta Women’s Foundation

Kari Brown, the foundation’s vice president for development and communications, was appointed its chief executive.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Paul Organisak was named the Chicago theater’s CEO. He previously served jointly as vice president for programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and executive director of the Pittsburgh Dance Council. Mr. Organisak will take over from Michael Tiknis, who led the theater for 12 years.

Social Science Research Council

Alondra Nelson will become president in September. She is currently a professor of sociology and the dean of social sciences at Columbia University.

Society for Nonprofits

Jason Chmura, the society’s member director, has been promoted to chief executive. Mr. Chmura will succeed Katie Burnham Laverty, the organization’s founder, who is retiring as CEO.

Other notable appointments

Gary Cole, managing national director of major gifts and planned giving at Susan G. Komen, was appointed chief development officer at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute.

Anne Derieux, director of advancement at the French American School of the Puget Sound, was appointed vice president for institutional advancement at Cornish College of the Arts.

Constance French, senior vice president at management-consulting firm Grenzebach Glier and Associates, was appointed vice president for principal gifts at the Oregon State University Foundation. John McGrath, a development officer at the University of Oregon, also joined the foundation as director of development for Oregon State’s College of Business.

Ken Himmelman, chief program officer at Partners in Health, will be managing principal of development and organizational learning at Health Leads.

Denis McDonough, who served as White House chief of staff during President Obama’s second term, was appointed senior principal at the Markle Foundation.

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