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RPA Appoints Three New Board Members to Help Accelerate Global Philanthropy

December 20, 2022

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) today announces the appointment of three new members to its board of directors: Mosun Layode, Vinit Rishi, and Alta Buden.  

RPA, a global organization with employees worldwide and offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Lagos, Nigeria, recently announced its new mission to accelerate philanthropy in pursuit of a just world. These appointments will help with the furtherance of that new mission given the experience, stature, and geographical diversity of the new members.  

“As we reflected on our 20th anniversary, we’ve taken the opportunity to deepen our commitment to taking a global focus,” noted RPA CEO Melissa Berman. “Our new board members reflect that global growth and outlook. They will also deepen our ties and expertise on the African and European continents, and in the intersection between arts and the environment.” 

President of the RPA Board of Directors, Valerie Rockefeller added, “Our new directors will be integral to furthering our mission and realizing our strategic plan. Underlying every goal is a commitment to becoming even more inclusive, culturally competent, climate aware, effective, and global. Moson, Vinit, and Alta embody these values and we’re delighted to welcome them!” 

From the southern hemisphere, Mosun Layode is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and is the Executive Director of the African Philanthropy Forum (APF), a role in which she works extensively across Africa with established and emerging philanthropists who are committed to the sustainable and inclusive development of Africa. Prior to this, she served as the Executive Director of WIMBIZ and LEAP Africa, leading nonprofits in Nigeria. Identified by Forbes as one of the Black women to watch in philanthropy, Ms. Layode sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations including Candid, and AMP Health. 

From Europe is Vinit Rishi, based in Geneva, Switzerland, who is a senior leader at the Oak Foundation. There, he leads the teams responsible for finance, grants administration, information technology, human resources, and organizational development and capacity building, oversees real estate and facilities, and manages the India Programme. Prior to joining the Oak Foundation, he was the CFO at venture capital firm Logispring; managed the tax & treasury function for EMEA and Asia/Pacific at Iomega Corporation, and was an Associate Partner with Arthur Andersen.  

Vinit serves on the board of the ‘Partners for a New Economy’ donor collaborative fund and the ‘Tanya’s Dream’ initiative.  

Based in the United States, Alta Buden is a New York based visual artist concerned with our relationship to the environment. Her work draws on her studies of evolutionary biology, her childhood experience of new age mysticism and the time she spent working with scientists at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, IL. Her practice is rooted in the sites where she works, often outdoors, using water, rocks, and other natural forms as a visual source. Ms. Buden’s work has been exhibited in New York and Chicago and has been shown at the Smart Museum of Art (IL) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (IL). She received a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship in 2013. A member of the Rockefeller family, Ms. Buden has degrees in Visual Arts, and History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Chicago, holds an MFA from Hunter College (2017) with a certificate in curatorial studies. 

With these new members, RPA’s board includes representation from the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea, Nigeria, and the United States. As RPA has grown both in size and geographical scope over the past several years, this diversity has helped to solidify its global presence as an advisor, thought partner, fiscal sponsor, and incubator for new philanthropic initiatives. The global growth—which also includes the recent appointment of Alex Alvarez in the new role of Vice President, Europe—reflects RPA’s growing thought leadership on key philanthropy concepts including systems change, impact investing, strategic time horizons, and philanthropic practice.  

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