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Valerie Rockefeller Named Next Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board Chair, Succeeds Wendy O’Neill

January 24, 2022

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), one of the world’s leading nonprofit philanthropy services, has announced Valerie Rockefeller as the new chair of the Board of Directors. Rockefeller succeeds Wendy O’Neill, who spent 4 of her 10 years of board service as Chair.

During O’Neill’s tenure, RPA grew from a team of 45 people to an organization of more than 80 people advising on and managing over $500 million a year in philanthropy across dozens of countries. Today, the organization sponsors more than 90 innovative projects and provides advisory services to clients across the spectrum of philanthropic issues structures.

“I am honored to have worked side by side with other RPA board members, staff, and partners. It has been one of the highlights of my life, and I will take with me many memories and much wisdom,” said O’Neill. “I know that as our new board chair, Valerie will help RPA further its mission to help donors create thoughtful effective philanthropy throughout the world.”

Valerie Rockefeller brings to her role deep knowledge and experience in climate change and education. She currently chairs the board of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and co-chairs BankFWD, a network to persuade banks to phase out financing for fossil fuel and to lead on climate.

“I am extremely excited to serve as board chair and participate in urgent conversations about climate change, racial justice, and equity in a way that enables effective and impactful philanthropy,” said Rockefeller. “At this critical juncture for our world, RPA’s role is more important than ever.”

RPA also welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Peter Gill Case, an architect, developer, and Principal at Truth Box Architects in Rhode Island. He also serves on the board of the Rockefeller Family Fund, where he was president for seven years. He is a co-founder of BankFWD and Equation Campaign, two initiatives addressing climate change.
  • Melvin J. Galloway, chief operating officer (COO) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Previously, he served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Earlier in his career, Galloway was associate director of operations at The Rockefeller Foundation.
  • Crystal Hayling, executive director of The Libra Foundation, a leading social justice funder. She was previously CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation and comes to RPA with board service with the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, Justice Funders, and National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, among other sector-leading organizations.

To help develop and execute its strategy, RPA announced two additional executive leadership changes. RPA Vice President Renee Karibi-Whyte, an attorney, will take on the additional role of Corporate Secretary. As RPA’s senior communications executive, she brings a deep understanding of RPA’s Theory of the Foundation initiative, Strategic Time Horizon research, Philanthropy Roadmap guides, as well as other knowledge-based projects that help clients and the sector create more thoughtful, effective philanthropy.

Yogita Naik also recently joined RPA in the newly created role of Senior Vice President of People and Culture. Naik brings extensive, deep global experience in talent strategy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and strategic human resources. She previously has served in senior executive human resources roles at AXA Equitable, AIG, and Pfizer, working with international teams across the United States, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

“The leadership team and new board members will have the opportunity to build on the 20 years of leadership RPA has shown in the sector. I am thrilled to work with them, our staff, our clients, and our partners on envisioning our impact for the next 20 years and beyond,” said RPA CEO Melissa A. Berman.

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