New York, 25 June 2018 — The Ford Foundation announced today the election of Dr. Francisco Cigarroa as chair of its Board of Trustees. Cigarroa will become the 12th board chair of the foundation, and will succeed Kofi Appenteng.
Cigarroa joined the board in 2014 and serves as chair of the finance committee, while also serving on the executive committee, the investments committee, and the Democracy, Rights, and Justice program committee. A nationally renowned transplant surgeon, he is head of pediatric transplant surgery and division head of liver transplant surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Previously, Cigarroa was the chancellor of the University of Texas system, consisting of nine universities and six health institutions. Prior to that, he served for nine years as president of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Kofi Appenteng will remain on the board after serving with distinction as chair for a four-year term.
“Kofi has been an outstanding board chair. He has guided the board and the foundation with dedication and resolve during a critical time for our work, when we are seeing a sustained effort to clamp down on civil society around the world,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “Francisco has a deep passion for the foundation’s mission, and draws on a wealth of experience running large, complex institutions, and helping them operate at the highest level. I am confident that his leadership will help the foundation and our grantees thrive.”
In 2003, Cigarroa was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science, as one of 12 of the nation’s most prominent leaders in the fields of research, science, and engineering. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Cigarroa to serve as a commissioner for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. In addition, Cigarroa is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“It is an honor and a privilege to succeed Kofi Appenteng's exemplary leadership as chairman of the board of this remarkable institution,” said Dr. Cigarroa. “The work of the organizations we support is more urgent than ever, and I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and with President Darren Walker, who provides the visionary leadership that will ensure this organization remains strong and vital for years ahead. In everything we do, we aim for the Ford Foundation to be among the most effective, respected, and impactful philanthropies in the world.”
A third-generation physician, Cigarroa earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. During his postgraduate training, he was chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and completed pediatric surgery and transplant surgery fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Ford Foundation trustees are elected by the full board and serve six-year terms. Trustees set broad policy relating to grantmaking, geographic focus, investments, governance, and professional standards, and they oversee internal and independent audits. The foundation’s trustees hail from four continents and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business and finance, technology, law, government, and the nonprofit sector.