Ford Foundation names Kathy Reich as director for effort to strengthen institutions and networks

New York, 28 April 2016 – The Ford Foundation today named Kathy Reich as director of a new foundation initiative to help strengthen institutions and networks critical to social movements.

Reich currently serves as director of organizational effectiveness and philanthropy at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She has been with Packard since 2001, earlier serving as policy analyst and program officer for early education programs in California.

Reich will guide the foundation’s BUILD efforts in the United States and across its 10 global offices to implement sector-leading approaches to supporting the sustainability, vitality, and effectiveness of organizations and networks that serve as pillars of broader social movements.

Ford’s renewed focus on institution building reflects a conviction that healthy civil society organizations are essential to driving and sustaining movements for justice over time. It is one part of Ford’s overarching renewal strategy under President Darren Walker, who has introduced, in addition to the institution-building effort, a new office of Strategy and Learning, a revised program of grant making centered on tackling inequality in all its forms, and a more robust commitment to supporting the general operating costs of nonprofits, including an increase in support for indirect costs equal to 20% of every grant.

“Kathy is one of the most trusted and respected leaders in the philanthropic sector due to her thoughtful and respectful approach to grantees,” said Hilary Pennington, vice president for Education, Creativity, and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation. “She is deeply knowledgeable about what it takes to build strong and effective organizations, and we are thrilled to have a leader like her join at this exciting and groundbreaking time.”

Prior to joining the Packard Foundation, Reich was policy director at the Social Policy Action Network. In addition, she previously served as legislative assistant to US Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and as a policy adviser to then-Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis.

“I’m thrilled and honored to join the Ford Foundation at a time when addressing political, social, and economic inequality around the world has never felt more urgent,” said Reich. “Strengthening institutions that fight inequality is key to fostering just, inclusive, and sustainable societies, in the US and around the world. It’s a true privilege for me to take on this role, and I’m grateful to the Ford Foundation for the opportunity.”

Reich holds a BA in history from Yale University and a master in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She will begin working at the Ford Foundation on May 31.

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The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.