National organization that brings together social sector also thanks retiring board directors.
(WASHINGTON, November 16, 2023) – Today, Independent Sector announced its Board of Directors for the coming year, including three new board directors.
The announcement and election by Independent Sector members of the new board directors followed the national nonprofit organization’s Annual Business Meeting and Town Hall, held on November 15, 2023 during the 2023 Upswell Summit in Dallas, Texas.
The new directors are Julie Gehrki, vice president, philanthropy at Walmart, and vice president and chief operating officer at Walmart Foundation; Hilary Pennington, executive vice president for programs, Ford Foundation; and Lysa Ratliff, CEO, KABOOM!
“It is my great pleasure to welcome both our new and returning board directors, and to do so at our 2023 Upswell Summit in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins, Independent Sector president and CEO. “I look forward to working with our distinguished board to strengthen our sector, support our workforce, and advance our missions to build a healthy and racially just nation.”
Independent Sector, its board, staff, and members also thanked retiring board members for their outstanding service to the organization, including Nicole Anderson, AVP social innovation and president, AT&T Foundation and leading supporter of the 2023 Upswell Summit; and David Williams, principal, Deloitte LLP.
Following are the new board directors’ biographies:
Julie Gehrki is vice president of philanthropy at Walmart, and vice president and chief operating officer at Walmart Foundation.
Julie leads programs that help create economic opportunity, advance long-term environmental sustainability, strengthen local communities, and accelerate racial equity. In FY2023, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $1.7 billion in cash and in-kind donations, globally.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation take a shared value approach to their strategy to create significant and lasting improvements in the global and local systems that are relevant for their business. This includes a whole-system, multi-stakeholder effort to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity, established in 2020.
Julie joined Walmart in 2008, and prior to that she worked in the nonprofit community on issues of anti-racism, homelessness, and community revitalization. Internationally, she has done program evaluation in Kenya and Tanzania and taught English in Eastern Europe.
Julie has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in religion from Rhodes College and a Master of Arts in public service from The Clinton School of Public Service. She was a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Fellow at Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy.
Hilary Pennington is the Ford Foundation’s executive vice president for programs. She oversees all of Ford’s programs globally, working closely across programs and offices to ensure strategic, meaningful, and well-aligned global grantmaking. She also oversees the foundation’s BUILD program, and the Office of Strategy and Learning. Before assuming her current role, she served as the foundation’s vice president for Education, Creativity, and Free Expression.
A national expert on postsecondary education and intergenerational change, Hilary joined the foundation in 2013. Earlier, she was an independent consultant whose clients included the Next American University project of the New America Foundation and Arizona State University. She also led the Generations Initiative, a project funded by national foundations to develop effective responses to the dramatic demographic shifts occurring in the United States.
Between 2006 and 2012, Hilary served as director of education, postsecondary success, and special initiatives at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she guided grant programs across the country and worldwide. Before joining Gates, she was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and president and CEO of Jobs for the Future, a research and policy development organization she co-founded. In 22 years with JFF, Hilary helped the organization become one of the most influential in the country on issues of education, youth transitions, workforce development, and future work requirements. She also served on President Bill Clinton’s transition team and as co-chair of his administration’s presidential advisory committee on technology.
Hilary serves on the boards of Bard College, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and Giving Tuesday, and she is a member of the Trinity Church Vestry. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Management and Yale College, and she holds a graduate degree in social anthropology from Oxford University and a master’s degree in theological studies from the Episcopal Divinity School. In 2000, she was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Lysa Ratliff is the CEO of KABOOM!, the national nonprofit that works to end playspace inequity for good. Throughout her career, Lysa has been a champion for kids and the protection of childhood, leading efforts to connect diverse partners to unite and make change for communities and kids across the country, and around the world.
Since becoming CEO of KABOOM!, Lysa has emerged as a leading national advocate for equitable access to playspaces. Lysa has been invited to represent KABOOM! at several White House events and continues to engage with members of the administration, congressional leaders, and mayors to ensure that creating more opportunities for kids to play remains a priority across the nation.
Prior to becoming CEO, she was the vice president of partnership development at KABOOM!; has held senior leadership roles at Habitat for Humanity International and Save the Children; and has led both public and private fundraising teams, cause marketing, international marketing, and communications campaigns with large global corporations. When not spending time with her own kids and husband, Lysa enjoys all things home, with most of her playtime being spent in the garden growing organic fruits and vegetables.
Learn more about Independent Sector’s 2023 Board of Directors: https://independentsector.org/about/leadership-and-staff/
Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers at nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs to ensure all people in the United States thrive. Learn more at independentsector.org.
Media Contact: Nina Ford, email@example.com, 202-467-6113