Foundation selects new President - CEO

Foundation selects new President - CEO

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The following is a press release from the the Ford Family Foundation

The Ford Family Foundation has selected Anne Kubisch as its second President and CEO beginning May 15, 2013, when Norm Smith retires after 16 years in the position.  Kubisch will report to the Foundation’s board of nine directors that govern the institution created by Kenneth W. Ford and Hallie E. Ford, the late philanthropists and pioneers of Roseburg Forest Products Co. 

Kubisch will be based at The Ford Family Foundation’s headquarters office in Roseburg, Oregon. The foundation currently has 23 employees, seven of whom are located at its Scholarship Programs office in Eugene, Oregon, and it is one of the largest privately endowed foundations in the state.

Kubisch comes to the Foundation after 19 years at The Aspen Institute (New York), an international non-profit leadership development and policy studies organization.   She founded and served as Director of the Aspen Roundtable on Community Change, a national resource center that gleans lessons about how to improve outcomes for low-income children, families, and neighborhoods, and advises policymakers, funders and practitioners on strategies for promoting vibrant and equitable communities.   

Kubisch holds a Master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Tufts University.  She is the daughter of a career Foreign Service Officer and grew up living in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Mexico, France and Greece.  She is fluent in French and Spanish and volunteers with several organizations, including serving as the Board Chair of the Institute for Research and Reform in Education.

Anne Kubisch, 57, is married to Mark Montgomery, Professor of Economics at Stony Brook University, NY, and Senior Research Associate at The Population Council, NY. They have two teenage children, Marina and Nicholas.   

Ron Parker (Portland), Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said, “Our Board is very pleased to find from a national search a person of Anne’s character and experience in philanthropy. We are delighted that she looks forward to moving to Roseburg and leading the Foundation.”

“We knew it would be a challenge to find the right successor to Norm Smith, who was our first employee and the Foundation’s capable CEO since 1997,” Parker stated.

Smith advised the Board last spring of his plan to retire in a year, once a successor was recruited. “It has been a privilege to work with the Ford family, the Board of Directors, a wonderful staff, many partners and volunteers to give shape and direction to the legacy of Kenneth and Hallie Ford. I am so impressed with Anne Kubisch and her preparation to lead this foundation into the future,” Smith said. “My wife, Kathy, and I welcome Anne, Mark and their family to the beautiful “Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua.”

Parker further explained that building the vitality of rural communities and helping citizens to be successful in Oregon and Northern California are the major focuses of The Ford Family Foundation. It operates scholarship programs, the Ford Institute for Community Building, and makes grants to public charities in the region.

He said, “Anne brings a deep understanding of the challenges faced by rural communities and how our Foundation can assist them.  She has a strong desire to come to Roseburg and embrace the lifestyle a rural community can provide. We also saw in her the passion to carry on the work of the Foundation and build the legacy of Kenneth and Hallie Ford.”

Board Vice-Chair, Karla Chambers of Corvallis, who chaired the search committee, explained what qualities were important to the search decision and said, “The Board was looking for a visionary, a strong leader, and a strategic person who will lead this Foundation. Anne has co-authored two books on "theory of change" and evaluation of social and community change initiatives. Foundations are investing millions and millions of dollars in complex social issues, and Anne has been on the front line of defining and achieving results, and setting up metrics and outcomes to be sure those dollars are invested wisely.  She knows how to be a good steward, implement strong programs and initiatives, and how to "invest forward".    
Chambers added, “Anne will bring great entrepreneurial energy to The Ford Family Foundation. She cares deeply about rural communities and their success in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California.”  

  “The Ford Family Foundation has made such an impressive contribution to child, family and community development in Oregon,” said Kubisch.  “I am looking forward to combining my national perspective on what promotes community success with the on-the-ground experience and expertise of the Foundation’s staff, grantees, and partners.  It’s my chance to really go deep in one place on the issues that I have been passionate about for my whole life.” 

Kubisch directs a number of Aspen Roundtable projects on current topics in community revitalization, such as economic development, child and family development, racial equity, civic capacity, and performance management and evaluation.  She has been the lead author of six books published by the Roundtable and  has written numerous papers and articles about efforts to improve conditions in distressed communities.  Ms. Kubisch also serves as the lead facilitator and trainer in Roundtable convenings of researchers, practitioners, policymakers and funders, and she frequently gives public presentations on the Roundtable’s work.  She sits on the boards of several social service, education reform, and philanthropic organizations.

Previously, Ms. Kubisch spent 10 years at the international Ford Foundation (no relation to The Ford Family Foundation of Roseburg, Oregon), initially working on Latin American programs, then as Representative in Nigeria, and finally as Deputy Director of the Urban Poverty Program.
 “My entire family is looking forward to living in a rural community, where we can garden, hike, and enjoy the beauty of the countryside.  I’ve moved frequently throughout my life and have never really had a place to call home.  I am looking forward to establishing myself in Roseburg and becoming an active member of the community.”