Ford Foundation Names Hilary Pennington '10 Vice President for Education, Creativity and Free Expression

NEW YORK, September 9, 2013--The Ford Foundation has announced the appointment of Hilary Pennington '10 as vice president for the foundation's program on Education, Creativity and Free Expression.

Ms. Pennington will lead the foundation’s work on school reform in the U.S. and higher education around the world, next generation media policy and journalism, support for arts and culture, and sexuality and reproductive rights. 

“Hilary’s extraordinary commitment to social justice and her deep knowledge of the education field make her an invaluable addition to the Ford Foundation family,” said Mr. Walker on his second day as president of the foundation. “Her talent, experience and management style reflect the best traditions of leadership in our sector, and I know her outstanding record as a thinker, a mentor and a doer will add tremendous value to our work.

Hilary Pennington is a national expert on postsecondary education and intergenerational change. She is currently an independent consultant with clients such as the Next American University project of the New America Foundation and Arizona State University. She also leads The Generations Initiative, a project funded by national foundations to develop effective responses to the dramatic demographic shifts occurring in the U.S.

Between 2006 and 2012, she served as director of Education, Postsecondary Success, and Special Initiatives at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she guided grant programs across the U.S. and worldwide.

Before joining Gates, Ms. Pennington was senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and president and CEO of Jobs for the Future (JFF), a research and policy development organization she co-founded. In 22 years as president and CEO of JFF, Ms. Pennington 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 Clinton’s transition team and as co-chair of President Clinton’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Technology.

Ms. Pennington is a graduate of the Yale School of Management and Yale College. She holds a graduate degree in Social Anthropology from Oxford University and a Masters of Theological Studies from Episcopal Divinity School. She was a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2000.