On 11 March it was announced that Julia M Stasch, who has served as interim president for the past eight months, has been chosen as the next president of the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation. Her leadership has already led to a greater sense of urgency, more focus, and enhanced impact in the foundation’s grantmaking and its creative efforts to help address some of the world’s most challenging social problems.
‘During a far reaching presidential search over the past eight months, we watched Julia rapidly changing the work and the point of view of the foundation. We realized that she was already the president that we hoped to find,’ said MacArthur board chairman Marjorie Scardino. ‘We wanted someone with a breadth of experience, who thinks big and has a bias for action, who has run a complex organization and can select and lead smart people. Julia has shown us that she is that person.’
Specifically, Stasch and the foundation’s staff have:
- Launched the Safety and Justice Challenge, a $75 million effort to reduce over–incarceration by addressing the overuse and misuse of jails in America, and joined with partners across the political spectrum to make the criminal justice system at all levels more fair and effective
- Designed a soon-to-be-launched innovative effort to deliver useful capital for the social sector through the creation of market-making investment products and tools
- Started a process to spin off the highly successful work in digital media and learning, so it can achieve greater scale and impact
- Begun to focus the foundation on fewer programmes to free up future resources and enable deeper impact
- Planned exciting future work, including on climate change and nuclear security