Ford Foundation appoints Richard Verma to board of trustees

Former US envoy to India to help “tackle inequality and advance social justice around the world”

Indian American Richard Verma, former US ambassador to India has been elected as a new member of the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees along with Laurene Powell Jobs, president of the Emerson Collective.

Verma, who was the US ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, “brings international experience across senior levels of government, diplomacy, and law,” the Foundation stated announcing his appointment Oct. 15.

“The Ford Foundation is at the forefront of the important fights for human rights and global equity, and I look forward to joining in this work,” he said.

Read: India might lead the world in every category by 2030: Richard Verma (August 3, 2021)

“At this pivotal point in history, I am honored to have the opportunity to work with respected leaders at Ford to tackle inequality and advance social justice around the world.”

“Richard is an innovative leader who has spent his career tackling global systemic issues,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “Our entire organization is fortunate to have their (Verma and Jobs) expertise, perspective and passion for change on our board.”

Francisco G. Cigarroa, Ford Foundation Board of Trustees Chair said, “We are honored to have Laurene Powell Jobs and Richard Verma, two experienced and trusted leaders, join the Ford Foundation board of trustees.

“I look forward to working with them and our existing board members in continuing Ford’s work to challenge global inequality and organize social change.”

Currently serving as the general counsel and head of global public policy at Mastercard Verma previously served as assistant secretary of State for Legislative Affairs at the US Department of State and as national security advisor for former US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

He was also a member of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission and a co-author of the commission’s landmark report, “World at Risk.”

Read: Former US ambassador to India Richard Verma pitches in for Sri Kulkarni (September 19, 2018)

Verma is currently a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

He also serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the National Endowment for Democracy, Lehigh University, and the T. Rowe Price corporate board.

His father immigrated from India to the United States in 1963 so he could pursue a masters degree on a Ford Foundation fellowship.

Verma is a US Air Force veteran and is the recipient of numerous military and civilian honors and awards. Verma holds multiple degrees, including his PhD from Georgetown University and his JD from American University’s Washington College of Law.

As president of the Emerson Collective, Powell Jobs uses a wide range of tools—from impact investing to philanthropy to advocacy—in pursuit of a more equal and just America, the Foundation said.

Based in Palo Alto, California, with a strong presence in Oakland, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, Emerson focuses on creating systemic change in education, immigration, climate, cancer research and treatment.

Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization based in New York. Its trustees are elected by the full board and serve six-year terms.

Read: Ford Foundation Appoints Former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma to Board of Trustees (October 23, 2021)

Trustees set broad policies relating to grant making, geographic focus, investments, governance, and professional standards, and they oversee independent audits.

The foundation’s trustees come from around the world and have extensive experience in the worlds of higher education, business and finance, technology, law, government, and the nonprofit sector, the Foundation said.

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