New MacArthur President Promises Grant Making With a More Immediate Impact
Friday, March 13, 2015
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation looked within its own ranks to pick its new president, Julia Stasch, who has promised to instill a sense of urgency at the grant maker.
Ms. Stasch served as interim head of the Chicago foundation since the departure of Robert Gallucci last July. For the previous 13 years, she led U.S. programs for the fund, which had $6.3 billion in assets in 2013, the most recent year for which figures are available.
When Mr. Gallucci departed, MacArthur’s board chair, Marjorie Scardino, said she would look for a “new kind of leadership” that would accelerate the foundation’s work.
The board undertook an extensive search, Ms. Scardino said, and in the end, “we kept measuring everybody against Julia.”
Ms. Scardino credited Ms. Stasch with creating a $75 million effort to relieve overcrowding in jails and designing a yet-to-be-announced effort to promote impact investing.
Both women said there were no plans to change the foundation’s areas of focus, which include human rights, conservation, security, and urban issues. But under Ms. Stasch, the foundation is more likely to support newer, unproven ideas.