Contemplating potential future Philanthropy Roundtable leadership

Aug 1, 2019

Casting a wide net.

Adam Meyerson announced last month that he will be stepping down as the longtime, respected president of the Philanthropy Roundtable. Founded in 1987 as an alternative to the establishment Council on Foundations, the Roundtable is “America’s leading network of charitable donors working to strengthen our free society, uphold donor intent, and protect the freedom to give,” as it describes itself.

Meyerson joined the Roundtable in 2001, following Kim Dennis and John Walters as its head. Under Meyerson’s leadership, its membership of individual philanthropists, families, and private foundations continued to increase and its annual budget grew from $1.8 million to $9 million.

As the Roundtable contemplates is future leadership, philanthropy itself is becoming subject to higher levels of scrutiny. Some commentators, in fact, are quite harshly critiquing its very formation, structure, and practices.

Erring on the side of overinclusion, below is a quickly compiled (merely alphabetical) list of potential candidates to next play this important role, during what may be a crucial upcoming period for philanthropy.


Lamar Alexander, retiring U.S. Senator from Tennessee; onetime chairman, National Commission on Philanthropy and Civic Renewal

Lawson Bader, president and chief executive officer, DonorsTrust

Jason Bertsch, executive vice president, American Enterprise Institute

Tarren Bragdon, president and chief executive officer, Foundation for Government Accountability

Paul Brest, former president, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; former dean, Stanford Law School

Arthur Brooks, former president, American Enterprise Institute

Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships, Facebook

Jeff Cain, chief executive officer, CrossFit; former partner, American Philanthropic

Dan Coats, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence; former U.S. Senator from Indiana; co-founder, Foundation for American Renewal

Jim Collins, author, consultant, and lecturer

Lindsay Craig, president, National Review Institute

Chris DeMuth, distinguished fellow, Hudson Institute

David DesRosiers, president, RealClear Foundation

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education

Claire Kittle Dixon, executive director, Talent Market

Ed Feulner, former president, The Heritage Foundation

Carly Fiorina, president, Carly Fiorina Enterprises

Ari Fleisher, president, Ari Fleischer Communications

Joanne Florino, vice president of philanthropic services, Philanthropy Roundtable

Bob Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense

Steve Hantler, director of policy initiatives, Marcus Family Office

Jay Hein, president, Sagamore Institute

Carl Helstrom, vice president for programs, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Mark Henrie, president, Arthur N. Rupe Foundation

Heather Higgins, chairman, Independent Women’s Forum

John Jackson, Hoplin Jackson Charitable Advisors

Craig Kennedy, senior fellow, Hudson Institute; former president, German Marshall Fund; former president, Joyce Foundation

Roger Kimball, editor and publisher, The New Criterion; publisher, Encounter Books

Joe Lehman, president, Mackinac Center

Leonard Leo, executive vice president, The Federalist Society

Carrie Lukas, president, Independent Women’s Forum

Bill McGurn, columnist, The Wall Street Journal

William McRaven, retired Admiral, U.S. Navy; former chancellor, University of Texas System

Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president, Manhattan Institute

Rebekah Mercer, director, Mercer Family Foundation

Cleta Mitchell, partner, Foley & Lardner

Abby Spencer Moffat, chief executive officer, Diana Davis Spencer Foundation

Lisa Nelson, chief executive officer, American Legislative Exchange Council

Darcy Olsen, president, Generation Justice; former chief executive officer, Goldwater Institute

Colin Powell, retired General, U.S. Army; former U.S. Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice, professor, Stanford University; senior fellow, Hoover Institution; former U.S. Secretary of State

Naomi Schaefer Riley, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Tom Riley, president, Connelly Foundation

Brooke Rollins, assistant to the President, Office of American Innovation, The White House; former president and chief executive officer, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Stephanie Saroki de García, managing director, Seton Education Partners

Dan Senor, author and commentator

Tracie Sharp, president, State Policy Network

Andy Smarick, director, civil society, education, and work, R Street Institute

Jeff Snell, chief executive officer, International Folk Art Alliance; former special adviser to the president, Marquette University; former chief operating officer, Argosy Foundation

Dan Stid, director, Madison Initiative, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Ryan Streeter, director of domestic policy studies, American Enterprise Institute

Sandra Swirski, executive director, Alliance for Charitable Reform, Philanthropy Roundtable

Jim Towey, president, Ave Maria University

Tevi Troy, vice president of public policy, JUUL Labs

John Tyler, general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief ethics officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Bridgett Wagner, vice president for policy promotion, Heritage Foundation

J.C. Watts, chairman, J.C. Watts Companies

Scott Walter, president, Capital Research Center

Meg Whitman, chief executive officer, Quibi

Karl Zinsmeister, vice president of publications, Philanthropy Roundtable

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *