The trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund will welcome two new members to the board in 2018 and bid farewell to their most tenured member, Kitty Phillips.
In meetings this month, the trustees elected Anna Escobedo Cabral, a senior principal advisor for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C., and Elizabeth E. Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, to serve initial five-year terms as individual trustees of the Fund, beginning in 2018.
The new trustees fill the vacancies left by the death of Mary Lynn Huntley in 2015 and the resignation of Phillips at the end of 2017.
Phillips is the longest-serving of the Fund’s current trustees. She joined the Jessie Ball duPont Fund board in 1986, succeeding Hazel Williams, who had been Mrs. duPont’s personal secretary.
“Kitty Phillips has provided a guiding hand for the Fund for most of its life,” said Leroy Davis, chair for the trustees. “She mentored all of the current trustees, and many others who came before us. She understands in a way few do the rich history of the Fund. And she embodies the qualities of thoughtfulness, humility and collegiality to which we aspire.”
During her tenure, Phillips was a critical player in some of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund’s most significant moments. She helped select a new corporate co-trustee to manage the Fund’s endowment in the late 1980s. She helped lead the Fund through its historic 2003 court case that expanded and improved the Fund’s governance structure. She chaired the 2004 search committee that selected four new trustees to fill an expanded board. And she played a key role in overseeing the development of the Jessie Ball duPont Center in 2013-15.
“Kitty has been an incredibly creative philanthropic partner through the years,” said Jessie Ball duPont Fund President Sherry Magill, who joined the Fund in 1991. “She has honored Mrs. duPont’s intentions while keeping the Fund’s work relevant in a changing world. I have had the privilege of working closely with her on many projects and her tenacity, her intellect and her great humor have enriched my days.”
New trustees Cabral and Kiss (pronounced “quiche”) bring their own extraordinary backgrounds to the Fund.
Cabral has experience in government, serving as Treasurer of the United States from 2004-2009 and as deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary earlier in her career. She has worked with small and large nonprofits, as president and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility and as director of the Center for Latino Initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution. Cabral continues to work closely with Congress and the U.S. Treasury Department in her current role at the Inter-American Development Bank, which provides development financing to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Kiss has served as president of Agnes Scott College, a private liberal arts college for women, since 2006, and has announced her intention to resign in June 2018. A scholar in moral and political philosophy and ethics, she was the founding director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University from 1997-2006. She is a Rhodes Scholar and has held fellowships at the Harvard Program in Ethics and the Professions, the National Humanities Center, and Melbourne University’s Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. At various times since 1990 she has taught at Randolph-Macon College, Deep Springs College, Princeton University, Duke and Agnes Scott.
“Cabral and Kiss bring a wealth of knowledge to the trustee body,” said Davis, “and their expertise aligns beautifully with the interests of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. Cabral understands the law, finance and the operations of our democratic system and is a staunch advocate for financial literacy. Kiss understands the world of higher education, which is an important funding arena for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. We could not be more pleased to have these outstanding women join our board.”
Cabral will join the trustees in January 2018, while Kiss will not officially join the board until summer 2018 when her tenure at Agnes Scott ends.