Arlington, VA — The Council on Foundations today announced two senior promotions: Rachel Mosher-Williams to vice president of Conferences and Partnerships, and Renée Branch to vice president of Professional Development, Diversity and Inclusion. Mosher-Williams previously served as assistant vice president of Partnerships and Strategy, while Branch served as assistant vice president of Diversity and Inclusive Practices. The promotions are part of a broader restructuring by the Council to better address the changing needs of the philanthropic community.
Mosher-Williams now directs the Council’s conference and meeting planning and work with outside partnerships. The change reflects the importance of enhancing the conference experience for the entire philanthropic sector.
“The Council’s conferences serve as the premier learning and networking opportunity for the entire philanthropic sector. By merging conference planning with our external programs, we’ll be able to better serve the growing field of philanthropy,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “Rachel has done an extraordinary job working with our partners in the philanthropy infrastructure, including affinity groups and regional associations, and her experience in program development and meeting design will help further build our external relationships and offer a new conference experience.“
Mosher-Williams began her career as an intern with the Council in 1991. In the 20 years since, she has designed research and meetings for foundations, nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. In addition, she has been both a grantmaker and grantwriter. Mosher-Williams rejoined the Council in 2009 to manage the organization’s relationships with colleague organizations and lead fundraising and philanthropic research efforts. She also has strengthened the Council’s internal evaluation program, creating a quarterly scorecard measuring progress against major goals.
“After a couple of decades of attending the Council’s conferences, I’m thrilled to take on leadership for the execution of our signature gatherings,” said Mosher-Williams. “I look forward to working with our strong meetings team and planning task forces to offer innovative and inspiring conference experiences that help grantmakers do their important work even more strategically.”
Branch now oversees the Council’s Professional Development programs and Diversity and Inclusiveness programming. By combining these initiatives, the Council is recognizing the changing field of philanthropic leaders and the vital role diversity plays in the sector.
“Renée’s expertise in leadership preparation and development will help foundation leaders meet today’s changing challenges in philanthropy,” said Gunderson. “She has built our Career Pathways to Philanthropic Leadership Program, which helps promote diversity leaders within the field, into the industry model for professional development programming. The organizational realignment under Renée’s direction will improve the Council’s ability to address the needs of today’s foundation CEOs and trustees as well as give future leaders the tools they need to grow.”
Branch has more than 15 years of senior-level experience in organizational leadership, program design, volunteer and community engagement, and institutional advancement. She joined the Council in 2007, establishing the Career Pathways Program and serving as co-chair of the strategy team on philanthropic leadership. She also manages the Council’s internal leadership program—Excellence in Leadership and Philanthropy—and has developed new educational programming and publications and tools on diversity, inclusion, and philanthropic leadership with a lasting impact across the entire sector.
“The opportunity to continue to lead the Council’s inclusiveness portfolio, identification of new programs for trustees and CEOs, and the strategic development of educational programming, films, and awards activities is, indeed, a professional privilege,” said Branch. “To do so collaboratively with members, volunteers, and internal and external colleagues will remain a high priority and will make the work all the more gratifying.”
The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,750 independent, operating, community, public, and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.
Council on Foundations