The Council on Foundations announced today that Linda Reed, president and CEO of the Montana Community Foundation, will receive the inaugural Ylvisaker Public Policy Award at its Annual Conference in Los Angeles, on Sunday, April 29.
The new award celebrates grantmakers who help "set the agenda" for public consideration and debate. It is named after Paul Ylvisaker, a courageous and often lone voice on issues such as urban affairs, civil rights, community engagement, the environment, and philanthropy. As part of her work at the foundation, Reed helps ensure that Montana’s communities remain places where people can live, find work worth doing, and raise families—while sharing how endowments play an important role in that process.
“I’m humbled by the notion that in any way my work in Montana resembles Paul Ylvisaker’s visionary capacity to see the connection between philanthropy and public policy and to use both to create a better place for us all,” she said. “I’m privileged to represent the work of so many community foundation leaders who understand the power of public policy as a way to bring about sustainable positive change. While this award calls on me to be a teacher, at best I’ll be able to be a good student, continually learning from Paul Ylvisaker’s legacy.”
Reed moved to Montana to become the president of a Helena bank. She subsequently joined the administration of Gov. Marc Racicot as his economic development adviser. She also worked for US West (Qwest) in its policy and law division before joining the foundation in 2001. She is a strong supporter of downtowns as centers of community life and has a passion for helping Montana’s rural communities create choices about their future through development of local community foundations.
“Linda’s commitment to the communities of Montana, along with her desire to advance public-philanthropic partnerships, helps foster positive lasting change,” said Jeff Clarke, the Council’s interim president and CEO. “Her work with the Montana Community Foundation continues to impact and enhance the lives of many people. And her expertise in areas such as rural philanthropy and public policy have had a far-reaching effect throughout the sector as well.”