NEW YORK, JANUARY 11, 2024 – After seven years of exceptional leadership at the Markle Foundation, President Beth Cobert has informed the Board of Directors that she intends to leave the Foundation on February 9, 2024. The Board has announced that it has begun its search for a new President, and that Ellen V. Futter, former President of the American Museum of Natural History and of Barnard College, will serve as Markle’s Interim President.
“When I joined the Markle Foundation, my mission was to make a measurable impact on improving access to economic opportunities for millions of Americans,” said Cobert. “We’ve been able to accomplish that with the catalytic efforts of the Rework America Alliance (Alliance). Its influence will continue to grow with the recent transition of the Alliance to Jobs for the Future (JFF). With the move of our workforce initiative to JFF and Markle’s commitment to take on a new policy initiative, it is the ideal time for me to focus on a new path that continues my leadership on efforts to improve economic mobility. I’m so proud of and thankful to the Markle Foundation team, our partners, and the Markle Board for our work together over the years.”
During Cobert’s tenure, she helped create a strong national coalition of government, business, education and training, and non-profit stakeholders focused on transforming our country’s approach to skills development and access to career opportunities. Her legacy of building connections among these stakeholders, focusing on career coaching for workers, and creating practical tools to shift employers to skills-based practices and building capabilities in communities, are the concrete actions she enacted that will continue with JFF.
“On behalf of the Markle Board, I want to thank Beth for her enormous contributions and dedicated years of service to the Markle Foundation,” said Suzanne Nora Johnson, Board Chair. “Since she joined the Foundation in 2017, Beth has been instrumental in building a network of stakeholders across the private and public sector to expand Markle’s workforce development initiatives. Her barrier breaking efforts to transition the Alliance to JFF is a testament to her leadership and vision. It’s been a privilege to work with Beth and we know she will have continued success in her next endeavor.”
The Board has initiated a search to identify Markle’s new President and has launched a strategic review focused on Markle’s next chapter. Futter will join the Markle Foundation today, to ensure a smooth leadership transition and oversee the strategic review process with the Board.
Nora Johnson continued, “We are grateful that we will continue to benefit from Beth’s knowledge during the leadership transition, the expertise of Markle’s strong team, and from Ellen’s extensive experience and perspective throughout this process. As we move forward, consistent with Markle’s strong legacy, the Board is committed to providing leadership on an issue of critical national significance.”
Futter will be supported by the Markle Foundation leadership team, which includes Chief Finance and Administrative Officer Sharon Butler, and Chief Communications and Strategy Officer, Jana Mila Juginovic.
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About the Markle Foundation
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