David Rockefeller Fund announces Lourdes J. Rodríguez, DrPH as Chief Executive Officer

National public health leader brings 20 years of experience with community organizing, population-level interventions, and philanthropy.

Posted: Sep 21, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - September 21, 2022 - Following an extensive national search, the David Rockefeller Fund’s Board of Directors is please to announce Lourdes J. Rodríguez, DrPH as the family foundation’s next Chief Executive Officer.

I am excited about this opportunity to join the David Rockefeller Fund. The DR Fund can use its reputational capital and networks to facilitate conversations about how to solve the global climate crises, address the unjust criminal justice system, and unleash the acts of creation that are intrinsic to the arts. We are ideally situated to do this as part of our organizational journey; this is the next logical step to the work and one that must be handled with gentleness, humility, and bravery. I will work alongside the Board, family, staff, and grantees so that solutions might emerge from that space of deep and broad reflection.

Lourdes J. Rodríguez

Her appointment comes at an important moment in the evolution of the David Rockefeller Fund. There is a natural generational evolution taking place, with a majority of the family seats on the Board occupied by the founders’ grandchildren, their spouses/partners, and an increasing number of non-family Board members.

In entering this position, Dr. Rodríguez will play a crucial role in examining the socioeconomic systems that have traditionally provided the underpinnings of formal philanthropy — exploring how issues of power and equity overlap with philanthropic practice while also actively defining and building new models for the foundation to be more just and inclusive.

Dr. Rodríguez previously served as a senior program officer with Austin, Texas based St. David’s Foundation, one of the country’s largest health foundations, investing more than $80 million annually across Central Texas. Specifically, Dr. Rodríguez’s work has centered on creating the community conditions needed to reverse poor maternal mortality and morbidity outcomes.

While Lourdes’ departure from St. David’s Foundation is bittersweet, we are inspired by the profound impact she has had in our Central Texas as a perinatal safe zone and centering women of color. On behalf of the entire Foundation, we are excited for her next chapter with the David Rockefeller Fund and the visionary work she will lead.

Edward B. Burger, President & CEO, St. David’s Foundation

Prior to joining St. David’s Foundation, Dr. Rodríguez served as Associate Professor and Director of Community-Driven Initiatives at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin and as a part of the leadership team and community engagement committee for the Planet Texas 2050 grand challenge.

She also worked as Program Officer at the New York State Health Foundation, co-directed the Urbanism and the Built Environment track in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University, and also earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of the Connecticut and her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

Given the population-level traumas created by issues like the climate crisis and the U.S. system of mass incarceration, we are especially eager to have Lourdes’ perspective on collective recovery and community wellness. Her work on public health brings an important new lens to our work at the Fund.

Camilla Rockefeller, Chair of the Search Committee

The search was conducted by Sandi Haynes, who worked alongside the Fund's Board of Directors, Jamie Bennett, Mindy Thompson Fullilove, M.D., Michael Quattrone, Camilla Rockefeller, and Clay Rockefeller, as well as Lexi Fisher, the Chief Operating Officer, who previously served as an interim CEO.