Janet Robinson is New Chair of Carnegie Corporation Board; Kurt Schmoke is New Vice Chair

The Honorable Ann Claire Williams and John S. Hendricks Join Board  

Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced that Janet Robinson, former President and CEO of The New York Times Company, has agreed to serve a one-year term as Board Chair and Kurt Schmoke, Dean of Howard University Law School and former Mayor of Baltimore, has agreed to serve as Vice Chair.  

Thomas H. Kean, former Governor of New Jersey and current Chair, having completed his second four-year term of Board service, will serve as an Honorary Trustee for one year. Responding to the Board’s unanimous request, Governor Kean has agreed to stand for re-election as Board Chair in December 2012.  Richard W. Riley, former Governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Secretary of Education, having completed his term as Vice Chair and eight years of trusteeship, is stepping down from the Board. 

The Honorable Ann Claire Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the Seventh Circuit, and John S. Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of Discovery Communications, have been elected to the Corporation’s Board of Trustees.   

Commenting on the election of the Honorable Ann Claire Williams, Susan Hockfield, President of M.I.T. and Chair of the Board’s Committee on Trustees, said, “Judge Ann Claire Williams, who began her career as a third grade teacher in Detroit, Michigan, is a life-long educator and an exceptional and devoted public servant who has worked to expand opportunities for minorities and women, issues that resonate with Carnegie Corporation’s grantmaking priorities. Further, in view of the Corporation’s decade-long investment in the transformation of African universities and libraries, we are delighted to note that Judge Williams brings considerable international expertise to the Board, having served as a leader of delegations to Kenya and Ghana, and as a member of an international training delegation to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.”  

About John Hendricks’ election, President Hockfield said, “In an age in which media organizations often shy away from complex subjects, Discovery’s programming has succeeded in large part because John Hendricks never underestimates the intelligence of his viewers.  He dares to present difficult-to-understand scientific subjects in compelling ways that challenge viewers.”   

Governor Kean added, “Judge Ann Claire Williams and John Hendricks are outstanding leaders whose extraordinary accomplishments and passion for advancing mankind’s well-being will be tremendous assets to Carnegie Corporation as we continue to address some of this country’s—and the world’s—most complex challenges.”  

Governor Kean also commented on the new Chair and Vice Chair, saying, “I am delighted that Janet Robinson and Kurt Schmoke have accepted leadership positions on the Corporation’s Board. They are individuals of great insight and vision who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to the work of our foundation.  With Janet and Kurt at the helm, the Corporation will remain focused on the future and emboldened to take on the most difficult challenges.” 

“We are honored that Judge Ann Claire Williams and John Hendricks have agreed to serve on our Board of Trustees,” said Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian.  “In the realms of education and scientific progress, Judge Williams and Mr. Hendricks both embody a rare combination of knowledge, integrity and experience.  Their addition to the Board builds upon the Corporation’s commitment to opportunity in the advancement of science and math education, and to the promotion of international understanding and peace.”   

Commenting on Governor Kean’s Board service and his willingness to stand for re-election, Gregorian said, “The Board of Trustees extends deep gratitude to Governor Kean for his eight years of leadership, devotion to the Corporation’s vision, and his generosity—once again—in taking on demanding and important Board responsibilities.” 

Judge Williams’ many accomplishments include co-founding Minority Legal Education Resources, which has helped more than 4,000 lawyers pass the Illinois bar at a rate that equals or exceeds the annual passage rate. She also helped to create the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago, which supports African American women in the legal profession and she co-founded the Just the Beginning Foundation, which encourages students of color and other underrepresented groups to pursue legal careers. 

Ann Claire Williams was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan.  In 1999, she was appointed to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Bill Clinton, making her the first African American ever appointed to the Seventh Circuit and the third African American woman to serve on any United States Court of Appeals.   

As the Founder and Chairman of Discovery Communications, John Hendricks created the Discovery Channel as the first cable network in the U.S. designed to provide high-quality documentary programming that helps people to both explore and learn about the world around them.  Discovery Communications, the Channel’s parent company, now encompasses 28 entertainment brands including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery and Discovery Education. 

Mr. Hendricks is the first corporate leader to receive the National Education Association's Friend of Education award for “innovations in education and technology and greatly expanding educational opportunity for America's schoolchildren.”  John Hendricks is also Chairman of the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, a nonprofit dedicated to using the power of television to improve lives in underserved areas around the world.  He serves on the Board of Directors of a number of nonprofit organizations including the United States Olympic Committee and the National Forest Foundation. 

About Carnegie Corporation of New York 


Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strengthening of our democracy.