New Carnegie Corporation Trustees

Carnegie Corporation of New York elected two new trustees of the foundation at its June 10 board meeting. The first is Ruth J. Simmons, president of Smith College and the first African American woman to head a top-ranked college or university in the United States. The second is William A. Owens, co-chief executive officer and vice chairman of Teledesic LLC, which is building a global broadband Internet-in-the-Sky satellite communications network. Each will serve a four-year term beginning October 14, 1999.

Ruth Simmons, an outstanding scholar of romance languages and literature and of the literature of francophone Africa and the Caribbean, has pursued a distinguished career in college and university teaching and administration. Prior to assuming the presidency of Smith College on July 1, 1995, she served three years as vice provost of Princeton University. She served in the administration at Princeton for seven years, from 1983 to 1990, when she became provost for two years at Atlanta's Spelman College.

Vartan Gregorian, Carnegie Corporation's president, said of Simmons' election, "I can think of no more appropriate appointment to Carnegie's board than Simmons, who has become one of the leading lights in academic administration and higher education generally. Her reputation for intellectual astuteness and independence of mind, together with her masterful achievements in scholarly research, teaching, and administration, will help us immeasurably as we consider ways to have a salutary effect on the course of precollege teaching and liberal arts education. We welcome her to the Corporation's board and to our program community."

Ruth Simmons graduated from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1967 and received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University in 1973, beginning her scholarly career with an interest in 19th-century and 20th-century French literature. She has been a member of the faculties of the University of New Orleans, California State University, Northridge, Spelman College, and Princeton University. As vice provost at Princeton University, she was invited by the president to review the state of race relations on the Princeton campus. Her report resulted in a number of initiatives that received widespread attention in the higher education community and general public.

She is the author of a book examining education in Haiti and has also written about the works of David Diop and Aime Cesaire.

At Teledesic, William A. Owens is responsible for refining and executing Teledesic's strategic partnering, business development, and financing strategies. Owens also serves as chairman and chief executive officer of affiliated Teledesic Holdings Ltd. Backed by telecommunications pioneer Craig McCaw and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Teledesic is the first licensed satellite communications network that will enable affordable, worldwide access to "fiber-like" telecommunications services such as computer networking, broadband Internet access and interactive multimedia.

Previously he was president, chief operating officer, and vice chairman of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the nation's largest employee-owned high-technology company. Prior to joining SAIC, Owens, an admiral, was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation's second-ranking military officer, with responsibility for reorganizing and restructuring the armed forces in the post-Cold War era. He is widely recognized for bringing commercial high technology into the U.S. Department of Defense and was the architect of the most significant change in the system of requirements for military systems since World War II. From 1991 to 1993 Owens was deputy chief of naval operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements and Assessments where he engineered new approaches to military planning and spurred the application of high-technology solutions for the Navy.

Gregorian, in commenting on Owens' election, said, "Bill Owens is a brilliant visionary and superb leader and team builder who will bring all the instruments of his extraordinary career to bear on our foundation's development in the coming years. We are exceedingly grateful that he has agreed to join us in shaping the Corporation's policies and programs and look forward to four fruitful years of collaboration."

Owens is a 1962 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, with a B.S. degree in mathematics. He also holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University as well as an M.A. in management from George Washington University. Beginning his naval career as a submariner, he commanded Submarine Squadron Four, the USS Sam Houston and the USS City of Corpus Christie. He later (1987) served as commander of the Submarine Group Six, the Navy's largest submarine group with 20 strategic ballistic missile submarines, 45 nuclear attack submarines, and more than 15,000 men and women.

In 1988, Owens became the director of the Office of Program Appraisal for the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. Between 1988 and 1991, Owens held the senior military position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving as senior military assistant to U.S. Secretaries of Defense Carlucci and Cheney. He served as commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in 1990 and 1991, a position that gave him responsibility for the operation and management of the Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Groups. He also had responsibility for all logistics and allied military diplomacy in the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas.

He is the author of more than 50 articles on national security and of the book, High Seas.

Commenting on the two appointments, Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the Corporation's board of trustees, welcomed Simmons and Owens and expressed his enthusiasm about these two outstanding trustees.

Carnegie Corporation of New York is a grantmaking foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. Its grant budget for fiscal year 1999 is $60 million. The current market value of its portfolio is $1.55 billion as of March 31, 1999.