Winrock International’s Board of Directors announced that Rodney Ferguson will become the organization’s new President and CEO on April 1, succeeding Frank Tugwell, who is retiring after leading Winrock for more than 14 years.
Ferguson, currently a principal with Lipman Hearne, Inc., in Washington, D.C., will be responsible for the strategic, programmatic, financial and management operations of Winrock International.
Winrock has implemented projects in more than 70 countries and throughout the U.S. in its mission to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Ferguson will lead a global staff of more than 1,100 with a continued commitment to sustainable development and innovation.
“After an extensive search, we are truly delighted that Rodney Ferguson will join us as the next President and CEO of Winrock International,” said Board Chair Betsy Campbell. “We believe that his experience developing effective organizational strategies for increased impact will complement our strong technical staff at Winrock. Rodney’s commitment to personal and institutional integrity reflects the longstanding and unwavering pursuit of organizational excellence and environmental sustainability found in many of the organizations with roots in the Rockefeller family’s philanthropic tradition.”
For the past 20 years, Ferguson has worked as one of the country’s leading consultants on communications and strategy for the nonprofit sector. He began his career as a journalist, working in the Washington bureaus of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer and The Wall Street Journal.
He later started the Washington office of Lipman Hearne, the largest marketing and communications firm in the U.S. that exclusively serves the nonprofit sector. At Lipman Hearne, Ferguson worked closely with the MacArthur Foundation to increase awareness of its signature program, the MacArthur Fellows — aka “genius” — awards, and assisted in the Foundation’s efforts to prohibit the execution of minors.
Ferguson also worked with other major foundations, service providers, and philanthropic organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Children’s Medical Center. He has worked with dozens of colleges and universities, including the State University of New York (SUNY), Seton Hall University, and the American Council on Education (ACE), as well as assisting with international aid and development projects, including projects in Iraq, Slovenia and Qatar.
Ferguson is a graduate of Birmingham Southern College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He attended the University of St. Andrews in Scotland as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar, and graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s in public policy. He has served on a number of boards, including the D.C. Advisory Board for Teach for America and the Education Writers Association, the membership association for education journalists and broadcasters.
Winrock International is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.