Kyle Peterson stepping down as executive director of Walton Family Foundation

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 3,160 views 

The Walton Family Foundation announced Wednesday (Jan. 30) that executive director Kyle Peterson will be leaving the mammoth nonprofit this summer.

The Bentonville-based foundation was created in 1987 and is led by the descendants of founders Sam and Helen Walton. Carrie Walton Penner, who is their granddaughter, is the board chair.

In an emailed message signed by Penner, she explained that Peterson’s decision comes “with great disappointment” but praised his work and leadership.

“We are appreciative that he is willing to stay during the next six months to help with the transition,” Penner said in the note.

Peterson was hired in June 2016 to replace Buddy Philpot. He was a previously a managing partner and board member of FSG (formerly Foundation Strategy Group), a Boston-based nonprofit consulting firm that serves the social sector.

A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone, Kyle holds an MBA and MPA from the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business and Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a B.A. in international studies from American University, according to his online bio.

“As many of you know, Kyle came to the foundation with a background in philanthropic strategy and with the goal of helping strengthen our philanthropic infrastructure,” Penner wrote. “He focused on an agenda to help steer our work to an even more successful era. And in our time together, he has done just that.

“With his mission accomplished within the three years that Kyle envisioned, we understand his decision and are grateful to him for his leadership and the critical role he has played through WFF. He brought fresh thinking that has built upon the bedrock values that drive our work.”

To read the entire note, click here.

According to its most recent annual report issued in June 2018, the foundation has given more $6.2 billion in grants over the past 30 years to 6,297 recipients.