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President’s note: A time for transition

By Steven M. Hilton, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, March 24, 2014

In 2013, I celebrated 30 years of service with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Reflecting on this time, I am humbled and inspired by the outstanding work of our grantees, partners, and peers, and by the extraordinary staff and board of the Foundation. I have decided the time has come for me to announce my retirement as President and CEO, so that another executive can take us to the next stage of our evolution.

Steven M. Hilton is the President, CEO, and Chairman of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The grandson of our founder, Conrad Hilton, he has led the Foundation since 1998.

In 2013, I celebrated 30 years of service with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Reflecting on this time, I am humbled and inspired by the outstanding work of our grantees, partners, and peers, and by the extraordinary staff and board of the Foundation.

I have decided the time has come for me to announce my retirement as President and CEO, so that another executive can take us to the next stage of our evolution. I hope to remain involved in this work by continuing my role as chairman of the Foundation board of directors.

We do not foresee significant changes in direction or funding in the near future, and we look forward to continuing to advance our strategies in tandem with grantees and others involved with our program areas.

When I joined the Hilton Foundation in 1983 as a program assistant, I couldn’t imagine the path that lay ahead. At that time, a handful of staff guided about $6 million in grants annually. Fast forward, and in 2012 we granted our billionth dollar since inception. Following that milestone, in 2013, we hired our 50th team member, settled into a new LEED Platinum campus, and awarded $92 million across several well-defined program areas.

On a personal level, carrying out the philanthropic legacy of my grandfather, Conrad Hilton, has given my life a deep sense of meaning and purpose. It is truly a blessing to see how the collective efforts of our team have improved the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people around the world. While I continue to love this work and deeply enjoy connecting with the bright and compassionate people on our staff and across our network of partners, I feel the time is right to start the next phase of my life.

It is my privilege to work with a passionately engaged board of directors who will continue to guide the Foundation into the future. They have accepted my resignation, which will take effect toward the end of 2015, and a board committee has retained executive search firm Spencer Stuart to help identify my successor.

Thank you for your years of friendship, interest in the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and commitment to making the world a better place.

I have been blessed to see firsthand the Foundation’s work to serve disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world. Pictured here is a site visit to one of our safe water projects in an Ethiopian village last year.

During the visit to Ethiopia in 2013, I had an opportunity to meet with a team drilling bore holes for a water well to serve the local village.

Steve and Lisa Hilton and Kobe and Vanessa Bryant

Last November, the Hilton Foundation team walked a 5k alongside a record crowd of more than 12,000 people who took a stand against homelessness. We also had an opportunity to meet with Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, two of Homewalk’s ambassadors.

I am honored to have presented 18 organizations with the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, an annual $1.5 million award to honor an extraordinary commitment to alleviating human suffering. The 2013 Prize went to ECPAT International, represented here by their CEO Dorothy Rozga. (October 2013)

I am delighted to have overseen the planning and completion of the initial construction of our LEED Platinum campus in Agoura Hills and the expansion of our wonderful team to more than 50 people.

It is my privilege to have worked with the passionately engaged people serving on our board of directors. Under their steady guidance, the Foundation will continue its mission well into the future.

It has been a privilege to carry out the legacy of my grandfather Conrad N. Hilton and my father Barron Hilton. I am proud of the foundation that bears my family’s name, and I look forward to its good work for many years to come.

Steven M. Hilton Twitter

Chairman of the Board

Steven M. Hilton Twitter

Chairman of the Board

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