Following a broad search for the next president and chief executive officer of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, I am pleased to announce that the board of directors has selected Peter Laugharn as my successor, effective January 1, 2016.
Peter is an accomplished leader with substantial international experience and a focus on improving the well-being of vulnerable children. He has a distinguished 25-year career in the foundation and nonprofit arena, most recently with Firelight Foundation, a Hilton Foundation grantee, where he served as executive director from 2008 to 2014. Prior to Firelight, Peter served as director of programs and then, for six years, as executive director of the Netherlands-based Bernard van Leer Foundation. Peter began his career at Save the Children, where he worked for 11 years in a variety of roles and countries in Africa.
A graduate of Stanford and Georgetown Universities, Peter holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of London. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 1982 to 1984. Peter was a co-founder of the International Education Funders Group and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS, and he is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. You can view Peter’s bio here.
Peter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Marie, whose life experiences have enriched and guided his own. Marie, who is from Rwanda, worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for 10 years in Mali, Kenya, Central African Republic, and Rwanda, where she managed projects on HIV/AIDS, governance, elections, and peace-building. While they lived in the Netherlands, Marie worked as a Political Affairs Officer at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at The Hague. In California, she has served on the Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission and the county grand jury, with a focus on the criminal justice system. Marie has been an adjunct faculty member at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. Peter and Marie have three children, Marc (18), and Kate and Lily (14-year-old twins).
Peter’s strong academic credentials, executive qualifications, extensive international experience, and lifelong commitment to serving communities and people in need make him an ideal leader to guide the Hilton Foundation through the next stage of our evolution.
Our board and staff team look forward to welcoming Peter in his new role at the start of next year, and to working with him this fall to prepare for a smooth transition. We also look forward to introducing Peter to all of our partners and to working with you to make the world a better place.