Matthew J. Hart, Beverly Hilton-Neapolitan, Caitlin Hilton and Louise Nelson Are Elected to Join the 11-Person Board
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation today announced the election of four new members to its board of directors. Matthew J. Hart, Beverly Hilton-Neapolitan, Caitlin Hilton and Louise Nelson all of whom began their board service for the $7 billion private foundation on Jan. 1, 2024. The announcement of the four directors follows the recent announcement of Linda Hilton’s election as board chair and Justin McAuliffe as vice-chair.
“I am delighted to welcome four new directors to the board, each of whom brings a wealth of knowledge, unique contributions to the important governance role the board plays in the stewardship of our mission and supporting the intent of our donors,” said Linda Hilton, chair of the board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “As a family foundation, having Hilton family members on the board is essential in helping to carry on the philanthropic legacy of the foundation my grandfather established in 1944. Equally critical is identifying individuals with professional expertise and perspective to advance the Foundation’s mission.”
The board of directors at the Hilton Foundation is made up of a majority of Hilton family members. All directors are selected through an interview process led by the Nominating committee and are elected to the board based on their unique skills and contributions. The Foundation’s board oversees the vision, mission and strategic direction of the Foundation to ensure that the philanthropic intentions of its donors Conrad N. Hilton and Barron Hilton are realized.
The new board members, two Hilton family members and two non-family members, bring an array of personal interests and professional expertise to the Foundation’s board of directors.
Matthew J. Hart has had a distinguished career of leadership in finance and governance positions for some of the top public companies and nonprofits in the United States. Hart joined Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1996 as chief financial officer and later served as president and chief operating officer for the global hotel brand, where he remained until 2007. During his time at Hilton Hotels, Hart was responsible for all operational aspects of Hilton Hotels, including owned and managed hotel operations, franchising and brand development. Prior to joining Hilton in 1996, Hart was senior vice president and treasurer for the Walt Disney Company, where he was responsible for the company’s corporate and project financing activities.
Hart is currently chairman of the board for AMH (formerly American Homes 4 Rent) and is on the board of directors of American Airlines and Air Lease Corporation. He is also a board member and past chairman of Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica-based environmental organization. Hart graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University and received a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.
“It is a true honor to be joining the board of directors at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” said Matthew J. Hart. “Throughout my career in hospitality, I always had a great deal of admiration for the contributions the Hilton family has made in the hospitality industry for more than 100 years. Even more inspiring has been the philanthropic spirit modeled by Conrad N. Hilton, and continues generation after generation through the work of the Hilton Foundation.”
Beverly Hilton-Neapolitan, a granddaughter of Conrad N. Hilton, previously served as a board intern in 2019 and 2022. She has been a member of the Foundation’s Generations in Giving program since 2007, where she served as chair of the advisory council for that program from 2022-2023, and was recently appointed as chair of the Generations in Giving committee. She also serves on the Talent & Compensation committee.
Hilton-Neapolitan began her career in hospitality working for Hilton Hotels in 1973, where she held several positions in hotel operations at the world-famous Beverly Hilton. In 1980, she entered the Hilton Professional Development Program at the Statler and Mockingbird Hiltons in Dallas, Texas. Upon completing the program, she transitioned to a new role at the Las Vegas Hilton, where her career expanded to a managerial capacity. Her operations experience and knowledge led her to developing the Hilton Towers training program for all Hilton Hotels with a Concierge level.
Hilton-Neapolitan enjoys volunteering with the SPCA and Humane Society and serves on the advisory committee for Options Veterinary Care, an organization that provides low-cost veterinary care to pet owners in Northern Nevada.
“I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to join the board of directors for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” said Beverly Hilton-Neapolitan. “My father Eric Hilton served on the board of directors for the foundation bearing his father’s name for 45 years until his death in 2016. This role brought him great joy, and I am honored to play a role in carrying out the wishes and vision of my grandfather.”
Caitlin Hilton is a great-granddaughter of Conrad N. Hilton, and the second of the fourth-generation direct descendants of Conrad N. Hilton to join the board of directors. She has been a member of the Foundation’s Generations in Giving program since 2009, and served as an intern for the board of directors from 2017-2018. She serves on the Audit & Risk as well as the Hilton Humanitarian Prize committees.
Caitlin brings to the board expertise in international law in her current role as business immigration attorney with Ogletree Deakins and is based in Austin, Texas, where she supports corporations in the retention of foreign national workers in the U.S. through professional visa sponsorship. Hilton earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Houston and a juris doctorate from South Texas College of Law, Houston, and she has worked on humanitarian immigration matters, including asylum and representation of individuals detained in Immigration Detention Centers in the greater Houston area, and assisted individuals with permanent residence applications under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with the South Texas College of Law Immigration Clinic.
“I have always been inspired by the mission and work of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, including the work we are doing within refugee communities,” said Caitlin Hilton. “My passion for humanitarian work has led me to practice immigration law, supporting individuals seeking asylum and visa sponsorship. I am excited to have the chance to bring this expertise into my new role on the board of directors, and to honor the legacy of my great-grandfather, Conrad N. Hilton.”
Louise Nelson is general counsel and head of environmental, social and governance for April Housing, a Blackstone Real Estate portfolio company committed to the creation and preservation of high-quality affordable housing in the U.S. Prior to this role, Nelson served as vice chancellor, Legal Affairs for the University of California, Los Angeles where she oversaw legal affairs across the university’s administrative functions and schools, as well as UCLA Health. Nelson was a member of both the Chancellor’s Cabinet and the UC System General Counsel’s systemwide leadership team. Previously, Nelson served in a variety of senior legal roles at Hilton Hotels, where, as a member of the company’s Senior Leadership Team, Nelson led global teams focused on mitigating business compliance risk across highly complex, multi-jurisdictional legal frameworks.
Nelson currently serves on the board for Travel Sentry, a company that creates standards to solve issues for airlines, airports, security agencies and passengers, as well as the board for New Village Academy, a college preparatory charter school for girls who have not been successfully served in traditional public schools. Nelson is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine where she received a Bachelor of Arts in History with High Honors, and received a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.
“I am thrilled to be joining the board of directors at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation,” said Louise Nelson. “It is rare to find an opportunity where one’s personal and professional passions intersect, and I am humbled and honored to have this opportunity to contribute to the philanthropic visions of Conrad N. Hilton and Barron Hilton, and the mission of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.”
The Hilton Foundation was established in 1944 as a private, independent organization by Conrad N. Hilton, the man who started Hilton Hotels. The Foundation provides funds to nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage throughout the world.
The full roster of Hilton Foundation’s board of directors can be found here.