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The Kresge Foundation Welcomes Elaine Rosen as Board of Trustees Chair

General Foundation News

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – The Kresge Foundation has selected Elaine D. Rosen, CLU, as the Chair of its Board of Trustees, a distinction shared by eight people over the course of the Foundation’s 83-year history. A Trustee of the Foundation since 2003, she most recently served as Co-Chair of the Search Committee, which led to the hiring of Rip Rapson as the Kresge President and CEO. Rosen assumed her new leadership role on January 1st.

“This is an exciting time to lead The Kresge Foundation,” said Rosen. “I thank Irene Hirano, my predecessor as Board Chair, for an outstanding term of service. It has been marked by a disciplined assessment of the strengths and limitations of our grantmaking program, by thoughtful and steady stewardship during a leadership transition, and by heightened attention to philanthropic accountability. The Foundation is exploring ways in which we can even more effectively strengthen the capitalization of nonprofits, none of which would have been possible without the successes of recent years.”

Rosen’s career has included leadership within the Unum Corporation, as that organization’s Executive Vice President, as well as Director and then President of the Unum Life Insurance Company of America, the corporation’s largest affiliate. She also served as Director of Unum Limited in Dorking, England. Rosen joined Unum in 1975 and left in March 2001 after the organization merged with Provident Company. During the 14-month transition period, she served as Executive Vice President and Special Advisor.

More recently, Rosen has chaired a multi-million dollar capital campaign for Preble Street Resource Center, a collaborative for the homeless and low-income community in Portland, Maine. In addition to her service with The Kresge Foundation, Rosen has held various nonprofit leadership positions, including past Chair of United Way Foundation of Greater Portland, Vice Chair of the University of Southern Maine Foundation, Vice Chair of the Preble Street Resource Center, and President of Temple Beth El in Portland, Maine.

Rosen received the Junior Achievement Maine Business Hall of Fame Laureate (2003), the International Chapter of the Hadassah Woman of Distinction Award (2002), the University of New England Deborah Morton Society Award for Business and Community Leadership (1998), the Mary Rines Thompson Award for Civic Leadership (1994), the United Way of America Spirit of America Award (1993) and the inaugural YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry Award (1997).

She is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, and received her CLU designation from the American College in 1982.

Irene Y. Hirano, whom Rosen succeeds as Chair of The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees, began her official leadership of the Foundation in 2003 after two years of service as a member. Hirano is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, a position she has held since 1988. She is also Chair of the American Association of Museums.

The Kresge Foundation was established by Sebastian S. Kresge in 1924 to promote human progress. Headquartered just north of Detroit, Michigan, it has 2006 year-end assets of $3.3 billion and awarded more than $150 million in grants in 2006 to organizations in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, and Mexico.