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W.K. Kellogg Foundation names Rui Mesquita Cordeiro as director of Latin America and Caribbean programs

Rebecca Noricks, communications manager 
+1 269.969.2079 

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announces the selection of Mr. Rui Mesquita Cordeiro as the director of Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) programs.

In this role he will lead strategic programming initiatives in the region, managing a team based in the foundation’s Mexico City office. He will report to James McHale, vice president – program strategy.

“Rui has been a dedicated contributor to the Kellogg Foundation’s work for nearly a decade. He is an experienced and capable international leader and we are pleased he will continue to contribute to the Kellogg Foundation’s work to ensure that all children have opportunities to realize their full potential,” said McHale.

“The Kellogg Foundation has had a long-term historical commitment to Latin America and to the Caribbean, with important work in leadership building, health, agriculture, philanthropy, local development, children and youth and racial equity. This commitment continues in a long-term, place-based strategy in Mexico and Haiti where we are striving to help create new conditions for social justice and development,” said Rui.

Over the past 10 years, Rui has held several positions at the foundation. From June 2003 to August 2005, he served as a consultant for WKKF work in Brazil. He joined the foundation’s staff in February 2007 as a program associate and was promoted to program officer for Brazil in 2010, leading the foundation’s program efforts there in racial equity and social inclusion. Since August 2012, he served as interim director of LAC programs.

Born in Fortaleza, Brazil, Rui is a passionate promoter of civil society and an experienced development professional. His areas of expertise in program development include children and youth issues, entrepreneurship, institutional development of nongovernmental organizations, local development, policymaking and social control of public policies, participation for social justice, racial equity and international cooperation. As an academic researcher and consultant, he has worked in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, France, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Australia.

Over the course of his professional career, he has served as executive staff, consultant and board member for several organizations, including: Volunteer Center of Recife, Casa de Passagem, the Social Development Academy Institute, the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation, Oxfam Australia, UNOY Peacemakers and the Brazilian National Youth Council (representing GIFE – the Brazilian Group of Institutes, Foundations and Business).

Rui holds a master’s degree in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague, Netherlands; a bachelor’s degree in administration from Pernambuco State University at Recife, Brazil; and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo. He is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish and speaks some French.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation 
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. 

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.

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