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WKKF announces departure of Dr. Gail C. Christopher

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) today announced the departure of Dr. Gail C. Christopher, senior advisor and vice president for TRHT, effective Aug. 31, 2017.

After a decade of executive leadership, Christopher has decided to exercise her option for retirement from the foundation and devote her creative energy to writing, speaking and developing the Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature in Maryland. Christopher founded the Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature to honor the memory of her firstborn child who died in infancy.

“It has been an honor to serve the mission of the Kellogg Foundation, which is committed to the health and well-being of all children,” said Christopher, having served ten years as an officer of the foundation.  “I will truly miss all the wonderful people I’ve engaged with through the foundation, although given racial healing is my life’s work, I will continue to champion the work of the TRHT.”  

Throughout her WKKF career, Christopher has provided leadership and expertise on the foundation’s commitment to racial healing and racial equity. She was the visionary for the foundation’s America Healing initiative and has been the architect for the foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) effort, for which WKKF leadership remains fully committed to its successful implementation.

Since joining the foundation in 2007, Christopher has served as vice president for program strategy with responsibility for multiple areas of programming, including Racial Equity; Food, Health & Well-Being; Public Policy; Community Engagement and Leadership; and the foundation’s place-based programs in New Mexico.

“We have been privileged to have Gail’s vision and leadership conceiving our racial healing and racial equity vision for the past ten years,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO. “I am deeply appreciative of Gail’s contributions to the foundation and to the field, and wish her continued success with her Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature.”

Christopher is a nationally-recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise in social determinants of health, health inequities and health policy. Her numerous awards include Honorary Fellow for the Society for Public Health Education, Change Agent Award by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, John C. MacQueen Lecture Award for leadership and innovation from the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Terrance Keenan Award for Grantmakers in Health, Leadership Award from the Health Brain Trust of the Congressional Black Caucus for her work in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, she is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and chair of the board for Trust for America’s Health.

She has more than 30 years of experience in designing and managing national initiatives and nonprofit organizations. She is the author and co-author of three books, a monthly column in the Federal Times, a regular columnist for Huffington Post and more than 250 articles, presentations and publications.

Prior to joining the foundation, Christopher was vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Office of Health, Women and Families in Washington, D.C. She led the Joint Center Health Policy Institute, a multi-year initiative created to engage underserved, racial and ethnic minorities in health policy discussions. Previously, she was guest scholar in the governance studies department at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and executive director of the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 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, Michigan, 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.

To learn more, follow WKKF on Twitter at @wk_kellogg_fdn.

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