Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis To Step Down In March
Mellon Foundation President Earl Lewis will step down in March 2018 after five productive years at the helm.
At the completion of his five-year term, Lewis will return to the academy, and launch a new initiative, The Center for Social Solutions, to focus efforts on three core areas of concern — race and diversity; water; and the future of work. He expects to announce more details in the new year.
Widely respected, Lewis has been an important leader for issues the Foundation cares about. During his tenure, the Foundation made grants totaling more than $1.2 billion as he spearheaded the implementation of the first strategic plan, reshaped key program areas, and expanded the number and types of grantees supported. He also launched a range of important initiatives, including the Mellon Research Forum and the Our Compelling Interests book series and initiative, which investigates how diversity and social connectedness are imperative to our shared success and a broader sense of prosperity. This initiative, which he will continue to co-lead with Nancy Cantor, will anchor the work of the proposed new center and be supported by the Foundation.
Lewis became the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s sixth President in March 2013. Prior to joining The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lewis served as a Trustee of the Foundation and as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. A noted social historian, Lewis has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley (1984–89), and the University of Michigan (1989–2004). A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and author or editor of several books, he has championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities.
As President, Lewis has provided dedicated service to the mission of the Foundation advancing the causes of the arts, humanities, higher education, and diversity with determination and imagination. The Foundation looks forward to celebrating Lewis’ legacy and his many contributions to the Foundation in March. The Board will be initiating a search for Lewis’ successor.