Contact: Lucas Held
Director of Communications
The Wallace Foundation
NEW YORK, N.Y., March 25, 2011 – The Wallace Foundation’s Board of Directors today announced the appointment of William I. Miller, a business leader and philanthropist, as president, effective July 1. He succeeds M. Christine DeVita, who a year ago announced plans to retire in June.
“We are pleased that Will Miller will join Wallace. He has extensive corporate and philanthropic experience and is a proven leader and strategist. He has a keen appreciation of and an enthusiasm for Wallace’s mission,” said Kevin W. Kennedy, chairman of Wallace’s board. “We thank Christine DeVita for her extraordinary and selfless leadership for the past 24 years. She has successfully transformed a collection of small family foundations that were the philanthropic legacy of DeWitt and Lila Wallace into one of the country’s largest national foundations.”
Miller is chairman of Irwin Management Co., a privately-owned investment firm in Columbus, Indiana. From 1990 to 2009, he was chairman and CEO of Irwin Financial Corp., a financial services company, and from 1983-1990 he was president and CEO of Irwin Management Co., where he was general partner in a venture capital fund, and chaired a real estate development firm. He began his business career by spending a year as a section manager in an engine assembly plant of Cummins, Inc., and two years as an associate at Warburg Pincus LLC of New York, N.Y.
“At a time of heightened uncertainty and increasing globalization, it is crucial for the future of our society that all children have access to a sound education and a variety of informal learning opportunities, including the arts. Education lays the foundation for an individual’s ability to improve his or her life, participate in civil society and innovate, while the arts play a vital role in our search for meaning,” said Miller. “I am delighted to have the opportunity, working with the excellent board and staff of The Wallace Foundation, to build on its legacy of an inquiry-based philanthropic approach to developing, testing and sharing innovative ideas that can help us make progress toward this goal.”
Miller also brings significant civic and philanthropic experience. He is on the boards of both the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Yale University. He is a past board chair of Public Radio International. He is a founding member of the Community Education Coalition of Columbus, a regional partnership of school superintendents, community college leaders, the business community and others that received $38 million from The Lilly Endowment to implement EcO15, an innovative initiative focusing on education and careers in advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality/tourism for 10 counties in southeastern Indiana. He has served as a co-chair of the Central Indiana Partnership, a coalition of regional CEOs and university presidents, and with Columbus’ mayor co-chaired Vision 20-20, a major civic investment initiative focused on rebuilding the city’s center. In the 1980s, he chaired the Columbus Indiana Economic Development Board, which successfully recruited a number of Japanese manufacturing companies to Indiana. He also is on the board of Cummins, Inc. and three mutual funds managed by Capital Research & Management. He earned a B.A. in English from Yale University in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Stanford University in 1981.
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for children. The Foundation maintains an online library of lessons at www.wallacefoundation.org about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening educational leadership to improve student achievement; helping disadvantaged students gain more time for learning through summer learning and an extended school day and year; enhancing out-of-school time opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.