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Dorothy S. Ridings to retire in 2005

Jan 31, 2005
President and CEO Dorothy S. Ridings announced her plans to retire from the Council on Foundations in 2005. She will continue to lead the Council until her successor has been named.

“My nine years at the Council have been enormously rewarding. Organized philanthropy is truly a success story, both in America and worldwide,” said Ridings. “It has been a pleasure to have helped it grow and flourish.”

Ridings, who is 65, came to the Council in 1996 from The Bradenton (Florida) Herald, where she had been publisher for eight years. She also held reporting and editing positions at newspapers in Charlotte, N.C.; Louisville, Ky.; and Washington, DC. She is a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates and a past president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. She has also served on the Board of Trustees at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary for 13 years, serving as its chair since 2000, a position she will continue to hold in her retirement.

The Council (www.cof.org) is an association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations that serves the public good by promoting and enhancing responsible and effective philanthropy. As President and CEO, Ridings has overseen service to the Council’s members in the areas of management, communications, educational programs, regulatory issues, and legislation. She was responsible for the grant-making area, including public accountability, self-regulation, value of charitable deduction, and opposition to efforts that would cut off participation of foundations and charities in developing public policy.

“Dot has led the Council and the field through a period of phenomenal growth and unprecedented challenges,” said Emmett D. Carson, president of The Minneapolis Foundation and chair of the Council’s Board of Directors. “She has helped build a field that is vibrant, cohesive, and committed, helping each of us become better communicators and more diligent stewards.”

Ridings leaves the Council having developed a new strategic plan, launched a $3 million initiative to help foundations strengthen their practices, put in place a new governance structure, and created a six-month budget reserve.

In her retirement, Ridings plans to renew her familiar ties with Louisville, Ky., by moving back to the city.


Reported by Laura Kujawski, December 13, 2004, in PNN Online: The nonprofit news and information resource.
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