The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a significant grantmaker in the field of child well-being and other areas, will have a new leader this spring.
The New York City-based charity founded by tobacco heiress Duke announced Monday that it hired Samsher (Sam) Singh Gill as president and CEO to succeed Ed Henry, who has served in that capacity since 2009. The foundation has $1.7 billion in assets.
Gill will assume his new duties in April after serving as senior vice president and chief program officer at the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation since 2015. The $2.4 billion Knight Foundation was founded by brothers who made their fortune in the newspaper business.
The foundation makes grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being. The child well-being program promotes children’s healthy development and seeks to protect kids from abuse and neglect.
It budgeted $12 million in grants in the child well-being area last year and paid out $120 million in that space between 1997 and 2019, including a $6 million investment in developing leadership in the well-being sector that began in 2019.
Grant recipients include the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children, the National Center for Youth Law and the American Society of Pediatrics. Federal infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci is vice chairman of the board.
Gill, who oversaw more than $100 million in annual grantmaking at Knight, will also serve as a member of the Duke Foundation board.
“Sam Gill is a smart and compassionate leader who has an impressive track record. His leadership trajectory has been marked by strong strategic acumen, clear and compelling communication skills and an ability to drive effective partnerships,” said Duke board Chairman William H. Wright II.
Gill said he was “honored by the opportunity to join the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and to follow in the footsteps of a peerless leader in Ed Henry. I look forward to working alongside this outstanding staff and distinguished board.”
Gill was raised in Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Chicago with honors and, as a Rhodes scholar, earned his master’s in philosophy from the University of Oxford’s New College.