David Rockefeller Retires

David Rockefeller, the youngest of the founding trustees, served as the Fund’s chairman beginning in 1980, and would be the last founding trustee to lead the Fund. He succeeded his brother Laurance, who had held the post for over 20 years. During his tenure, David was instrumental in launching the Fund’s entry into agriculture work in Poland, which helped enable its broader work in Central and Eastern Europe. He facilitated the transfer of leadership to the cousins’ generation by appointing a 1983 program review committee chaired by his son, David Rockefeller, Jr., and granting it complete freedom to reshape the Fund’s programmatic approaches. David’s 1987 retirement marked the departure of the brothers’ generation from direct leadership of the Fund, although he served as an advisory trustee from his retirement until his death in 2017.


Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center.

David Rockefeller in front of Rockefeller Center in New York City, date unknown.

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