New Board Leadership
In 1992, Abby M. O’Neill succeeded David Rockefeller, Jr., as chair of the board of trustees, becoming the second chairperson drawn from the “cousins,” or fourth generation, and the first woman to serve in this capacity at the RBF. The daughter of Abby “Babs” Rockefeller Mauzé, Mrs. O’Neill is the eldest of the cousins and was the first to join the RBF board in 1958. During her tenure as chair, the Fund opened its Pocantico Conference Center, increased its engagement with Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa, and the New York City public education system, and shifted the focus of its international work from security to global interdependence. In 1998, Steven C. Rockefeller succeeded Abby O’Neill. He led the Fund into the 2000s, including the 1999 merger with the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, the hiring of a new president, Stephen Heintz, in 2000, and the 2003 redesign of the RBF program architecture. Steven is professor emeritus of religion at Middlebury College, where he also served as dean of the College. He has been actively involved in the Earth Charter Initiative since 1996, a worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue seeking to articulate shared values that provide an ethical framework for the global community. He remains an RBF trustee in 2015.