A New Generation of Leadership
As the Fund moved into the 2000s, the “cousins,” or fourth generation of the Rockefeller family, began to welcome the fifth generation of family members onto the board. Fourth-generation member Richard G. Rockefeller assumed the chairmanship of the board in 2006. He succeeded his cousin, Steven Rockefeller, who had served as chair since 1998. Richard Rockefeller served through 2013. He was a physician, President of the Health Commons Institute, and a faculty member at the University of Vermont Medical Schools; he died in a plane crash in 2014. Current RBF chairperson Valerie Rockefeller became chair in 2013. She is a former special education teacher and advocate for charter schools. She is the second woman to chair the board and the first member of the fifth generation to do so. She is also the youngest trustee yet elected to the position. Valerie has been instrumental in leading the Fund in divesting its endowment holdings from fossil fuel companies.