One of Dallas’ most esteemed, well-known leaders in education, Dr. Michael Sorrell, has been chosen as the next chair of The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors. He succeeds Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, who has served as chair since 2019.
The Dallas Foundation, which bills itself as the first community foundation in Texas, unites people, ideas, and investments in the greater Dallas area so they can “reach their full potential.”
Think of what the foundation does like a keystone: It connects donors to causes they care about. Since founding in 1929, The Dallas Foundation has been dedicated to helping those donors create charitable funds that provide nonprofits with the resources needed to serve.
Since 2019, the foundation, in partnership with its more than 400 fundholders, has invested more than $70 million into the community. It will be Dr. Sorrell’s job to lead the next chapter of giving.
“The Dallas Foundation is thrilled to have Michael lead our next era of impact as we work to reduce intergenerational poverty and make Dallas a brighter and more equitable community,” Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation, said in a statement. “Michael brings a distinguished track record of success on issues facing Dallas and we look forward to his thought partnership and board leadership as we build a community where everyone can thrive.”
As the longest-serving president in Paul Quinn College’s 147-year history, Dr. Sorrell is lauded as a local changemaker. PQC, located in Southern Dallas, assists students in gaining access to jobs, housing, and college loan assistance through its Urban Work Model program.
And it’s gained national attention for doing so—under Dr. Sorrell’s leadership since 2007, the institution has become recognized as one of the most innovative colleges in the country, renowned for its efforts to remake higher education to serve the needs of under-resourced students.
Sorrell himself has earned numerous awards, even getting ranked on Fortune magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2018. (You can deep dive into his work at PQC in a recent profile from our sister publication, D CEO, here.)
As for his work with The Dallas Foundation, Dr. Sorrell began his tenure on the Board of Governors in 2015, and is an active member of its Community Philanthropy Committee. In the new role as board chair, he will helm a 16-member group, build on a strategic plan born in 2019, and oversee the governance of the Foundation’s funds.
“Reducing intergenerational poverty by investing in the earliest years of a child’s life will yield dividends for future generations and ensure that Dallas becomes an opportunity rich community for all of our neighbors,” Dr. Sorrell said in a statement. “This is important work and I am honored to serve as chair of The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors as we focus on one of the most pressing issues facing our community today.”
The current members of The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors include: Lyda Addy (Community Volunteer); Steffan Fuchs (McKinsey & Company); Chris Luna (T-Mobile US, Inc.); S. Todd Maclin (Maclin Management); Clint V. McDonnough, secretary (Community Volunteer); Mark Okada (Sycamore Tree Capital Partners); Elizabeth Carlock Phillips (The Phillips Foundation); Trever R. Rees-Jones (Rees-Jones Holdings); Catherine M. Rose (Community Volunteer); Lizzie H. Routman (Community Volunteer); Amber Scanlan (PNC Bank); Jeremy Smith (Rainwater Charitable Foundation); Mary Suhm (Community Volunteer); Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt, immediate past chair (Community Volunteer); and Patsy Woods Martin (Community Volunteer).
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