-- Former CEO of Firelight Foundation, Laugharn deemed a "perfect fit" to lead Foundation
AGOURA HILLS, California, May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which has awarded $1 billion in grants in the U.S. and around the world to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people, today named Peter Laugharn its incoming President and CEO, effective January 1, 2016. Laugharn has 25 years of foundation and nonprofit experience internationally, focusing on improving the wellbeing of vulnerable children. He most recently served as executive director of the Firelight Foundation, a Hilton Foundation grantee. "I am truly excited to join an organization that I have long admired for its accomplishments both domestically and internationally," said Peter Laugharn, incoming President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. "I am deeply committed to the Foundation's mission to help disadvantaged people throughout the world, and to the values that guide this important work."
Laugharn brings deep international experience to his new position. As Executive Director of the Firelight Foundation, he led efforts to identify, fund, and support promising African nonprofits serving vulnerable children and families in the areas of education, resilience, and health. Prior to that, he served as Director of Programs and then Executive Director of the Netherlands-based Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), a private foundation that works to improve opportunities for children who are growing up in socially and economically difficult circumstances. Laugharn began his career at Save the Children, where he worked for 11 years in a variety of roles.
"Peter brings a unique combination of passion, international experience, and record of success on improving the wellbeing of vulnerable children," said William Ouchi, PhD, member of the Hilton Foundation Board of Directors and head of the Search Committee. "Every year, the Foundation continues to evolve and positively impact the lives of more individuals around the world. We believe Peter is the perfect fit to lead the Hilton Foundation at this important moment in our history."
Laugharn will succeed Steven M. Hilton, who announced his retirement after 30 years of service to the Foundation. Hilton, grandson of the organization's founder, Conrad N. Hilton, currently serves as Chairman, President and CEO, and he will remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors upon his retirement. "I look forward to working with Peter in the fall, helping him prepare his transition to the Foundation and introducing him to our staff and many of our partners," said Hilton. "Together, we want to pave the way for a smooth start as he assumes his leadership role in January."
A graduate of Stanford and Georgetown Universities, Laugharn holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of London. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1982 to 1984. He was a co-founder of the International Education Funders Group and the Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS, and he is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $100 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2014. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
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