Babcock Foundation chief quits

By Todd Cohen

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — After just a year-and-a-half on the job, David Jackson has resigned as executive director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation in Winston-Salem.

Sandra Mikush, the foundation’s deputy director, has been named interim executive director.

Mikush says the resignation, which Jackson announced to the staff on April 24, was a surprise.

Jackson cited personal reasons for his departure, which was not the result of any differences with the board, staff or grant recipients, Mikush says.

Jackson did not respond to multiple requests for a phone interview.

The board likely will consider next steps for the transition at the foundation, and its ongoing work, at its scheduled meeting in June, says Mikush, who joined the foundation in 1992.

With 10 employees, the foundation has assets of roughly $180 million and makes about $7 million in annual grants.

For the past nine years, it has focused on moving people and places out of poverty across the Southeast, and helping them achieve greater social and economic justice.

That effort, including the investment of nearly $64 million since 2005, has built on the work the foundation launched 20 years ago to support organizations and networks that work across lines of race and class to address issues of poverty.

As part of a periodic review and planning process it conducts every 10 years, Mikush says, the foundation currently is looking at its program of work, and at how the world is changing and has changed over past 10 years.

“The clear message from the board is that we’re not anticipating any major shift,” Mikush says.

Jackson, who previously was president and CEO of the Center for Working Families in Atlanta, joined the foundation as executive director in November 2012, succeeding Gayle Williams, who retired after leading the foundation for 19 years.

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