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Henry Ford III Joins Ford Foundation Board

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Henry Ford III Joins Ford Foundation Board
Henry Ford III (right) with his father, Edsel B. Ford II, at the 2019 Salute To Dealers
Photo: Ford Motor Company

For the first time in 43 years, a member of the Ford family will sit on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees. Henry Ford III, the 38-year-old great-great-grandson of Henry Ford and current manager of corporate strategy for Ford Motor Company, will serve a six-year term on the board.

The last member of the Ford lineage to sit on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees was his grandfather, Henry Ford II, who served as the president and chairman of the board for 33 years before resigning in 1976. Under Ford II’s guidance, the Ford Foundation became an independent entity, moving to New York City in 1953. The Ford Foundation was founded in 1936 by Ford III’s great-grandfather, Edsel Ford.

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Henry Ford III was elected to the board for his experience in the social sector, which will aid the Ford Foundation’s goals of working to solve issues related to racial injustice and economic inequality. In addition to his role with Ford, he is a member of the boards of The Henry Ford Museum, Operation Hope, and Neighborhood Villages as well as the advisory boards of the Henry Ford College and Detroit’s Bridging Communities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Henry Ford III to the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “In recent years we’ve made a series of major investments to help southeastern Michigan, building on years of commitment to the region in which we were founded. Henry has been an advocate for these efforts, and I am delighted he will bring his dedication to social justice to his board service. Although we were established to be an independent institution, our recent efforts in southeastern Michigan have marked a reconnection with the Ford family, coming full circle with Henry’s election to our board.”

As a member of the Ford Foundation board, Henry Ford III will help set policy for the foreseeable future. The foundation has a $13 billion endowment and has used more than $50 billion in grants over its 83 years to fund everything from human and civil rights movements to the end of apartheid in South Africa.

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