Our Chairman and CEO: William S. White
William S. White
William S. White is chairman and chief executive officer of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, headquartered in Flint, Michigan. He began working for the Foundation in 1969 and became its president in 1976, serving in that capacity through the end of 2014. White was elected to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1971 and has served as its chairman since 1988.
Under White’s leadership, the Foundation has evolved from a primarily local funder to one that also works to improve the well-being of communities far beyond Flint. While Mott has expanded its grantmaking nationally and internationally, the Foundation continues to direct significant funding to its home community, particularly in the areas of education, downtown revitalization and the arts.
White has maintained a strong interest in the field of afterschool and community education. In the United States alone, the Foundation has granted nearly $215 million to expand and improve the quality of afterschool programs, which serve more than 10 million children each year. White also has played a leadership role in developing and strengthening community foundations and their support organizations at home and around the globe.
In 2014, the Council on Foundations (COF) honored White for his enduring commitment to the field of community philanthropy. The Republic of Poland awarded him the Officer’s Cross of Merit in 2012 for his contributions to the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. The Community Foundation Network in the United Kingdom presented him with its first Beacon Award for Services to UK Community Philanthropy in 2010. A year earlier, he received the European Foundation Centre’s Philanthropy Compass Prize, honoring outstanding contributions to the development of the European philanthropic sector. In 2003, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Knight’s Cross. In 2002, COF presented White with its Distinguished Grantmaker Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement in philanthropy.
White currently serves on the boards of the European Foundation Centre, the Network of European Foundations for Innovative Cooperation, and the United States Sugar Corporation. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1959. He completed a Master of Business Administration at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business the following year. He also is the recipient of six honorary degrees.
Each year, as an introduction to the Foundation’s annual report, chairman and CEO William S. White contributes a personal message, generally focusing on a topic related to philanthropy or the nonprofit sector. Annual messages dating back to 2000 can be read or downloaded here.