William S. White
Chairman, Board of Trustees
William (Bill) S. White is chairman of the Mott Foundation Board of Trustees. He began working at the Foundation in 1969 and was elected to the board in 1971. He was appointed president of the Foundation in 1976 and served in that capacity through the end of 2014. He became chief executive officer in 1979 and served in that role until 2018. He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees since 1988.
Under his leadership, Mott has evolved from a primarily local to an international foundation. Yet even as the Foundation has expanded our grantmaking nationally and internationally, we have continued to direct significant funding to our home community of Flint, particularly in the areas of education, community revitalization and the arts.
Bill White has maintained a strong personal interest in the field of afterschool and community education. He 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 honored him for extraordinary leadership and dedication to advancing community philanthropy. A dozen years earlier, the same organization recognized him with its Distinguished Grantmaker Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement in philanthropy. In 2010, the Community Foundation Network in the United Kingdom presented him with its first Beacon Award for Services to U.K. Community Philanthropy. In 2009, he received the European Foundation Centre’s Philanthropy Compass Prize, honoring outstanding contributions to the development of the European philanthropic sector.
The republics of Poland and Hungary also have honored him. In 2012, Poland awarded him the Officer’s Cross of Merit for his contributions to the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2003, he received the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Knight’s Cross.
Bill White is a member of the governing council of the European Foundation Centre. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the United States Sugar Corporation. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College and an MBA at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. He also is the recipient of five honorary degrees.
His late wife, Claire Mott White, was a granddaughter of Charles Stewart Mott and a Trustee of the Mott Foundation. He and his second wife, Louise Hartwell, between them have three children, seven grandchildren and a friendly disagreement over which state is more beautiful — Michigan or Maine.
Annual messages dating back to 2000 can be read or downloaded here.
- 20th Anniversary of European Foundation Center: Berlin Walls of the Mind
- Vision. Values. Voices.
- Afterschool programs: Giving hope and help to all our children
- Flint’s Corner Drugstore
- Leadership: Nine Challenges for Transformation
- The Challenge of Nonprofit Leadership: Building a Transformed World
- Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future
- Looking Back at Five Eras