Following the decision of Margaret Boles Fitzgerald to step down as Chair of the Henry Luce Foundation after twenty years of leadership, the Board of Directors has elected two members, Terry Adamson and Debra Knopman, to serve as Co-Chairs for the next five years.
As Luce Scholars alumni and long-serving members of the Board, Terry and Debra bring extensive expertise in their respective fields as well as deep knowledge of the Foundation and its history to their new role.
“Splendid leadership and amazing impact have been a hallmark of the Henry Luce Foundation: staff, Board, most recently two incredible presidents, Michael Gilligan and now Mariko Silver, and for the past 20 years, the Chair of the Board, Margaret Boles Fitzgerald,” said Adamson. “I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity, along with Debra Knopman, to continue to strive for that visionary tradition in achieving impactful philanthropy.”
Dr. Knopman also expressed her enthusiasm for the future of the Foundation: “Terry and I welcome the challenge of serving as Co-Chairs of the Luce Foundation at a pivotal time in its 86-year history. The Foundation has an opportunity to make a difference both in areas of long-standing commitment and in meeting new challenges. We look forward to working with President Mariko Silver, fellow Directors, and staff to forge a strategic and productive path forward.”
Chair Emerita Boles Fitzgerald shared the following thoughts on her successors: “I couldn’t be more excited by the appointment of our Co-Chairs, Terry Adamson and Debra Knopman. They are just the right people–eminently capable and qualified leaders–at just the right time in the enduring and evolving work of the Foundation. It will continue to be a great honor for me to learn from them as they oversee and guide our work. On a personal level, they are two of the kindest and wisest people I know, and I am honored to count them as cherished friends and colleagues.”
The Luce staff and Board are grateful to Margaret for her two decades of leadership, during which time, the Foundation has awarded more than $500 million to more than 1,200 institutions. She will continue to serve as a member of the Board, contributing her extensive institutional and familial memory as well as her encouragement and insight to the on-going work of the Foundation.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Margaret, and I am grateful for her leadership during her time as Chair,” said President Silver. “As Luce Scholars and members of the Board, Terry and Debra have been engaged with the Foundation for many years and know it so well. The insights and wisdom that they bring will help guide the Foundation as we enter a new era.”
Terry Adamson has been a member of the Board of the Henry Luce Foundation since 2007. He was a Henry Luce Scholar from 1975–1976. His distinguished professional career has been as a lawyer in law firms, in government, and at the Boeing Company and National Geographic Society, where he was also a senior executive charged with international and other responsibilities. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The Asia Foundation and served as its Board chairman from 1995–2000. He continues as a founder trustee of the Carter Center in Atlanta. He attended Emory University where he received his undergraduate degree in history and his law degree.
Debra Knopman has been a member of the Henry Luce Foundation Board of Directors since 2013 and became Co-Chair of the Board along with fellow Director Terry Adamson in 2022. Debra is currently an adjunct researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She also serves on the Board of The Asia Foundation. She previously served as Vice President of RAND and Director of RAND’s Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment Division from 2004 to 2014 and as Principal Researcher from 2014 to 2022. She has worked in the federal government in various capacities including as a staff member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, a deputy assistant secretary for water and science of the Interior Department, and a member of the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. In 1978–79, she spent a year in Taiwan as a Luce Scholar. She earned her Ph.D. in geography and environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, her masters in civil engineering from MIT, and her B.A. in chemistry from Wellesley College.