Margaret E. Mahoney served as president of The Commonwealth Fund from 1980 to 1995. She was the first woman to head a major U.S. philanthropic foundation, becoming president of The Commonwealth Fund in 1980. Prior to her leadership of The Commonwealth Fund, she was a senior executive of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and, prior to that, of the Carnegie Corporation. She played a key role in the transition of RWJF from a family foundation to one of the largest U.S. foundations in the 1970s, and revitalized the Fund, which was founded in 1918 and today has assets of $680 million. Mahoney passed away in December 2011.


Trustees by Margaret Mahoney

Posted on December 22, 1996 by Margaret E. Mahoney

This seminal essay from the long-time president of the Commonwealth Fund explores the critical roles and responsibilities of foundation trustees, and the duties of responsible boards of directors. Selected excerpts include: “To fulfill a trust, the trustee must act for the benefit of another, not for personal gain. Trustees are in effect moral decision makers.” “Responsible boards are not born… Read More

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