New leadership for Rockefeller Institute | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New leadership for Rockefeller Institute

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 3:56 PM

The University of Arkansas has announced a new chief executive officer for its Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, established on 188 acres at the former governor's Petit Jean Mountain ranch as a conference and education center. The property was given to the university by the Winthrop Rockfeller Charitable Trust, which is also underwriting operating costs. It has had a spotty first few years in establishing an identity and a range of successful programs.

Christy Carpenter
  • Christy Carpenter
The new CEO is Christy Carpenter, a lawyer who has been chief operating officer of the Paley Center for Media in New York and Los Angeles.

The news release about the appointment says:

Under Carpenter’s direction the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute will expand its programs to encompass more subjects of national and international importance, bringing thought leaders from the U.S. and other nations together to tackle major issues.

“The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute is an extraordinary resource for thought leadership, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to head it at a time of tremendous national and international change, when fresh perspectives and multi-disciplinary collaboration is so urgently needed,” said Carpenter. “I look forward tremendously to working with the University of Arkansas and its leaders to draw upon the University’s intellectual talent as we shape a more dynamic and robust agenda for the Institute going forward.”

Thought leadership. There's something of an Aspen Institute feel about the objective, I'd guess.

PS — The Institute has made some moves in this direction. The Oxford American, for example, has a summit for writers scheduled there this summer whose speakers include David Remnick.

PPS — Sharp-eyed Texan Betsey Wright guesses — and a Google search indicates she's right — that Carpenter is daughter of Liz Carpenter, the former journalist and Lyndon B. Johnson aide who died last year. I'm going on bad memory here, but I think the Arkansas Gazette back in the long, long ago was one of the clients of the Washington, D.C. news service operated by Liz Carpenter and her husband Leslie.

NEWS RELEASE

Dr. Milo Shult, chairman of the board of directors of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, University of Arkansas System, announced today that Christy Carpenter has joined the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute as chief executive officer.

“Christy Carpenter is exceptionally talented, and we are fortunate to have her expertise and commitment in this pivotal time of transformation of the Institute,” said Shult. “She’s the kind of leader that can maximize the value of the unique partnership between the University of Arkansas System, the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.”

Under Carpenter’s direction the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute will expand its programs to encompass more subjects of national and international importance, bringing thought leaders from the U.S. and other nations together to tackle major issues.

“The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute is an extraordinary resource for thought leadership, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to head it at a time of tremendous national and international change, when fresh perspectives and multi-disciplinary collaboration is so urgently needed,” said Carpenter. “I look forward tremendously to working with the University of Arkansas and its leaders to draw upon the University’s intellectual talent as we shape a more dynamic and robust agenda for the Institute going forward.”

“Christy brings a wide range of knowledge and experience to the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Arkansas,” said B. Alan Sugg, president of the University of Arkansas System. “I know she will work well with the board of directors and the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust to provide the leadership to expand the role of the Institute as a world-class convening center.”

Carpenter has more than 30 years of experience in media, marketing and nonprofit management. Most recently, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Paley Center for Media managing its operations in New York and Los Angeles. The Paley Center convenes top-level executives, journalists and creative talent from the converging industries of media and technology to discuss critical issues on media — its role in democracy, business dynamics, and influence on our lives and culture. Based at the Center’s New York headquarters, she helped lead the institution through a period of positive transformation.

Prior to joining the Paley Center, Carpenter was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1998, where she served as vice chair. She continues to serve on the board of KCET, the largest public television station in southern California. Previously, in San Francisco, she served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Wine Institute and as the senior executive for professional and public services for the State Bar of California. A lawyer by training, she was an early pioneer in online services during the 1980s and served as vice president and group director for the international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton in New York.

Early in her career, Carpenter worked for all three branches of the federal government, including clerking for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark when he served as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge after retiring from the nation’s highest court. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her law degree from the American University Law School as well as completing a year of studies at the London School of Economics.

“The Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust is pleased with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Board’s choice of Christy Carpenter as chief executive officer of the Institute. Her credentials are outstanding, and we look forward to the Institute’s further development under her leadership,” according to a statement from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. “We appreciated the opportunity to meet with her informally during the search process, and she certainly impressed us with her excellent ideas and enthusiasm for implementing them in the weeks and months to come.”

About Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
Winthrop Rockefeller, a native of New York, moved to the state in 1953, thus changing the state’s landscape forever by importing thought leaders from throughout the country to his mountaintop retreat to address and solve Arkansas’ social and economic challenges. Perpetuating his legacy, the University of Arkansas System established Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in 2005 with a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. By integrating the resources and expertise of a statewide university system with the legacy and ideas of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, this educational institute and conference center creates an atmosphere where collaboration and change can thrive.

The mission of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute is to carry on the legacy of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller and to serve as a catalyst for furthering the mission of the University of Arkansas System by bringing together people of diverse ideas and interests to address subjects of state, regional, national and international importance. These conferences will serve as a force for change by encouraging the free flow of ideas, maximizing the intellectual interaction of participants, and disseminating resulting information to the appropriate audiences.

The vision of the Institute is to serve as a world-class convening center using leading edge conference technology, contributing to discussion and exploration of strategic matters of local, national, and global policy or of matters of significant, scientific, cultural or other academic interest.

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