WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.–()–The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation today announced the selection of Marc J. Holley as vice president of strategy and programs, effective September 3, 2019. Holley will lead all aspects of the organization’s global grantmaking and will serve as an officer of the Foundation. He will report to Foundation President and CEO Peter Laugharn.

Holley joins the Hilton Foundation from the Walton Family Foundation, where he most recently served as the organization’s interim executive director. For nine years, he was the Walton Foundation’s director of strategy, learning and evaluation. In that role, he developed and operationalized a robust approach to evaluation and learning that included integration of program and project design. Holley also guided the research and evaluation agenda for the grantmaking programs, which spanned education, environment and home region initiatives.

“Marc brings tremendous foresight, knowledge and agility to the Hilton Foundation, and he joins us at a very important moment in our history,” said Peter Laugharn. “The last year saw significant change and increased focus in our strategic grantmaking. As we advance our work, Marc’s emphasis on people and relationships, his deep understanding of strategy, and his ability to help the Foundation’s programs grow in size and impact make him the ideal leader for this vital time in our organization’s life.”

Holley began his decade-long career at the Walton Family Foundation in 2008 as a program officer in education. He managed a large portfolio of grants and relationships with education-based organizations and school districts in Denver and New Orleans. He then led strategy, research and evaluation, during which he made tremendous inroads driving operational effectiveness. Earlier this year, he was named interim executive director. Holley has authored a number of scholarly articles, essays, op-eds and a book on topics spanning education, accountability and measurement. Before joining Walton, Holley worked in several roles associated with education policy research. He also was an adjunct professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas. Holley began his career as a K-12 teacher and coach in Atlanta.

“I am delighted to join the Hilton Foundation, an organization I admire tremendously not only for what it does, but how the Foundation does it. The Hilton Foundation team has a deep well of respect for the nonprofits whose work they fund, something I believe is core to what makes them effective,” said Holley. “I look forward to working in partnership with the whole team in service to the organization’s mission to improve the lives of people around the world.”

Holley’s appointment followed a competitive search process led by the executive recruiting firm, The Explore Company. A highly qualified and diverse pool of candidates was identified and interviewed by an internal team.

Holley holds a B.A. degree from Harvard University, an M.Ed. degree from the University of Georgia, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Arkansas. He and his wife and children will relocate to Los Angeles.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help individuals throughout the world living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage. The Foundation invests in 11 program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.7 billion in grants, distributing $112.5 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2018. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.8 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.


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Preety holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies and is the former Deputy Director of Media Relations with the Modern Coalition.