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Johnson Foundation at Wingspread appoints new president

Johnson Foundation at Wingspread appoints new president


WIND POINT — The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread on Wednesday announced that Marcus White has been named president of the world-class conference center.

In early January, White will replace current President Roger Dower, who announced his retirement last spring. Dower has been Johnson Foundation president since early 2007.

As president, White will oversee strategic programming, partnerships and business operations for the foundation.

“At our core, we want to make the world a better place by fostering dialogues that serve as a catalyst for positive change in critical areas,” stated Helen Johnson-Leipold, Johnson Foundation chairman. “Marcus brings a breadth of unique experiences and proven expertise perfectly aligned with this mission, and importantly a shared commitment to a vibrant, thriving future for people and business in the communities we call home.”

White stated: “I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to join an organization with a great legacy of convening the right people at the right time and in the right way on important issues that bring forward meaningful and actionable solutions. It is my hope to pay homage to that great legacy by continuing to build upon it in the future.”

White’s background

Born in England, White grew up in communities throughout the Midwest and has called Milwaukee home for nearly 30 years. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and religion from Wabash College and a master of science in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

White did a college sabbatical in South Africa working in the anti-apartheid movement, which included internships with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Koinonia and Africa Enterprise.

As executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee he led ecumenical efforts on poverty and homelessness and championed advocacy initiatives focused on racial equity, restorative justice and affordable housing, among others.

Most recently, White served as vice president – civic engagement for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, for which he developed new strategies, policy agendas, public-private partnerships and increased funding opportunities to drive positive impact in the community.

White has served on numerous public and nonprofit organization boards, has received accolades and honors for his lifelong service to the Milwaukee community, and is a speaker and frequent contributor to national, regional and local media.

The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread is dedicated to serving as a catalyst for change by bringing together leading thinkers and inspiring new solutions on important issues affecting future quality of life. For additional information visit


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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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