Dan Martin, Retired, MacArthur Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Ned Schaub and I are passionate about good writing and thoughtful speech. We discovered this when Ned came to work for me at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, where he directed communications for the program I led in tropical biodiversity conservation. His job was to ensure that our grant-making strategy and specific recommendations were clearly articulated and could be understood both inside the Foundation and in the communities around the world where we worked. This meant taking actions developed by experts using technical language and translating them into compelling arguments for our board of directors and the grant-seeking public.
During our time together at MacArthur, Ned was also our crew chief for an intensive effort to recast our program, including changes in its strategy, focus and name. We published a new strategic plan and developed presentations designed to build both understanding and support. The result of this work was the successful presentation of a recast grant-making program that was adopted by the Foundation and widely understood by our grant-seeking "customers" in many countries.
Ned put his writing and public speaking skills (and his experience at MacArthur) to good use when we were both hired by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in San Francisco. Unlike MacArthur, the Moore Foundation was a brand-new multi-billion dollar start-up that had chosen to follow a hardcore business-oriented approach. Ned played key roles in shaping the new program, serving again as a translator and communicator at a critical time. Working with the Foundation's staff, almost none of whom had worked in philanthropy or the non-profit sector, Ned proved himself deft at navigating the complexity of managing a large private donor agency. His work in the Bay area to build bridges between non-profit leaders and foundation executives through transparent, respectful communications, paid off when Moore hired Frank Jordan, a former Mayor of San Francisco, to direct local grant-making. Jordan asked Ned to serve as his communications and public outreach lead and as a key grant-maker. The result of their working together was
a strong portfolio of grants, useful relationship with Bay area leaders, and a positive reputation for the new Foundation.
I know Ned as a sharp, yet unassuming and thoughtful communications professional. He is a conscientious Midwesterner, born and raised in the Land of Lincoln by a journalist and press secretary, parents who shaped his early understanding of writing, public speaking and public relations. He takes that legacy seriously, and it shows in his work.