May 25, 2017

Christine Morse announces her retirement as Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies Chief Executive Officer

Morse will remain Board Chair. MACP President Paul Busch to assume CEO role July 1, 2017

Christy Morse, CEO of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP), and Board Chair of the organization’s grantmaking entities, announced that after more than 20 years of leading the organization, she is stepping down from her role as CEO. Christy shared the announcement in a meeting with MACP employees, and the news was subsequently communicated to grantees and other partners.

Current MACP President, Paul Busch, will assume the CEO role on July 1, 2017, while Christy will remain as CEO Emeritus through January 31, 2018, when she will formally retire as CEO. Christy will continue serving as Board Chair of Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation, leading the efforts of each board in developing organization strategies, evaluating funding priorities, and assessing program effectiveness.

Christy remarked, “One of our Cultural Values at MACP is that we live full lives. That value stems from Margaret’s personal belief that when possible, we should pursue opportunities to travel, explore, learn, and above all, spend time with the people we love. With the exceptional leadership, staff, and grantmaking strategies we have built across the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies organization, it is the perfect time for me to embrace this value and transition into a more limited and focused role at MACP.”

Building highly effective teams and enduring relationships have been hallmarks of Christy’s leadership. In her time leading the Philanthropies, she has seen the organization grow from a $9 million Southern California-focused foundation in 1995, to a $7 billion global philanthropy that has awarded over $1 billion in grants, and in 2016 alone awarded nearly 220 grants totaling $240 million.

In succeeding Christy as CEO, Paul Busch not only brings broad accounting, legal, and management experience, but he has spent more than 10 years at the Philanthropies, initially as a board member, later as Chief Operating Officer, and for the last 6 years, as President. In addition, Paul worked personally with the late Margaret Cargill to document her charitable goals, which have been critical in shaping MACP’s ongoing grantmaking strategies. In discussing the transition, Christy commented, “Deciding to retire from my CEO role has been difficult in many ways. But deciding on the appropriate transition for MACP is one aspect that has not been difficult. Paul’s strong leadership skills, combined with his deep integrity and first-hand understanding of Margaret’s values and priorities, will help make this a smooth and effective transition for our employees and our philanthropic partners.”

In her remarks to employees, Christy stated, “Staying on as Board Chair will allow me to continue to be active in the life of the Philanthropies, particularly with our grantmaking strategies and approach. That role is incredibly important to me, just as it was to Margaret.”

View the entire press release here.