Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) announced that Kurian Thomas will join the organization as Vice President, Programs, effective August 15. In this position, Kurian will lead the organization’s programs team to ensure MACP strategies, grantmaking, and evaluative practices align with the organization’s mission, Philosophy of Grantmaking, and commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. Kurian will serve as a member of the Senior Leadership Team and be a key contributor to the strategy and implementation of the organization’s priorities.
Kurian (he/him/his) comes to MACP with more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector. His leadership experience includes developing and delivering program strategy, designing program processes, and aligning resources with organizational priorities. Most recently, Kurian spent more than 10 years at Fetzer Institute, as a program officer, program director, and vice president of programs. In the vice president role, he guided design, implementation, and refinement of the Institute’s program strategy, managed a team of 20, led the program team’s DEI efforts and oversaw a portfolio of projects in the United States and around the world.
Prior to Fetzer Institute, Kurian spent time at Oxfam in Hong Kong where he oversaw evaluation work across the country and regional offices and engaged in research projects and discussions on issues of humanitarian evaluation, learning, and accountability. Earlier in his career, he worked as an advisor at Save the Children in Chennai, India and as a knowledge manager at Centre for Good Governance in Hyderabad, India. In these roles, he worked with practitioners, researchers, and policy makers; traveled to more than 50 countries; and directed projects around the world.
Kurian holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in New York and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerela, India. He completed a post-graduate program at the Xavier Institute of Management and participated in the Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways leadership cohort. He is also a visiting fellow of the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
“Kurian brings tremendous breadth and depth of experience in philanthropy and grantmaking, both domestically and internationally,” remarked Paul Busch, President & CEO at MACP. “His strong leadership and communication skills, along with his commitment to principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all of his work, make him an exceptional fit for our team at the Philanthropies.”
Kurian succeeds MACP’s outgoing Vice President, Programs, Terry Meersman, who is retiring after 11 years with the organization.