Ron and Anne Walker enjoy a photo in the President Nixon’s Oval Office at the Nixon Library.



Chairman Ron Walker retires after eight years of leadership

June 14, 2018

Ron Walker announced this week he will be stepping down as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Richard Nixon Foundation. Vice Chairman Dr. James H. Cavanaugh will be the Board’s new Chairman.

Walker has led the Foundation as Chairman since 2010. He oversaw the $25 million fundraising campaign and renovation of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in 2016, the centennial celebrations of President Nixon in 2013 and First Lady Pat Nixon in 2012, and the expansion of the Foundation’s legacy programs focusing on the life and legacy of the 37th President. He served as President of the Nixon Foundation from 2009 to 2010.

“Fifty years ago, I served as President Nixon’s Chief advance man. Thirty years ago, I helped open the Nixon Library. Twenty-five years ago, I helped lay Mrs. Nixon to rest. Twenty-four years ago, I helped lay the President to rest. Now here we are today with a spectacular new state-of-the-art presidential museum,” said Walker. “It’s been one great ride!”

“I have full confidence that Jim Cavanaugh and this Board will lead the Nixon Foundation with steadfast spirit and great enthusiasm,” added Walker.

“We are extremely grateful for Ron Walker’s superb leadership over these past eight years,” said President and Mrs. Nixon’s daughters and Board Members Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower in a statement. “Ron brought a new energy to the Nixon Library when he arrived, and we know that Dr. Cavanaugh will carry on the important work that Ron has set in motion,” they added.

“Ron Walker has been an excellent leader of our Board,” said Dr. Cavanaugh. “I’m honored to succeed him, and I especially look forward to continuing our plans to introduce a new generation of Americans to President Nixon’s consequential life and legacy. So many things he did in the White House are still affecting and influencing America and Americans in 2018.

Dr. Cavanaugh, an expert on health care policy and reform, was a key adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan.

Early in his career, he was with the United States Public Health Service and a faculty member in the graduate program at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

In 1971, he joined the Nixon White House staff as the Domestic Council’s associate director for health care policy.

After his career in government, Dr. Cavanaugh became President of Allergan International and then President of SmithKline Laboratories-U.S. He also was Chairman of Shire PLC. He is Senior Advisor at HealthCare Ventures LLC.

Dr. Cavanaugh has been a Member of the Nixon Foundation Board since 2011 and Vice Chairman of the Board since 2016.

He holds a B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson College and a Master’s degree and Ph.D from the University of Iowa. He and his wife Esther split their time between Villanova, Pennsylvania and Newport Beach, California.


Photos of Ron and Anne Walker Over The Years