Richard Nixon Foundation Elects Six New Board Members

by | Jun 19, 2023 | Foundation News, News

Two U.S. Ambassadors, civic leaders, philanthropists join presidential foundation leadership

The Richard Nixon Foundation announced the election and subsequent appointment of six new members to its Board of Directors. 

Ambassador Robert C. O’Brien, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “It’s my pleasure to welcome these new members of the 2023 Class to the Board, to support the advancement of the principles and policy goals to which President Nixon dedicated his career. Each one of these six new directors brings something unique: from experienced diplomatic wherewithal to Millennial leadership; from personal history with President Nixon to storied successes (and lessons) from private enterprise, all come with passion and commitment to this organization that will ensure the Richard Nixon Foundation’s continued impact upon future generations.”

The New Board Members are:

Ambassador Callista Gingrich, President of the Gingrich Foundation. Ambassador Gingrich served as the United States Ambassador to the Holy See from 2017 to 2021. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ellis the Elephant American history book series for children and co-author of Rediscovering God in America. She was created Dame Grand Cross of the Order of Pope Pius IX by Pope Francis in 2020. 

Blake Kernen, Deputy Press Secretary in the United States Senate. Ms. Kernen is an expert in social media and digital marketing strategies tailored to Millennial audiences, and a bestselling author. She was Director of Corporate Strategy and Student Outreach at First Generation Investors, an educational nonprofit that works with high school students in underserved communities. 

Marlene Malek, Vice Chair and co-founder of Friends of Cancer Research, a nonprofit think tank and patient advocacy organization. Mrs. Malek served on the Steering Committees of the 2021 and 2022 Nixon National Cancer Conferences. She serves on the National Cancer Advisory Board and as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Marymount University. Her late husband, The Honorable Fred Malek, served as a Director of the Richard Nixon Foundation from 2011 to 2019 and chaired the Richard Nixon Centennial Legacy Campaign. 

James (Jim) V. Mazzo, Executive Chairman Neurotech and Advisor for Zeiss, Bain, Avellino, and CVC Private Equity.  Mr. Mazzo is one of the ophthalmic industry’s best-known and most respected business leaders. He serves on the governing boards of several ophthalmic societies, Board Chairman AdvaMed, Executive Committee Member Medical Device Manufacturers Association, Board Member University of California at Irvine Foundation, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Chapman University and NASA’s Mission to Mars Committee. He was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2023.

Ambassador John Rakolta, Jr., Chairman of Walbridge, a privately held construction company founded in Detroit in 1916. Ambassador Rakolta served as United States Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2019 to 2021, and was additionally Commissioner General of Expo Dubai 2020. For his role in establishing the Abraham Peace Accords, he was awarded the National Security Medal by President Donald Trump in 2020. From 1996 to 2019, he served as Romania’s Honorary Consul General to the United States. 

David Tukey, a New York-based healthcare investor with ExodusPoint Capital Management, specializing in global biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Tukey was a neuroscientist at NYU, and spent over nine years at Point72 and affiliates. He serves as a member of the boards of the Sustained Dialogue Institute and New Jersey Scholars Program, a mentor for the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council, and was Deputy Regional Campaign Manager for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. 

The election of these new Board Directors brings the total number of Directors of the Richard Nixon Foundation to 27.  Other Directors include President Nixon’s daughters Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, nationally-syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt, media personality Dr. Monica Crowley, the President of Chapman University Dr. Daniele Struppa and Southern California restaurateur Charlie Zhang. 

Directors Emeritus include former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, former California Governor Pete Wilson, and former U.S. Ambassador to Spain George L. Argyros. 

View the full list of Board of Directors here.