Flinn Foundation elects new president and CEO

April 13, 2009

By hammersmith

PHOENIX—Following a six-month national search, the Flinn Foundation board of directors has chosen a longtime Arizona leader in health care, education, and public policy as its next president and chief executive officer.

Jack B. Jewett, a former president of the Arizona Board of Regents and five-term member of the Arizona House of Representatives, will succeed retiring President and CEO John W. Murphy, who has led the Foundation since 1981. Jewett will assume the position in June.

Jewett currently is Vice President for University Advancement at California State University-Monterey Bay, where he oversees fundraising, public and media relations, strategic communications, alumni and government relations, and special events. He will return to Arizona, where he spent more than 40 years in a variety of leadership roles within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

“Jack is a proven leader with an ideal background to match the interests of the Flinn Foundation,” said David J. Gullen, M.D., chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. “His many years of demonstrated leadership, relevant experience, keen familiarity with Arizona, and track record in forging institutional collaboration will further the Foundation’s role in promoting partnerships at a time of constrained resources.”

Before moving to California in 2007, Jewett held senior public policy and government relations positions with Tucson Medical Center for 13 years. He previously had served as director of corporate communications for Intergroup, an HMO, and president of Territorial Newspapers, a family-owned publishing and printing company in Tucson.

Jewett served on the Arizona Board of Regents from 1998-2006, appointed by Gov. Jane Hull and reappointed by Gov. Janet Napolitano. He served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1983-1992, the final two years as majority whip.

Jewett currently serves on the board of directors of the national Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, as well as the Tucson-based Thomas R. Brown Foundations. Previously, in Arizona, he was a member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Policy, the Governor’s P-20 Council, and the Early Childhood Development and Health Board. He is a former United Way of Greater Tucson board member and campaign chair, and has served on numerous additional councils, committees, and advisory groups in education, health care, workforce policy, and other areas.

“I’m excited to return to Arizona and privileged to have the opportunity to lead such a well-respected organization that plays a unique role in bettering the future of our state,” said Jewett, a University of Arizona alumnus. “The impact of the Foundation’s work, especially in the biosciences and education under John Murphy’s leadership, has been profound. I look forward to carrying on that tradition.”

Murphy became the Foundation’s first full-time staff member in 1981, when the founder, Dr. Robert S. Flinn, was its board chair. During his tenure, the Foundation initiated numerous grant programs to advance health care and social services in Arizona, and in 2002 began to help build a competitive bioscience sector. In the mid-1980s, the Foundation introduced the Flinn Scholars Program, a scholarship program in partnership with Arizona’s public universities, and several arts initiatives. The Foundation’s assets grew from less than $2 million when he arrived to more than $215 million in 2007. In 2000, the Foundation constructed its own offices and conference facilities on Central Avenue in Phoenix.

The Foundation began the search for its new leader in November, soon after Murphy announced his plans to retire. Spencer Stuart, an international executive search firm, was retained and worked closely with a search committee comprised of members of the Foundation’s board of directors, chaired by Dr. Linda Blessing.

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment. It was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. The nonprofit philanthropy supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars Program, and the Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture.