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Progressives, Inc.

Culture Philanthropy

The long march through the boardrooms.

When Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation since 2013, called for a “reimagining of philanthropy's first principles and its relationship to our market system," few people thought this meant that he would join the board of directors of PepsiCo. But that's exactly what he did last fall. Walker, who stands to make somewhere between a quarter and a half a million dollars a year in his new role, insisted he would introduce a distinctive view into Pepsi's corporate deliberations: "I will bring my perspective as the leader of a social justice organization. .  .  . I will bring my perspective as someone who is deeply concerned about the welfare of people in poor and vulnerable communities."

Some of Walker's allies in the progressive community seem skeptical about his self-assigned role as corporate reformer. Pablo Eisenberg, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy and longtime critic of foundations and corporations, wrote an open letter to Walker in the Chronicle of Philanthropy last month taking him to task for accepting the appointment. "You failed to understand the negative impact your action could have on philanthropy, and on those working to change corporate behavior."

In other words, Eisenberg is accusing him of selling out.

Eisenberg notes that in the eyes of activists like himself, Pepsi has been....

Read the entire piece here at The Weekly Standard


James Piereson is president of the William E. Simon Foundation and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Ms. Riley is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

This piece originally appeared in The Weekly Standard