Walmart Foundation names new leader

Sylvia Mathews Burwell was named president of the Walmart Foundation Friday morning and will join the organization in January 2012. She currently serves as president global development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will replace Margaret McKenna who served as president of the Walmart Foundation since 2007 and announced her retirement earlier this year.

Burwell will report to Walmart EVP corporate affairs Leslie Dach and lead the company’s charitable giving efforts, women’s empowerment initiatives and guide social, environmental and economic opportunity efforts in Africa. Walmart has been recognized as America’s largest corporate donor and last year gave more than $799 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally.

“Sylvia is results-oriented and is passionate about lifting up those most in need,” Dach said. “Through her leadership, Walmart will be able to make an even greater difference on some of the most pressing and persistent problems facing the world.”

Burwell began her work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2001 as chief operating officer and executive director and most recently oversaw $725 million in annual giving. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, she held a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., including deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and chief of staff to treasury secretary Robert Rubin.

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