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Trust and Transparency: Philanthropy as Private Action in Public Space

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Date and time
Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A panel of experts discuss philanthropy as private action in public space. In an increasingly political and media intensive world what governance, what accountability, what transparency, and what attitude is appropriate and right for charitable organizations and private foundations?

Ridings was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council in March 1996 after a distinguished career in the newspaper and communications industries. She has been a newspaper publisher, television producer/host, feature writer, political reporter, consultant/editor in government relations and leader of public policy research projects and organizations. From 1988 until joining the Council, she served as president and publisher of Knight-Ridder's *Bradenton Herald* in Florida. She also served as a Knight-Ridder general executive while based in Charlotte, North Carolina and held editorial and reporting positions at *The Charlotte Observer*, *The Kentucky Business ledger*, and *The Washington Post*. She was president of The League of Women Voters of the United States from 1982 through 1986, and in that capacity was an Akron Roundtable speaker in September 1983. She has been a trustee of the Ford Foundation, a director of the Benton Foundation and serves on the board of Independent Sector. Internationally, she has made speaking tours for the U.S. Department of State led two fact-finding delegations sponsored by NATO and served as a member of the Ford Foundation visitation teams. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree from the University of North Carolina. Recipient of numerous awards, she holds honorary degrees from Spalding University and the University of Louisville, is listed in the International who be Who of Professional and Business Women and in the Foremost Women of the Twentieth Century.
Scott Harshbarger is the former attorney general of Massachusetts, and a past president and chief executive officer of Common Cause. He is currently senior counsel at Proskauer Rose, in Boston.
Peter Goldmark currently directs the Climate and Air program for Environmental Defense. Previously, he was the Chairman and CEO of the *International Herald Tribune*. Peter has had exceptional careers in the public and private sectors, including serving as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and NJ. Peter also served as budget director for the State of New York during New York City's financial crisis and was an architect of its rescue. He served as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, encouraging involvement in environmental issues, particularly as they related to energy.
John Abele is the co-founder and a director of Boston Scientific since 1979. Mr. Abele was the treasurer from 1979 to 1992, co-chairman from 1979 to 1995 and vice chairman and founder, Office of the Chairman from February 1995 to March 1996. Mr. Abele is also the owner of The Kingbridge Centre and Institute, a 120-room conference center in Ontario that provides special services and research to businesses, academia and government. He was President of Medi-tech, Inc. from 1970 to 1983, and prior to that served in sales, technical and general management positions for Advanced Instruments, Inc. Mr. Abele is the chairman of the board of the F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Foundation and is also a member of numerous not-for-profit boards. He is a member of the President's Council of Olin College and Trustee Emeritus of Amherst College. Mr. Abele received a B.A. degree from Amherst College.
Marion R. Fremont-Smith, adjunct lecturer in Public Policy, has been associated with the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations since 1998, where she directs research on governance and accountability of nonprofit organizations. She is the author of *Governing Nonprofit Organizations: Federal and State Law and Regulation*. She has published two other books and numerous papers on government regulation of nonprofit organizations. Fremont-Smith's interest in nonprofit organizations began in the 1960s when she served as assistant attorney general and director of the Division of Public Charities in Massachusetts. In 1964 she joined the Boston law firm of Choate, Hall and Stewart where she specialized in tax and nonprofit law. She was elected partner in 1971, retiring in 2004. Fremont-Smith received a BA from Wellesley College in 1948 and a JD from Boston University School of Law in 1951.