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MDC Comings and Goings

MDC Comings and Goings

It has been a busy time of change at MDC, with some longtime staffers moving onward and upward, new colleagues moving in, new board members joining, and longtime board members moving on. Here’s a rundown:

The Honorable Otis Johnson (left) former Mayor of Savannah, Ga., has been appointed chair of the MDC Board of Directors. Johnson replaces the Honorable James Joseph, former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, who will continue to serve as a board member and chair emeritus.

Dick Molpus, the president of The Molpus Woodlands Group and a former Mississippi Secretary of State who served under former Mississippi Gov. William Winter, has joined the board of directors. Molpus was the co-founder of Parents for Public Schools and the founding chairman of the United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities.

Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, and Haywood Davis, managing director of Atlantic Trust, have left the MDC Board of Directors. Brown served on the board of directors for 21 years. Davis was the longtime treasurer.

Mark Bensen has left his position as executive vice president to become the president and CEO of the Triangle Community Foundation. At MDC, Mark managed day-to-day operations, including financial, human resources, and IT functions, and played a leadership role in MDC’s long-range strategic planning and branding. He oversaw development of MDC’s new logo and the move to a new headquarters in downtown Durham.  

John Cooper, program director, will leave his position to become Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning at Texas A&M University. He will have a dual appointment as associate director of Outreach and Community Partnerships for Housing and Urban Development and the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center. Cooper, who joined MDC in 2003, spearheaded our work on emergency preparedness in high-risk communities and headed the Emergency Preparedness Demonstration.

Lucy Gorham, senior program director, has left her position to go deeper into her passion for research as senior research associate at the Center for Community Capital at UNC-CH. Gorham pioneered MDC’s work in the field of assets and economic security, directing EITC Carolinas and focusing on the economics of work, poverty, and low-income housing.

Both Gorham and Cooper will continue to work with MDC on select projects as part of our inaugural class of research fellows.

Lance Buhl, deputy director of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University, has been named a senior fellow at MDC.

Beth Caldwell, a recent Brown University graduate, is the 2012-2013 Autry Fellow. The 2011-2012 Autry Fellow, Max Rose, will stay on at MDC as a program associate.

Michael Schultz, who served MDC this year as part of an AmeriCorps VISTA project, has been named a research associate.  

Sally Learned is the new western regional coordinator of The Benefit Bank© of North Carolina.

Susan Wisely, a writer and practitioner in philanthropy, will be MDC’s first visiting scholar.

Demetrius Walton, a junior at Riverside High School in Durham, served as an intern this summer and will be returning to school. Timothy Harris, a sophomore at Hillside High School in Durham, will be joining MDC as our new YO: Durham intern.