Bruininks Named Interim Leader of The Bush Foundation

The former University of Minnesota president has stepped in to lead The Bush Foundation as it searches for a permanent replacement for Peter Hutchinson, who resigned in January.

Robert Bruininks, former president of the University of Minnesota, has been appointed interim president of The Bush Foundation.

Bruininks will fill a void left in January when Peter Hutchinson stepped down as leader of the St. Paul-based foundation.

Hutchinson, who had served as president of The Bush Foundation since 2007, said at the time of his departure that he would continue to serve in an advisory role for select projects.

Bruininks served as president of the University of Minnesota until stepping down last year. He was succeeded at the university by current President Eric Kaler.

Bruininks took over as interim president of The Bush Foundation on March 1, the foundation said in a press release.

“I have long been impressed with The Bush Foundation's bold and innovative approach to philanthropy,” Bruininks said in a statement. “The foundation continues to be a significant catalytic organization across the area it serves, and its work is making a real impact on improving the quality of life in our region. I am honored to serve as interim president.”

As Bruininks serves in the temporary leadership role, the foundation has engaged Phillips Oppenheim-a New York-based executive search company specializing in nonprofits-to assist with the search for a permanent replacement.

Irving Weiser, a Bush Foundation board member and chair of the search committee, said in a statement that the foundation's goal is “to identify an experienced leader who can take our strategy to the next level as we focus on advancing solutions to the difficult problems our communities are facing.”

The Bush Foundation provides funding to many types of organizations, including units of government, for-profit companies, tribal nations, and nonprofits. It is the fourth-largest private foundation in Minnesota based on total grants paid in 2010, which totaled $23.1 million.

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