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November 12, 2008
Russell Mawby, former president and CEO of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, spoke at the November meeting of the Hauenstein Center’s Peter Cook Leadership Academy.
Russell G. Mawby, Ph.D. has earned a global reputation as a visionary leader in philanthropy. He led the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for 25 years, during which he was credited for creativity in programming by providing opportunities for youth and leadership in the field.
Mawby attended Michigan State University and graduated with a baccalaureate degree in horticulture. In 1951 he completed his Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and in 1959 he received his doctorate, also in Agricultural Economics, from Michigan State University. Mawby served on the faculties of both institutions once he completed his degrees and later became a professor and assistant director of the Cooperative Extension Service responsible for 4-H Clubs and youth programming throughout Michigan.
In December 1964, upon the completion of his doctorate degree, Mawby joined the staff of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as director of the Division of Agriculture. In that position, he developed the Michigan Agricultural Leadership Program, which became a model for the national rural leadership movement. Just three years later he was promoted to vice president and in 1970 became the president and chief executive officer. Under his guidance, the Kellogg Foundation became the national leader in providing support and funding for innovative programs in a number of fields including adult continuing education, access to primary health care, and the development of leadership, especially through the Kellogg National Fellowship Program. Additionally, he spearheaded projects throughout the United States of America, Europe, and Latin America. Upon Mawby’s retirement in 1995, he served as a foundation trustee until 2000 and currently serves as an honorary trustee.