FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW YORK, May 26, 2021 — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced the election of Kelly Granat and Sherrilyn Ifill to its Board of Trustees. Granat is a portfolio manager and member of the management committee at Lone Pine Capital, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment advisory. Ifill is the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the nation’s premier civil rights law organization fighting for racial justice and equality.
“We are delighted that Kelly and Sherrilyn will bring their brilliantly sharp minds and discerning perspectives to bear on behalf of the Mellon Foundation,” said Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander. “Their deep, longstanding commitments and genuine love for the arts, culture, and humanities will ensure we continue to undertake our work with precision and rigor, especially with regard to solving problems of injustice and inequality through our grantmaking.”
“I am thrilled and honored to join the Board of the Mellon Foundation,” said Ifill. “Under the leadership of Elizabeth Alexander, the Foundation is making such a powerful mark, meeting the needs of this challenging moment with exceptional vision and clarity. I am excited to support the work and vision of the Board and of Elizabeth in whatever way I can.”
“I am tremendously inspired by Mellon’s mission and focus and feel honored to be joining its Board at such a critical moment in time,” said Granat.
“Both Kelly and Sherrilyn will bring innovative thinking and an astute analytic approach to our Board deliberations, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Foundation,” said Board Chair Kathryn A. Hall. “Kelly’s significant investment expertise and Sherrilyn’s work as a lawyer, scholar, and champion for civil rights are assets we are fortunate to have at Mellon, and will further benefit the Foundation’s grantmaking as Mellon continues to chart a new course with its recent strategic reorientation.”
Granat, who appears on Barron’s 2021 and 2020 lists of the Most Influential Women in Finance, joined Lone Pine in 2007 and currently serves as Managing Director and one of three portfolio managers at the firm. Previously, she was a vice president at Chilton Investment Company, a senior analyst at Angelo, Gordon & Co., and a financial analyst at Gilbert Global Equity Partners, L.P. Granat began her career in the leveraged finance division of J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. She graduated cum laude from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges with an AB in English and American literature and language and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Granat has served on the board of the nonprofit Posse Foundation, which supports youth leadership development and college access programs, and was a member of the Painting and Sculpture Committee at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Ifill began her career as a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union before joining LDF as assistant counsel in 1988. In 1993, she left LDF for the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, where she taught for more than 20 years and established a series of pioneering law clinics. In 2013, Ifill returned to lead LDF, and as its president, has increased the organization’s visibility and engagement in urgent civil rights issues and continued its decades-long fight against voter suppression, inequity in education, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. A prolific scholar, Ifill is the author of the acclaimed 2007 book On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-first Century and has published articles in leading law journals and op-eds and commentaries in major newspapers. Ifill is a frequent public commentator on racial justice issues, known for her fact-based, richly contextualized analysis of complex racial issues. She is trusted and valued advisor to civic and community leaders, national civil rights colleagues, and business leaders. She is a graduate of Vassar College and New York University School of Law.
About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.