M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

In my first year as CEO of the Murdock Trust, I have had the opportunity to engage with a broad array of partners, stakeholders, and constituents alongside the day-to-day working partnership and interactions that I have with the Trust team.  One part of those discussions has been focused on how the Trust works and how we can improve and refine our approach and processes to better serve our constituents. A key aspect of our next step has been the search for a Chief Program and Impact Officer (CPIO) to lead our grant-making and programs into the future. As a member of the leadership team, the person selected for this role will be my partner in shaping the future of our work and efforts to invest in innovative and sustainable projects and organizations.  Today, my heart is full as I have the opportunity to share some important updates on our journey, specifically regarding the Trust’s leadership. 

A woman with short dark hair wearing glasses and a black neck scarf and pink sweater smiles for the camera.

To begin, I am delighted to share that Pauline Fong has been offered and accepted the role of Chief Program and Impact Officer. In this role, Pauline will oversee the grants and programming efforts of the Murdock Trust. Pauline was selected following a national search, led by Good Citizen, that accrued more than 400 expressions of interest and over 200 applications.  We engaged deeply with dozens of qualified candidates through this search to fill this critical role for our organization. Ultimately, Pauline distinguished herself from the field through her unique background of nonprofit and philanthropic experience across a variety of sectors in the region alongside her strategic vision and demonstrated leadership experience.  Her robust understanding of, and connection to, the mission and work of the Murdock Trust made her the clear choice to guide the Trust’s grant-making and programs in the next season of our work. We could not be happier with this promotion for Pauline and for her commitment to serving the work of the Trust moving forward. Pauline’s first official day as CPIO will be June 19th. Please join me in congratulating Pauline! 

The CPIO recruitment process is one part of the broader structural evolution that was briefly mentioned in my nine-month update as we seek to align our efforts to a thoughtfully designed sectoral model. As we have navigated this broader transition, we have recognized the need for additional leadership to guide and drive specific areas of our work to enable greater agility and capacity to ensure the CPIO is positioned for success. It is with this in mind that I am excited to share our second leadership update and the promotion of four of our respected colleagues. 

A woman with red hair wearing a blue shirt smiles for the camera.

Jill Lemke is promoted to Vice President, Grants Management and Training. In this role, Jill will partner with Pauline and myself to drive the restructure of our grants management team and the related process redesign within the sectoral model. In addition, Jill will assume responsibility for training all new program directors and ultimately serve as one of our sectoral leads. These are areas of clear strength for Jill as demonstrated through her years of exemplary service at the Trust and we are pleased to welcome her to the Leadership Team! 

A woman with blond hair wearing a black shirt smiles for the camera.

Kimberly Thornbury, Ph.D., is promoted to Vice President, Nonprofit Leadership and Development. Kimberly will continue her outstanding work leading our enrichment program team as we develop assessment strategies for the future of programming at the Trust, as well as oversee the execution of our existing, cross-sector programs such as Leadership Now and Board Leadership. With this remit comes the increased responsibility for framing our approach to learning, assessment, and outcomes for our programmatic work.  Kimberly has shown incredible capacity and passion for the educational and training elements of our programs, which will continue to be fleshed out through year-end. We are thrilled to have her continue leading this effort through the next phase of our work! 

A man wearing glasses and a suit with a blue shirt smiles for the camera.

Moses Lee, Ph.D., is promoted to Vice President, Scientific Research Grants and Programming. Moses will continue to lead the Trust’s work in this well-established sector to include our strategic grants, initiative grants, convenings, and organizational representation in the scientific and academic community. He will also continue to lead our efforts driving science-focused programming, such as the Murdock College Science Research (MCSR) program. I think we can all agree that there is no one better suited to lead this specific area of the Trust’s impactful work in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We are grateful to Moses’ exemplary decade of service to the Trust and excited to see how he continues to lead our work in scientific impact moving forward! 

A man with dark hair wearing a suit smiles for the camera.

And finally, Colby Reade is promoted to Senior Director of Strategy and Communications. In addition to Colby’s existing responsibilities overseeing communications for the Trust, he will now have responsibility for strategic planning across our work and values framework, and he will oversee the shared service function for events.  Colby will partner with Mike True (CFO), who serves as the organizational operational leader for planning, and Stefanie Narhi, who serves as the manager of Trustee engagement, to drive our overall rhythm of business. Collectively, they will work in partnership with me to serve as a chief operating team to enable greater effectiveness in our service to the region.   

Please join me in congratulating Jill, Kimberly, Moses, and Colby for these well-deserved promotions! 

In the coming weeks, I will have the opportunity to update you in more detail regarding our new sectoral model of work, as well as further updates regarding our staff. In the meantime, I wish you a glorious start to your summer and thank you for your continued engagement with me and the Murdock Trust team as we seek to serve the common good. 

In gratitude, 


back to top

The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.