NEW YORK, June 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation today announced the appointment of Daniel F. Wilhelm as its eighth President. Mr. Wilhelm, a highly regarded non-profit executive and expert on crime and justice issues, assumed his position June 1. The Foundation, created in 1929 by eminent businessman and philanthropist Harry Frank Guggenheim, has been a leader in addressing violence and conflict since 1961.
Until his appointment, Mr. Wilhelm was a Senior Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, a premier non-governmental organization working to improve systems of justice. From 2007-2015, he served as Vera's Vice President and Chief Program Officer. Mr. Wilhelm has also advised leading non-profit organizations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, on justice-reform strategies.
"My colleagues and I are delighted that Dan Wilhelm is taking the helm of The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation," said Peter Lawson-Johnston, Chairman of the Board. "We live in challenging times where the concerns that led my cousin Harry Guggenheim to establish the Foundation – violent forces that disrupt and destroy lives – are still with us. Indeed, the Foundation's mission may be more urgent and necessary than ever before."
The appointment marks a new chapter in the life of the organization, which supports research and programs to enhance understanding and develop solutions to violence and conflict in the United States and around the globe. Since 2005, the Foundation has awarded nearly 250 grants and fellowships to distinguished researchers and has undertaken programs on pressing topics, including drug violence, extremism and intrastate conflicts. At the Board's direction and under Mr. Wilhelm's leadership, the Foundation will explore how best to maximize its impact on the topics that are central to its mission.
"The Board is committed to focusing the Foundation's resources anew, continuing to build knowledge and employing both proven and innovative approaches that are consistent with our strengths and values," said Mr. Lawson-Johnston. "We are confident that Dan is the right person, with deep experience, superb skills and farsighted vision, to lead the Foundation in this essential enterprise."
At Vera, Mr. Wilhelm was responsible for developing and overseeing much of the Institute's work, including its portfolios in crime, victimization, sentencing, corrections, immigration and juvenile justice. He supervised the Institute's Washington, D.C., office, communications and development efforts. Mr. Wilhelm joined Vera in 2001 to work with state government leaders on sentencing and corrections reform.
"I am honored to lead the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and enthusiastic about the opportunities for impact ahead," said Mr. Wilhelm. "For more than five decades, the Foundation has been at the global vanguard of addressing the violence, aggression and dominance that tear societies apart. There is an essential role for entities like Guggenheim to play in catalyzing responses to issues like crime, terrorism and religious conflict that require thoughtful and timely action," Mr. Wilhelm stated. "I look forward to working with the Foundation's dedicated Board and talented staff to advance Harry Guggenheim's vision of a world in which knowledge and understanding are deployed to remedy violence at home and abroad."
Previously Mr. Wilhelm was an attorney at Sidley & Austin in New York and served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Frederic Block in Brooklyn. He has testified before legislative and other government panels in some 20 states on criminal justice matters. He has written on justice and legal issues for Vera, the American Bar Association, the Federal Sentencing Reporter, and the American Journal of International Law, among others. Mr. Wilhelm is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, Harvard Divinity School, and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Mr. Wilhelm succeeds Josiah Bunting, III, who served as President from 2004 to 2016.
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SOURCE The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation