Richard S. Parnell Named Chief Operating Officer For The United Nations Foundation

Washington, D.C.

February 14, 2011


Alexis Krieg

The United Nations Foundation announced today that Richard S. (Rick) Parnell will serve as the organization’s new Chief Operating Officer.  In this role, he will help lead the UN Foundation team in its mission to connect people, ideas and resources with the UN to help solve the world’s greatest challenges.

Parnell has served as the Chief of Staff for the United Nations Foundation since 2001.

“Rick has helped the UN Foundation team to develop innovative programs to address the most important challenges facing our world,” said Senator Timothy E. Wirth, UN Foundation President. “We are proud of his work to empower a next generation of experts, partners and advocates to help the UN solve global problems.  We are well poised to make even more progress with Rick as Chief Operating Officer.”

UN Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Kathy Calvin, added, “Rick’s contributions have been invaluable as the UN Foundation has transitioned from a grant-making organization to an innovative space where people and organizations who care about a better world can develop and manage twenty-first-century campaigns and programs that take good ideas and goodwill and transform them into action on a global scale.”

As Chief Operating Officer, Parnell will have greater responsibility for the direction and day-to-day operations of the UN Foundation and its sister organization, the Better World Fund. In this role he oversees all aspects of the Foundation’s operations, including campaigns, budget, finance, grants, human resources, and operations, and acts as board liaison. His supervisory responsibilities include ensuring the efficient and effective allocation of resources across departments. As part of the Strategic Planning Committee, Parnell helps direct the Foundation’s core mission and activities.

Before joining the UN Foundation, Parnell was the Senior Operations Officer for the American Red Cross National Development team, overseeing the day-to-day operations of a $1 billion fund-raising campaign for the national organization and its 1,100 local chapters. Prior to the American Red Cross, Parnell served as Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Florida for ten years. He holds a B.A. in American History from the University of Florida.


About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.  We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.  Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems.  These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  For more information, visit