RALEIGH, N.C. – Longtime think tank leader and political commentator John Hood has been named president of the John William Pope Foundation, the Raleigh-based grant making foundation reported today.
The John William Pope Foundation Board of Directors elected Hood as president of the Pope Foundation effective January 5, 2015. Art Pope will step down as president and continue as chairman of the Pope Foundation. Pope is also the chairman and CEO of the North Carolina based retailer, Variety Wholesalers, Inc., and the co-founder of the Pope Foundation.
“John will be joining my daughter, Joyce Pope, who has been serving as vice president since July 2013,” Pope said. “I am confident that our new leadership team will maintain and expand the important work we’ve done since 1986 through charitable grants to humanitarian, educational and cultural efforts. We will continue our mission to assist organizations that alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life for North Carolinians while also supporting long-term research and public policy efforts to increase prosperity and individual liberty. John Hood is uniquely qualified to lead the Pope Foundation to achieve these goals, and Joyce Pope provides a key opportunity to continue the work for future generations.”
Hood helped found the John Locke Foundation and was one of its three employees when the Raleigh-based state think tank opened its doors in February 1990. He became JLF’s president in 1995 and the chairman of its board of directors a decade later. Under his leadership, the organization expanded its policy-research team, added a variety of educational and outreach programs, and created Carolina Journal, which provides news, analysis, and commentary on state politics and public policy to more than 150,000 North Carolinians through its print, radio and online editions.
After he assumes the post of Pope Foundation president, Hood will continue to chair the board of JLF, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in February. His replacement as JLF president and CEO will be Kory Swanson, the think tank’s longtime executive vice president.
“I was honored and delighted by the opportunity to lead the Pope Foundation, which has made such a difference in the lives of so many people for nearly three decades,” Hood said. “As a native North Carolinian and longtime friend of the Pope family, I share their vision for a stronger, more prosperous state in which economic opportunities are broadly shared, private charity plays a broader role in serving community needs, and our greatest educational, cultural, and artistic achievements are broadly appreciated.”
Formerly a newspaper and magazine reporter, Hood will also continue his work in the print and broadcast media. He writes a twice-weekly syndicated column for 50 daily and community newspapers across North Carolina and a monthly column for Business North Carolina magazine. He is a weekly panelist on the statewide TV program “NC SPIN” and a regular commentator for radio and TV stations in North Carolina and elsewhere. Hood is the author of six books, ranging in subject from national politics and economic policy to North Carolina history. A former stage performer and 4-H volunteer who co-founded a summer theatre program in the Triangle area, he has also authored dozens of songs and a musical play. He is currently completing his seventh book, a biography of former North Carolina Gov. James G. Martin.
A Mecklenburg County native, Hood is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in journalism and competed on the debate team. While there, he founded The Carolina Critic, a student magazine that later added editions at five other college campuses. Hood is a William C. Friday Fellow in human relations and a former Bradley Visiting Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
At JLF, Hood helped create the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders, a yearlong program that prepares young North Carolinians for leadership roles in government, business, and nonprofits. The ranks of Morris Fellows include state lawmakers, local elected officials, entrepreneurs, business managers, professionals, educators, and citizen activists. Hood has also served on the faculty of the Institute of Political Leadership and on selection committees for the Friday Fellowship and the German Marshall Fund’s Marshall Memorial Fellowship.
As the Pope Foundation’s vice president, Joyce Pope works with arts and humanitarian grantees and on the foundation’s day-to-day operations. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving both her undergraduate and law degrees there. She worked with the Washington, D.C. strategic communications consulting firm Greener and Hook, LLC, and while in law school interned at the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina under Judge Stephani Humrickhouse. Joyce completed an externship at the Office of the Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties and was a summer associate at Wyrick Robbins Yates and Ponton, a Raleigh law firm.
The transitions at the Pope Foundation also include Lindsay Hollandsworth as the new Communications Director, effective November 2014. Hollandsworth is a graduate of Wingate University. Prior to her work with the Pope Foundation, she served as Programs and Communications Manager for the Jesse Helms Center Foundation in Wingate, North Carolina.
The John William Pope Foundation has been serving critical needs through generous grants since 1986. The foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million with North Carolina charities and organizations being the primary beneficiaries. For more information about the foundation, visit www.jwpf.org.