“Throughout his almost two decades at the United Nations Foundation, Mr. Parnell has clearly demonstrated that he is a dedicated, energetic and highly capable manager. His responsibilities encompassed the allocation of the Foundation’s $150 million annual budget, leading on all of its operations, and providing strategic support to the President and Chief Executive Officer. In all these roles he has proven exemplary and it is my view that he has been one of the pillars of the Foundation. Personally, I have also come to regard Mr. Parnell as a man of integrity and character, whose personal qualities only complement his professional experience and capabilities.”

Kofi Annan

Former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


“I’m grateful for the contribution you personally made to so many successful programs, initiatives, and cooperative ventures.  I will always be proud of our association.”

Ted Turner

Founder and Chairman, United Nations Foundation


“I have watched Rick Parnell’s career since the 1990s when we identified him as an exceptionally able, intelligent, and creative individual. Since then, this promise has been fulfilled over and over again as his work has demonstrated a remarkable talent for leadership, a strong commitment to the enterprises he engages, unusual creativity, and a remarkable capacity for innovation. He can take whatever task or opportunity is provided and turn it into a successful venture, whatever the surrounding challenges, difficulties of personnel motivation, or political context. He finds his way through these obstacles, never losing sight of the fundamental purpose of the enterprise, and in the end, helps people and organizations be more successful than they could have imagined possible. It has been a pleasure to observe his remarkable achievements.”

John V. Lombardi

President Emeritus, University of Florida. Former Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Amherst, and President of the Louisiana State University System. Currently Director, Center for Measuring University Performance, UMass Amherst-University of Florida.


“I am profoundly grateful for Rick’s long and dedicated service to the Foundation and for all he did to build a powerful and deeply collaborative team and a sustainable organization.”

Kathy Calvin

President and CEO, United Nations Foundation