For more than 25 years Rick Parnell has served at the top levels of non-profit and higher education leadership.

Rick’s expertise lies in the strategic development of institutions that aim to enact positive change. Rick believes that creating a 360-degree approach to philanthropy that includes strong communications, advocacy, operations and financial services, and valued teams, will have an amplifying impact on the work being accomplished. Rick’s experiences have given him a deep understanding that a successful organization must deliver on its mission in partnership with others, but must also focus inward on recruiting and retaining the highest caliber professionals.  

Rick spent 16 years designing and growing the partnership model of the United Nations Foundation, the organization built out of Ted Turner’s historic $1B gift to support UN causes. Over those 16 years, Rick was responsible for managing the team that leveraged Mr. Turner’s gift into $2.2B for UN causes, and built a team of over 300 individuals across the U.S. and internationally.  

Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Rick oversaw a $1B fundraising campaign for the American Red Cross, and served as the Chief of Staff to the President of the University of Florida.  

Rick serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Fund for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council; was the Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Digital Impact Alliance; and was the Founder and Chair of the Independent Sector C-Suite Program.

Rick is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC and the Economic Club of Washington, DC.