Our goal: to create a resilient and healthy food system in New England that increases the production and consumption of local, sustainably produced food.
The Henry P. Kendall Foundation is a legacy of its namesake, an early twentieth-century New England entrepreneur and industrialist (1878-1959) from Walpole, Massachusetts. Kendall's wide-ranging, venturesome business instincts led to acquisitions of factories and other companies through the company that bore his name, The Kendall Company.
Henry W. and John P. Kendall established the Norfolk Charitable Trust in 1957. Following the death of their father in 1959, they changed the name to the Henry P. Kendall Foundation in his honor. The Kendall Foundation began an emphasis on environmental concerns in the early 1970s by supporting land, water and wildlife conservation. A decade later, as the threat of nuclear war persisted into the 1980s, the Foundation focused on nuclear non-proliferation and arms-control activities. One of its grantees, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1999 the Foundation initiated a climate change program when it created a new organization, Clean Air-Cool Planet, to focus specifically on steps to address accelerating greenhouse gas emissions. The Foundation began to expand its climate change program to support a wide-range of organizations, predominantly those with directed efforts in the Northeast region, and in 2006, re-oriented its focus to strategies for reducing greenhouse gases and developing early steps for adapting to the impacts of global warming on the landscape.
In 2009, the Trustees decided to take time to reflect on the Foundation’s history and determine a new direction for its grantmaking and associated activities. After a period of reflection, planning, and outreach, the Foundation began launching its new program in 2011 focused on creating a sustainable and resilient food system in New England.
Andrew W. Kendall, Executive Director
Andy is the Executive Director of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and together with his colleagues is helping to launch its new program focused on helping build a stronger local food system in New England.
Andy joined the foundation in 2012 after spending 12 years as President of The Trustees of Reservations, a revered, Massachusetts institution founded in 1891 dedicated to protecting properties of exceptional ecological, historic, or scenic value. Amongst his accomplishments, Andy led the development of a network of community farms and gardens across Massachusetts that engaged thousands of people in the sustainable production of local food. Prior to his time at TTOR, Andy worked at both the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Audubon as well as in Costa Rica where he worked on global conservation issues.
Andy is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Business School. In 2011, Andy received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Amherst College for his commitment to the environment.
Courtney Bourns, Senior Program Officer
Courtney Bourns is a senior program officer at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. In this role, she collaborates with her colleagues on the staff and board of the Foundation to determine strategic and grantmaking priorities. She is currently helping to roll out the Foundation’s new grantmaking program focused on building a resilient food system across the six New England states.
Courtney joined the foundation in 2011 after three years as Vice President of Programs with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations in Washington, DC. There, she directed efforts to advance the field of philanthropy by supporting grantmakers to partner with their grantees in ways that make the biggest difference to grantee effectiveness and ultimately lead to impact. Courtney brought to GEO her expertise in facilitation, organizational development and multi-stakeholder change initiatives. She was the author of GEO’s 2010 publication entitled, “Do Nothing About Me Without Me: An Action Guide for Engaging Stakeholders.”
Previously, Courtney served as director of organizational development at Conservation International and senior associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Today, she is a board member at the Center for Courage and Renewal.
Courtney received her BA from Brown University and her MA from Union Theological Seminary.
Thai Ha-Ngoc, Program Associate
As the Program Associate at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, Thai manages the grants process, conducts research on key issues and trends, and identifies opportunities in specific programmatic areas relating to the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy in strengthening the New England food system. Prior to joining the Foundation, Thai worked at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships as part of the Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) team. He provided project management support for the development and use of consistent protocols to measure the impacts of regional energy efficiency programs.
Thai has also served as an AmeriCorps member in the Massachusetts Land Initiative For Tomorrow (MassLIFT) program at the Sudbury Valley Trustees, based in Sudbury, MA. There, he monitored and developed baseline reports for conservation and agricultural land owned or managed by the regional land trust. Thai graduated with a B.A in Environmental Studies and Economics from Bowdoin College where he spent his senior year on a student grantmaking committee.
Kathleen Merrigan, Senior Advisor
Kathleen Merrigan is the Executive Director of Sustainability at The George Washington Univesity, where she leads university efforts in sustainability education, research and outreach. From 2009-2013, Dr. Merrigan was U.S. Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, overseeing a $150 billion budget and 110,000 employees. As Deputy Secretary, Dr. Merrigan created and led the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative to support local food systems; was a key architect of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign; and made history as the first woman to chair the Ministerial Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
Before joining USDA, Dr. Merrigan held a variety of positions in government and civil society, including the Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment M.S./Ph.D. Program at Tufts University, Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and staff to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where she wrote the law establishing national standards for organic food. Dr. Merrigan holds a Ph.D. in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas, and a B.A. from Williams College. Recognizing the history and scope of her work, Time Magazine named Dr. Merrigan among the “100 most influential people in the world” in 2010.
Board of Trustees
Andrew W. Kendall
John P. Kendall
Kenneth F. Meyers
Phoebe S. Winder
Henry P. Kendall Foundation
176 Federal Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02110