MENLO PARK, Calif.—The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that Dana Hovig, an experienced leader of both philanthropic and global nonprofit organizations, has been named the new director of the foundation’s Global Development and Population Program. Hovig will begin his new role on August 15, succeeding Ruth Levine, who will complete her eight-year term as program director on June 3.

Dana Hovig
Dana Hovig

The program seeks to improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries and promote the health and economic well-being of women in the United States and around the world. Hovig, who joins Hewlett from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will oversee a team of 18 global development professionals and more than $100 million in U.S. and international grants annually.

“Dana is passionate about the issues on which we work, to which he brings a decades-long commitment, and he knows and appreciates Hewlett’s approach to philanthropy – the commitment to long-term partnerships, the emphasis on listening and learning, and the importance of being collaborative,” said Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer. “He has earned a sterling reputation for building and sustaining a strong organizational culture and for developing effective partnerships with the nonprofits who do the work we support.”

At the Gates Foundation for six years, Hovig co-created and led an Integrated Delivery team that builds health systems and finds synergies and improves outcomes across the foundation’s health programs. Prior to that, he was CEO of longtime Hewlett Foundation grantee Marie Stopes International (MSI) for nearly seven years, leading more than 8,000 staff and MSI’s global network of family health, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and primary health care centers, franchised clinics, and community health workers. Dana joined MSI after more than a decade with another longtime Hewlett Foundation grantee, Population Services International. He also spent nearly 10 years living and working in Pakistan and Francophone West Africa, including with the Peace Corps in Togo.

“I’m excited to join the Hewlett Foundation, which I have long admired for the way it collaborates with other agencies and supports nonprofits – something I experienced directly,” Hovig said. “As a grantee, I remember appreciating the openness of and partnership with Hewlett team members as we jointly tried to solve hard problems that could make a difference to the lives of countless women, girls, and communities around the world.”

Hovig’s appointment follows a robust, seven-month search aided by the executive search firm Russell Reynolds. A diverse pool of candidates was reviewed by an internal panel of nearly 20 staff.

Current program director Ruth Levine, a development economist who has been selected as a 2019-20 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, will step down on June 3. She leaves the foundation with an impressive legacy: merging two of its largest programs while thoughtfully stewarding partnerships with grantees and other funders, expanding the foundation’s work in women’s economic empowerment, and significantly contributing to the sector by championing the practical and moral case for using data and evidence – especially gender-specific data.

Program officer Christine Clark will serve as acting director in the interim following Levine’s departure.