MENLO PARK, CALIF. — The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that it has named its longtime general counsel and corporate secretary, Elizabeth Peters, as interim president.

Elizabeth Peters
Elizabeth Peters

Peters will take on the role in January and remain until the presidential search for a successor to departing president Larry Kramer is complete. The foundation announced earlier this year that Kramer, who has led Hewlett for more than a decade, will step down to become president and vice chancellor of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Peters, the first woman to helm the foundation, has served as general counsel and an officer of the board since 2011. During that time, she has worked across the foundation’s programs to implement strategic initiatives and funder collaboratives, built the foundation’s legal department and codified its compliance practices, and developed an institution-wide approach to risk management. She works closely with the board on corporate governance, including leading efforts to update the foundation’s bylaws, develop committee charters, and assist the board in developing their guiding principles.  In addition, she serves on the foundation’s Racial Justice Advisory Council, was the co-chair of a foundation-wide initiative that led to more equitable internal operations and practices, and worked to create fellowships for diverse law students to enter the practice of nonprofit law.

“In Liz Peters, we have a seasoned, principled, and thoughtful leader to steer the foundation as interim president. Hewlett’s board is immensely grateful that Liz is willing to take on this role during this critical transition,” said Hewlett Foundation board chair Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar. “As we know from her years of service as an officer of the board, she brings deep commitment to the foundation’s mission and knowledge of its grantmaking operations across our program areas.”

“It’s an honor to serve in the role of interim president as the board searches for a more permanent successor to Larry,” said Peters. “I’m committed to being a good steward of the foundation and ensuring a smooth transition for Hewlett’s staff, grantees, and partners.”

Peters is not a candidate in the presidential search. While she takes on the role as interim president, the foundation’s deputy general counsel, Kristy Bernard Tsadick, will become interim general counsel and interim corporate secretary.

Peters is a frequent speaker on nonprofit legal topics impacting private foundations and is the co-author of several online legal courses on private foundation law. Prior to joining Hewlett, she worked at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., where her legal practice focused on representing nonprofit institutions. Before becoming an attorney, she was a director of strategic planning at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs. She graduated phi beta kappa from Harvard University and earned her law degree from Yale Law School.