In his role as President and CEO of Winrock International, Rodney Ferguson is responsible for strategic, programmatic, financial and management operations of the organization’s mission to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Before coming to Winrock, Ferguson worked for 20 years as one of the country’s leading consultants on communications and strategy for the nonprofit sector — most recently with Lipman Hearne, Inc., the largest marketing and communications firm in the U.S. that exclusively serves nonprofits. There he worked closely with the MacArthur Foundation to increase awareness of the MacArthur Fellows — aka “genius” — awards. Ferguson has worked with other major foundations, service providers and philanthropic organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Children’s Medical Center. He has worked with dozens of colleges and universities, including the State University of New York (SUNY), Seton Hall University and the American Council on Education (ACE), as well as assisting with international aid and development projects, including projects in Iraq, Slovenia and Qatar. Born and raised in Alabama, Ferguson graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham Southern College. He also attended the University of St Andrews in Scotland as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar, and graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s in public policy. Ferguson has served on a number of boards, including the D.C. Advisory Board for Teach for America, as well as the Education Writers Association, the membership association for education journalists and broadcasters.