TITLE: Director, Relief, Recovery and Development
FUNDING AREAS: Domestic and international relief work
CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)
PROFILE: Disaster relief was one of Ms. Cargill's top philanthropic concerns while she was alive. The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation's Relief, Recovery and Development (RRD) Program is still a work in progress, but it's safe to say that Program Director Mark Lindberg and his team are hard at work getting the program out of development and fully operational, because the foundation's singular goal is to honor the wishes of Ms. Cargill. We can expect the RRD program to be a huge funder in disaster relief efforts around the world when it becomes fully operational.
Before embarking on a career in philanthropy, Lindberg earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota, his JD from the William Mitchell College of Law, and his master's in public administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also served as a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow.
After satisfying his academic goals, Lindberg spent nearly a decade at the Otto Bremer Foundation as a senior program officer before accepting a position at the Medtronic Foundation as director of operations and international programs. Lindberg's duties, among a whole host of other responsibilities, included overseeing the program's $26 million budget.
Lindberg also sits on the board of the American Refugee Committee, the Advocates for Human Rights, and the Minnesota Council on Foundations. With his past experience and his current board duties, it seems safe to assume that the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation wants a strong international focus when its RRD program becomes fully operational.
In a 2014 interview, Lindberg articulated the RRD program's emerging focus even further:
"The program actually covers relief-related work but it also covers recovery work and longer term work as well and resiliency building. So, it’s a nice mixture of things that we support through the work. It focuses on natural disasters rather than man-made circumstances which typically come up in the developing world in different places. We’re really interested in lower-attention events. The circumstances that tend not to attract as much media attention also don’t attract so much philanthropic support. So we tend to be in places that just have fewer donors in place as well."