WASHINGTON, D.C.—Veteran public relations executive Kathy Bushkin, who led the corporate communications function at AOL for four years, has joined the United Nations Foundation as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Bushkin, whose interest had turned increasingly to philanthropic activities, was most recently senior vice president at AOL Time Warner and president of the AOL Time Warner Foundation.
“At this critical time for the UN, Kathy Bushkin is the ideal person to help to lead the UN Foundation and the Better World Fund,” says Timothy Wirth, president of the Foundation. “She has a unique combination of management experience in public-private partnerships, grantmaking, public affairs and non-profit operations, as well as a reputation as a leader in innovative philanthropy.”
In her new role, she will work alongside Ted Turner, founder and chairman of the foundation, which he created in 1998 with a $1 billion gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. It focuses on health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges.
Bushkin has been president of the AOL Time Warner Foundation since 2001, after serving as chief communications officer at AOL and head of its foundation. Earlier, she ran the media relations practice for Hill and Knowlton and was the director of editorial administration for U.S. News & World Report from 1985 to 1996. She was also communications director and co-legislative director for Senator Gary Hart in both his Senate office and his 1984 presidential campaign.
“Through our unique relationship with the U,N we are working every day to help build new and stronger partnerships between the world’s most visible, far-reaching and inclusive international organization and private donors, particularly in the areas of children’s health, women and population, energy and the environment, and peace, security and human rights,” Wirth continued. “Kathy brings energy and enthusiasm with her extensive experience, and will be an important member of our team to support and strengthen the UN.”
Bushkin succeeds Jane Holl Lute, who was named assistant secretary general for peacekeeping operations at the United Nations.