Sterling Speirn, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, has announced in a statement on the foundation's Web site that he will step down from his position at the end of 2013.
Speirn, who joined the foundation in 2006, said he plans to keep working on behalf of vulnerable children and families in the philanthropic and nonprofit arenas. The foundation's board has formed a search committee, and a comprehensive search for a new leader is scheduled to launch in the coming weeks.
Speirn has led Kellogg through a transformation process that connected its legacy programs with new systems that provide more affordable food, higher-quality education options, and clear paths out of multi-generational poverty for vulnerable children in America. Under his leadership, the foundation reaffirmed its commitment to promoting racial equity, fostered opportunities for racial healing, and concentrated on civic and community engagement as primary mechanisms for effecting sustainable change. In addition, the foundation brokered long-term commitments with select "priority places" in the U.S. and around the world, including Michigan, Mississippi, Mexico, and Haiti.
"His leadership has left us well prepared to serve a vital role in a challenging world," said Kellogg Foundation board chair Rod Gillum. "Consistent with his outstanding service to the [foundation], Sterling is committed to leading a smooth and seamless transition to preserve the momentum on the many critical initiatives currently underway."