Chicago, IL – Today, the Barack Obama Foundation announced that John Doerr, Thelma Golden and Julianna Smoot will join the Foundation’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Doerr, Golden and Smoot join current members Martin Nesbitt, J. Kevin Poorman, David Plouffe and Maya Soetoro-Ng, who serve as volunteer members of the Board. Nesbitt serves as the chairman of the Board.

Thelma Golden has more than 20 years of experience in the art world, and has curated and contributed to some of the country’s foremost museums and collections. She is currently the Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she has worked since 2000. John Doerr has worked with some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and tech companies for more than 30 years, and served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Julianna Smoot worked on both of President Obama’s campaigns as a key strategic advisor, helping the president’s campaign break records for fundraising in 2008, and again in 2012. She served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Social Secretary in the White House.

“It's an honor to join the Board of the Obama Foundation,” said John Doerr. “A cornerstone of President Obama’s presidency has been leveraging technology to improve the lives of all Americans. I look forward to working with the Board and with technology leaders to ensure that the Obama Presidential Center connects us globally — from kids in Hyde Park to soccer fans in Sao Paulo to teachers in Taipei.”

“I am very much looking forward to joining the Board of Directors, and working to make the Obama Presidential Center a hub for creative expression through the arts,” said Thelma Golden. “The South Side of Chicago has historically been the nexus of several important cultural movements for African-Americans, and I believe the new Center will help usher in a new era of community engagement for this extraordinary neighborhood.”

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to help bring the Obama Presidential Center to life on the South Side of Chicago,” said Julianna Smoot. “I look forward to working with the Foundation to build a platform for the President and First Lady’s next chapter and ensuring that their life’s work may continue well into the future.” 


John Doerr - Board Member

Since joining venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1980, John Doerr has backed some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt of Google. His passion for helping entrepreneurs launch the “Next Big Thing” has created more than 200,000 new jobs.

Outside of his work at KPCB, Doerr serves on the boards of Amyris, Google and Zynga, as well as several private technology ventures. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Rice University, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Thelma Golden - Board Member

Thelma Golden is the Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. During Golden’s tenure as Chief Curator (2000 to present) and Director (2005 to present) the Studio Museum has gained international acclaim for its pioneering exhibitions by art by artists of African descent and role as a cultural anchor in the Harlem community.

From 1988-98 Golden worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she organized numerous groundbreaking exhibitions. Golden was appointed by the President to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House in 2010, is the 2015–16 Chair of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group and serves on the Board of Trustees of Creative Time. She was named a Ford Foundation Art of Change Visiting Fellow in 2015 and a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute in 2008.

She is a frequent lecturer, panelist, and juror at arts institutions and colleges and universities around the world. Golden received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and African-American Studies from Smith College.

Julianna Smoot - Board Member

Julianna Smoot is currently a partner and co-founder of the Smoot Tewes Group, a Washington, D.C.-based political and public affairs consulting firm. Ms. Smoot has served in senior roles in President Obama's Administration and on both of his presidential campaigns.

During the 2008 presidential election, Ms. Smoot served as National Finance Director for the Obama for America campaign. During President Obama's first term, she served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and later, as White House Social Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President. In 2011, Ms. Smoot was asked to serve as a Deputy Campaign Manager for President Obama's re-election effort. During both election cycles,she set new fundraising records.

Ms. Smoot's previous experience includes work for numerous prominent Democratic senators, including Senators Dick Durbin, Tom Daschle, and Chris Dodd.

Ms. Smoot received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Massachusetts.


For more information about the Foundation and the future Obama Presidential Library, visit http://www.barackobamafoundation.org/ or follow @ObamaFoundation on Twitter.