Meyer Memorial Trust has named seasoned investor Rukaiyah Adams as its new Chief Investment Officer.
Adams, the director of investment management at The Standard, succeeds Wayne Pierson, who contributed significantly to the development of Meyer’s $800 million corpus during his 32-year tenure as Chief Financial & Investment Officer, dating back to the Foundation’s inception in 1982.
Pierson is retiring this month. Adams takes on her new role at Meyer effective July 23, 2014.
She will lead an investment team that includes the support of Sayer Jones, Director of Finance and Mission Related Investing.
“We are enthused to have such a highly-qualified investment professional as Rukaiyah join the Trust,” said Doug Stamm, Chief Executive Officer of the Meyer Memorial Trust. “With strong roots in Oregon, Rukaiyah is passionate about her new role and the opportunity to partner with the Meyer team in our effort to create a more flourishing and equitable Oregon. Rukaiyah brings deep investment expertise and an eye towards innovation that we expect will expand Meyer's resources and impact."
Northeast Portland raised, Adams is a graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota, where she was named both a Ford Foundation Scholar and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. At Stanford University Law School, Adams served as editor of the Law and Policy Review and co-president of the Law Student Association. She worked as a corporate lawyer for seven years in the Bay area before returning to Stanford for her MBA.
Adams comes to philanthropy from the world of private investments. At The Standard, a Portland-based financial services group, Adams led a team that managed $7 billion of direct investments. During her tenure there, she was appointed by Gov. Kitzhaber to the Oregon Investment Council, an oversight board responsible for the management of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund and other state funds. A supporter of economic empowerment, women's health and the arts, Adams has volunteered her services to a number of community based organizations and initiatives. She currently serves on the board of directors of Portland Center Stage.
She also served on the finance committee of the local chapter of Planned Parenthood and was among thousands of lawyers assigned to polling places in Ohio and Florida during the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns.
“I look forward to beginning my tenure as a student of philanthropy,” Adams said. “Hopefully, the combination of the knowledge gained from decades of good work by the people at Meyer together with my experience using assets for positive outcomes will generate something innovative and wonderful."