CHICAGO, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Robert R. McCormick Foundation announced that Eli Williamson is joining the organization as Director of the Veterans Program. In this position, Williamson will work with the Foundation's partners and grantees to assist veterans and their families in making a successful transition from military to civilian life, with particular emphasis on veterans' employment, education and continued strong commitment to serving their communities.
"Eli comes to the Foundation with significant experience in both the military and non-profit world," said David Hiller, president and chief executive officer of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. "With his passion and experience, Eli will be great in leading our Veterans Program forward."
Williamson joins the Foundation from Leave No Veteran Behind, an organization he co-founded in 2009 after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. As Executive Director, Williamson successfully implemented educational debt relief and transitional employment programs, workforce skills training, and community service opportunities for veterans making the transition from military to civilian life.
Prior to 2009, Williamson served in the Army as a member of "psychological operations" teams and as an Arabic linguist while in Iraq and Afghanistan, working on outreach to civilian communities and supporting special operations forces. Before leaving the Army as a staff sergeant, Williamson served as a retention officer, providing career counseling to a battalion of over 150 soldiers. Eli is the recipient of many awards and medals including the Bronze Star, two Army Achievement Medals, an Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals.
Eli grew up on the south side of Chicago, where he attended the Kenwood Academy. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Linguistics (with a minor in African studies) from Luther College in Iowa, and is presently completing a Master's in Non-Profit Management from DePaul University.
"I am proud to be a part of an organization that invests in veterans," said Eli Williamson. "This is not an issue of charity, but of helping veterans and our communities realize the full value of individuals who have served and want to continue to serve our country."
About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and Museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities.
The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. McCormick, a veteran himself, believed strongly in service to one's country. He served during World War I as a soldier in the U.S. Army's 1st Division. Today, the Foundation continues his commitment to serving those who have served our country.
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.McCormickFoundation.org.
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