RFG announces governance transitions


  • Program News

RFG announces governance transitions

RFG is pleased to announce its new slate of members and officers for the Board of Directors. John Palmer and Olivia Robertson-Moe are new board members serving three-year terms. Julia Robertson is the new Chair and Ms. Robertson-Moe, the new Secretary. Newly-announced RFG President, Geoff Robertson [read bio here] will also continue on as Treasurer.

John L. Palmer, PhD, is University Professor and Maxwell Dean Emeritus at Syracuse University. He joined the faculty of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in 1988 and was the School’s dean from then until 2003, with responsibility for academic and administrative leadership of Syracuse University’s six social science disciplinary departments, undergraduate and graduate programs in public and international affairs, and numerous interdisciplinary research centers and institutes.  After leaving the deanship, Dr. Palmer was appointed to the position of University Professor, from which he retired in 2019. 

He also served two presidentially-appointed terms as a public trustee for the Medicare and Social Security programs from 2000-2007 and as the Maxwell School’s Birkhead-Burkhead Professor of Teaching Excellence from 2010-2014.  Prior to moving to Syracuse, Dr. Palmer occupied several different positions in Washington, DC, including senior fellow of The Brookings Institution and of The Urban Institute and Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Palmer served on the RFG Advisory Board from 2009 to April 2021, when he started a three-year term as a Member-at-Large of the Board of Directors. 

Olivia Robertson-Moe is the first, fourth-generation member of the Board. She is a great-granddaughter of Charles and Marie Robertson, who initiated the original donation to launch the Robertson Fellowships.

Ms. Robertson-Moe provides current perspectives on international relations in her role as a program officer in the Child Protection Unit of Partners for the Americas. There she focuses on efforts to combat child labor and human trafficking, and to promote human and labor rights in Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Mexico. She received her undergraduate degree in global public health from George Washington University. Her studies included six months in Argentina, which furthered Ms. Robertson-Moe’s interest in Spanish, and her passion for international sustainable development in the region.

As RFG welcomes new family talent, it also has tapped seasoned expertise by naming William (Bill) Robertson as co-chair of the RFG Investment Committee. In addition, Mr. Robertson has been appointed as a member of the foundation’s Advisory Board. He is one of the RFG’s co-founding members and served as its first president. You can read Mr. Robertson’s bio here.  

Four prior members of the RFG Board of Directors recently completed their service to the foundation. They include David Ernst, Andrew McKibben, and Charles and April Meier. RFG is grateful for their time and contributions to support the mission of the Robertson Foundation for Government and the fellowship network, affiliated schools, grantees and partners.