CMF Names Director of Government Relations and Public Policy

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Regina Bell as the incoming director of government relations and public policy, effective August 15, 2019. 

“Creating this new leadership position allows us to continue working deeply in policy within a sustainable infrastructure,” said CMF President and CEO Kyle Caldwell. “This focus aligns with the priority areas identified by CMF members, as they expressed a desire to see CMF maintain its role as a leader in public policy both at the state and federal level. I am confident Regina will be an outstanding addition to our staff and a true thought leader in partnership with our members.”  

Bell, a resident of Detroit, is currently a program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). 

“This role will not only allow me to work with a dynamic team and leader, Kyle Caldwell, but also affords me the opportunity to bring the expertise and learnings I’ve gained in my role as program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,” Bell says.

Caldwell notes that Bell has been a deeply engaged CMF member and colleague. She was a former point person for the Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) – a CMF partner organization – when she worked as policy director for the governor’s office under former Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration. She has also been a member of the CMF Public Policy Committee and Rural Philanthropy Affinity Group.

“CMF plays a unique role in leveraging the collective voices of its members to shape public discourse and advocate for the interest of Michigan’s nonprofit and philanthropic sectors,” Bell shares. “CMF is recognized for its excellence in growing the impact of Michigan philanthropy and leadership in advancing public policy. The idea of working with such a well-respected organization and its members to grow impact and translate best practices into equitable policies seems only natural as I think about my previous work with the Office of Foundation Liaison and my personal mission – to question the world around me, look for ways to simplify complexities and use my gifts as a change agent to help others reach their full potential.”  

Prior to her role with WKKF, Regina was chief of staff and special advisor to the president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. She was the first mobility manager for the City of Detroit under the Job Access Reverse Community Program and served as field director for Education Trust-Midwest. Her previous roles also include director of government affairs for a premier communications company and director of community-based initiatives for a Michigan software developer.

“My understanding of the connection between policy and its impact on the way we work, think and live began at an early age,” Bell says. Her grandparents served in leadership positions with various nonprofit organizations and were active volunteers. “The rich lessons in community and civic engagement taught to me by my grandparents is what grounds my desire to effect change in communities.”

Bell says she anticipates her priorities for the first several months in her new role include getting to know the interests and needs of colleagues and CMF members, as well as expanding her understanding of the tools available to the organization. “I’ll also be spending time with lawmakers and staff to share the benefits and value of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and how we can be helpful in advancing efforts that provide opportunities for all.”

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