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International House Names Calvin Sims New President

Calvin Sims, a Ford Foundation executive and former New York Times correspondent, has been appointed President and CEO of International House.

Calvin Sims Is Named New President of I-House
Calvin Sims

Sims was unanimously elected by the Board of Trustees on July 31st. The appointment was announced by International House Chairman Frank G. Wisner, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, India and the Philippines, who is Foreign Affairs Advisor at Patton Boggs LLP in New York.

“Calvin’s unique and impressive credentials make him ideally suited to lead International House,” said Wisner. “The Board looks forward to working with him as International House heads into its 90th year of operation and in the years ahead.”

“We could not be happier with this choice,” said Trustee Peter M. O’Neill, an International House alumnus and great-grandson of co-founder John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who chaired the search committee. “Calvin brings an incredible skill set and life experience to the position, and will do an outstanding job.”

A cross-sector leader with more than 20 years of experience in journalism, philanthropy and international affairs, Sims has served as Program Officer for the Ford Foundation since 2007, focusing on the development of a free and responsible press worldwide. His work helped foster new and innovative models of reporting, disseminating and financing news, with a concentration on social justice issues, diversity of voices, standards and ethics, and press freedoms.

Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Sims spent 20 years at The New York Times, where he was a director, producer and foreign correspondent and played a central role in the newspaper's expansion into television, documentaries and the Web. He anchored the Times's nightly television news program, hosted a weekly podcast on foreign affairs and produced an acclaimed documentary for PBS on the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia. As a foreign correspondent, Sims was based in Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seoul and Jakarta.

A native of California, Sims is a 1985 graduate of Yale University and has held the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Ferris Professorship of Journalism at Princeton University.

Sims’s international experience has included conducting workshops and cultural exchange programs for journalists in Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan as part of an effort by American University and the U.S. State Department to resolve historical conflicts. He speaks Spanish and conversational Japanese.

“I am honored to join this esteemed institution which for nearly 90 years has stood as a beacon of international harmony and understanding, proving that humanity can surpass the barriers of race, nationality, color, culture, and traditions that have so long divided the world,” said Sims. “I look forward to working with the Board and staff to ensure that I-House continues to fulfill its mission which has never been more relevant.”

Sims, who begins the position on September 1st, met with the entire International House staff on August 5th and noted the "big shoes" he has to fill. Sims will succeed Donald L. Cuneo, an I-House alumnus and retired partner of the law firm Shearman & Sterling, who announced plans to retire last February and who has served in the position for over 20 years.  Sims noted that he is both "humbled and honored" to be taking over from Cuneo and shared with the staff anecdotes about his background growing up in Los Angeles and from his career. 

Sims and his wife, Patricia Baptiste, will move into International House at 500 Riverside Drive.