Peter Degnan to Lead William Penn Foundation

Leaves vice dean position at Wharton, replaces Jeremy Nowak.

NewsWorks reports: “Wharton School vice dean Peter J. Degnan has been selected to lead Philadelphia’s most powerful regionally-focused foundation. Degnan’s appointment comes 15 months after the abrupt departure of past president Jeremy Nowak. Degnan’s first day on the job is March 3.”

 The Daily Pennsylvanian:

In his new role, Degnan will oversee the foundation’s operations, including “research-based evaluation, community engagement, and the Foundation’s financial and organizational management,” the press release said.

Prior to his position as vice dean for finance and administration, Degnan worked as the executive director of Wharton’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education and as director of Wharton’s MBA Career Management Office.

“We are excited about Peter coming on board,” David Haas, chair of the foundation’s board of directors, said. “He will not only bring his strong management skills and experience, but will be the ideal leader to work with the board and the family to sharpen the Foundation’s vision and carry our mission with greater impact.”

The Inquirer:

The button-down Degnan replaces outspoken Jeremy Nowak, who had vowed to sharpen the philanthropic impact of the Penn Foundation when the organization hired him in April 2010.

Nowak resigned in November 2012 after developing a 10-year plan but drawing disagreement from the foundation’s board.

Nowak was viewed by some as a change agent at the foundation that has steadily raised its Philadelphia-area profile. The Penn Foundation has elevated its importance as a regional philanthropic source as the city’s two other multi-billion-dollar charities, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Annenberg Foundation, shifted their attentions outside of Philadelphia.

The foundation’s press release is here.