51, Executive director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
Duke University, B.A., J.D.
In his third year heading one of the state’s biggest foundations, the former superintendent of Guilford County Schools announced a focus on key areas for its grantmaking: advancing public education, fostering a sustainable environment, promoting social and economic justice, and strengthening democracy. Green now leads a staff of about 16, very different from his Greensboro job from 2008-15 overseeing 10,000 workers and an annual budget of more than $660 million. The foundation, named after the youngest son of tobacco baron R.J. Reynolds, has made donations topping $650 million since its formation in 1936.
What is North Carolina’s key challenge?
In a more demographically diverse state, a key challenge will be educating residents to function well in an ever-changing, more technological environment.
What is the most important role for foundations in helping build the N.C. economy?
Foundations can serve two important and complementary roles to build North Carolina’s economy. They can provide resources to support innovation and help ensure that all North Carolinians are able to enjoy economic opportunity under just and fair rules.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I enjoy reading novels, especially crime fiction and suspense thrillers.
Key 2018 accomplishment?
The successful launch and implementation of All for NC, a new framework for grantmaking and learning. All for NC has three major strategies: a State-Level Systemic Change strategy; a Community-Based Strategy; and an Exploratory, Visionary Ideas Strategy. Through this new framework, the foundation will continue to invest millions of dollars annually into improving North Carolina.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians. I enjoy working with the foundation’s trustees and my colleagues to help ensure that the foundation fulfills that wonderful mission every day.