Feeding America Grabs New CEO From Walmart

One of the nation’s largest nonprofits plucked its new chief executive officer (CEO) from one the largest corporations in the country. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot – most recently executive vice president and treasurer at Walmart – will become the new CEO of Feeding America, effective Oct. 1.

The nation’s largest hunger relief organization has a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in the United States that last year provided more than four billion meals.

“The organization needs a leader who believes that food insecurity in America is unacceptable and will devote her life to leading Feeding America’s charge to end hunger,” Keith Monda, executive chairman of the Feeding America board of directors, said in a press release announcing the appointment. “I believe Claire is that individual,” he said.

Banineaux-Fontenot spent almost 13 years at Walmart, most recently as executive vice president of finance and treasurer, and also held leadership positions at Adams and Reese, LLP, and PwC. A native of Louisiana, she was assistant secretary for the state Office of Legal Affairs and administrative law judge for the Louisiana Department of Civil Service.

She will succeed Diana Aviv, who departed in January after two years at the helm, and be the organization’s third CEO since 2012.

Feeding America reported total revenue of $2.7 billion on its most recent federal Form 990 for the year ending June 2017, including $2.5 billion in noncash contributions, mostly in the form of donated food. About $110 million was raised through other contributions and grants. Last year, the organization ranked No. 8 on the NPT 100, an annual study by The NonProfit Times of the nation’s largest nonprofits.

Monday’s announcement did not include details about compensation for the new chief executive. Last year, Aviv earned total compensation of $707,580, including a base salary of $531,597.

Babineaux-Fontenot earned a bachelor of science degree from University of Louisiana-Lafayette in 1985. She was awarded a Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, La., and a Master of Laws in Taxation from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas, in 1992.

A former member of the board of trustees for National Urban League, she also has served on the national board of directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the board for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. She sat on the corporate advisory board for the Association of Latino Professionals of America and the board of directors for the National Association of Black Accountants, as well as the executive committee of the global board of directors for the Walmart Foundation.