DONNA KALAJIAN LAGANI NAMED VICE PRESIDENT AND EASTERN DIRECTOR OF THE WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST FOUNDATION OF CALIFORNIA AND THE HEARST FOUNDATION, INC. OF NEW YORK
Hearst today announced that Donna Kalajian Lagani has been named vice president and Eastern director of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation of California and the Hearst Foundation, Inc. of New York, succeeding George B. Irish who passed away on September 13 after serving 14 years in that position. She begins her new role immediately.
The announcement was made by William Randolph Hearst III, chairman of the board of directors of Hearst, president of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and a director of the Hearst Foundation, Inc., and Virginia Hearst Randt, president of the Hearst Foundation, Inc.
Kalajian Lagani joined the Hearst Foundations in 2019 as senior program officer after nearly 25 years at Hearst Magazines.
Separate from the corporation, the Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. In addition, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation operates two programs, the United States Senate Youth Program and the Journalism Awards Program. Since its inception, the Foundations have made over 22,200 grants to 6,300 organizations, totaling more than $1.4 billion in funds awarded. Paul “Dino” Dinovitz is executive director of both foundations and leads the Western operations.
“For years, Donna was a high-energy executive at Hearst Magazines,” said Hearst. “She brings the same passion for making things happen to her role in philanthropy. I know Donna will make a positive impact on people’s lives — creating the kind of opportunities that my grandfather envisioned when he started the Foundations in 1946. The entire team looks forward to working with her. Donna will sustain our mission to identify and fund outstanding nonprofits and ensure that people of all backgrounds have the chance to build healthy, productive and satisfying lives.”
Said Randt: “Donna has already made a profound impact at the Foundations and has worked tirelessly to identify the organizations who can make the most impact with our grants.”
“The past four years with the Foundations have been among the most fulfilling of my career,” said Kalajian Lagani. “The Foundations are committed to helping organizations make lasting, positive changes in our world and I am honored to be able to be a part of it and to carry on that mission.”
Kalajian Lagani joined Hearst Magazines in 1995 as publisher of Cosmopolitan and was named publishing director in 1999. She added oversight of Seventeen in 2014 and of Women’s Health in 2018, following Hearst’s acquisition of Rodale. During her career at Cosmopolitan, Kalajian Lagani introduced groundbreaking initiatives, most recently through mobile and artificial intelligence technology. She developed and immortalized the “fun fearless female” mantra used by Cosmopolitan editions worldwide. During her tenure, she helped launch CosmoGIRL! and Cosmo for Latinas and was a strong force in bringing Cosmopolitan to new platforms, including Snapchat and Sirius XM Radio.
The Hearst Foundation, Inc. was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1946. In 1949, Hearst established the California Charities Foundations, later renamed the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Both foundations are guided by the same charitable mission, which reflects the philanthropic interests of their founder.
The two foundations are managed as one entity, sharing the same funding guidelines, leadership and staff. Staff based in New York City review all proposals from organizations located east of the Mississippi River, and staff in the San Francisco office review those from organizations west of it.