Starsky D. Wilson, DMin, MDiv, was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in October 2021, effective January 2022.
Starsky is president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and CDF Action Council. Since 1973, CDF has worked to advance child-centered public policies. From 2011 through 2020, Starsky was president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based philanthropy for child well-being and racial justice in St. Louis. During most of his time at Deaconess, he also served as pastor of St. John’s Church, a multiracial congregation in the city. Under his leadership, Deaconess constructed and established the Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being, a community action tank engaging more than 15,000 citizens annually. After the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown, Jr., in Ferguson, Missouri, Starsky was named co-chair of the Ferguson Commission, which released the Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity report, that called for sweeping changes in policing and the courts, and for improved child well-being systems and economic mobility.
Starsky is board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and the Forum for Theological Exploration. He also serves on boards for Duke Divinity School and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. Starsky earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Master of Divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Duke University.