Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Names Ricardo Castro as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

    • January 18, 2022

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced today that Ricardo Castro has been named vice president, general counsel and secretary. In this role, Castro will be a key member of the Foundation’s leadership team, responsible for advising the president and CEO and Board chair, and through them, the Board of Trustees, on legal issues, tax or legislative matters, or regulatory activities that affect or may affect the Foundation or its grantees. He will join the Foundation on February 14, 2022.

RWJF is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, working alongside others to build a Culture of Health that provides everyone a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.

Castro comes to RWJF with more than 30 years of legal, nonprofit, and philanthropy experience. Most recently he served as general counsel and secretary of the International Rescue Committee, where he was a member of the senior leadership team and was responsible for the legal affairs of the organization both domestically and internationally. In his immediately preceding position as general counsel of the Clinton Foundation, he was a member of the senior leadership team and was likewise responsible for the Foundation's global legal affairs. As executive vice president of Consumer Reports, a blue-chip not-for-profit organization, he was a member of the senior leadership team with the mandate to establish the strategic direction for all business development, change management, IT, development, customer care, and human resources endeavors. In that position, Castro took the reins of managing a comprehensive change management process involving seven teams dedicated to defining implementable strategic recommendations in areas of critical importance to the transformation of Consumer Reports.

“Ricardo Castro has had an outstanding career and comes with tremendous experience,” shared Kathryn S. Fuller, chair of the RWJF Board of Trustees. “The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is lucky to have someone of his caliber joining us. I am delighted he is bringing his talents to his work with our Board and the organization at large.”

In prior positions at both Open Society Foundations and the Ford Foundation, Castro honed his skills in strategic analysis and planning, U.S. and global regulatory compliance, legal and international negotiations, and not-for-profit start-ups and restructuring. Castro has developed a reputation in the nonprofit field as an expert in philanthropy, particularly as it pertains to international activities. He has been asked regularly to speak at the Georgetown Continuing Legal Education Conference relating to Managing Tax Exempt Organizations, and recently completed his term on the Board of Advisors of the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law.

Castro received his JD from New York University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

“We are excited to welcome Ricardo Castro aboard,” said RWJF president and CEO Rich Besser. “His strong legal background, combined with strategic and operational expertise, will be of great service to the entire Foundation. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a commitment to the values we embrace as we work to build a Culture of Health. I look forward to working with him and learning from him.”

Castro will replace Katherine Hatton, who has served RWJF as vice president, general counsel, and secretary for the past 17 years. During her tenure the Law department has mastered the art of explaining complicated concepts in simple terms, making them readily accessible to colleagues across the organization. She’s seen the Foundation through a wide range of circumstances, from navigating an economic downturn, to working in new areas, like impact investing, all while increasing the diversity of the department.

“Katherine has been an exceptional leader and partner,” Board Chair Fuller said, “and we will greatly miss her intellect, wisdom, and effectiveness. Knowing that she and Ricardo Castro are colleagues of long-standing who admire one another greatly adds to our confidence that RWJF will continue its excellence in the legal and governance arenas under his leadership.”


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, we are working to develop a Culture of Health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937