Uh-oh: Heifer International Sued Over $75M Endowment Management
10:33 am, August 18th | by Amy Tennery
Domingo Barrios, the CEO of the Heifer International Foundation (you know, the one that lets you donate cows and ducks and goats and things to communities in need) says that he was improperly pressured to leave the group, after raising issues over the board of governance at the 20-year-old organization. And this one looks like it’s about to get a little ugly.
Barrios has been in the CEO spot for just a little over a year, according to the Republic, but he had some issues with the board at Heifer almost immediately. More specifically, he objected to four individuals serving on the boards at both Heifer International and the Heifer Foundation. Confused? Yea, so were we. As far as we can tell, it looks like the Heifer Foundation manages the endowment for Heifer International, while the latter does its agro-charity biz. And Heifer Foundation has about $75 million in endowments so it’s a pretty hefty sum to throw around.
So who was (allegedly) trying to get Barrios out of his CEO spot? Yep, you guessed it: the four guys who are on both boards.
To recap: four board members allegedly influence A) the activities and direction of the charity and B) the endowment that funds it. Also, they purportedly wield enough influence to help try and shove the group’s CEO out. If this is all true, I think Heifer’s in for a wild ride. For what it’s worth, the foundation apparently hasn’t commented yet, according to the Republic, so there’s still a while for this to unwind.
Let’s just hope we can leave the cows out of this.