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Kate Levin Markel was chosen as president of the McGregor Fund, a private Detroit-based foundation serving Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

In an announcement made Monday, James B. Nicholson, chairman of the McGregor Fund board of trustees, said after more than six months of assessing and interviewing candidates, Markel was the best candidate.

"For well over a decade, she has been on the front line of Detroit philanthropy, developing strong relationships with grantees, area foundation leaders and public sector partners," Nicholson said.

"Throughout that time, she has witnessed profound changes in our city and in the nonprofit sphere, giving her a unique understanding of the needs, challenges and opportunities confronting the McGregor Fund going forward. In addition, her familiarity with the fund — its mission and core values — assures a seamless transition," he said.

Markel has spent the past 14 years shaping the fund's grant-making process, first as program officer and, beginning in 2010, as program director. She becomes president after the death in July of longtime CEO and President David Campbell.

A graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, Markel worked in New York City for seven years before returning to her hometown of Detroit.

Prior to joining the McGregor Fund staff, she spent two years as executive assistant to Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer. She also served as an independent consultant for Detroit community development initiatives.

The McGregor Fund is a private foundation organized "to relieve the misfortunes and promote the well-being of mankind." It was established in 1925 by a $5,000 deed of gift from Tracy W. McGregor and later augmented to nearly $10 million through subsequent gifts from McGregor and his wife, Katherine Whitney McGregor.

To date, the fund has provided more than $227 million in grants throughout Metro Detroit, focused on human services, education, health care, arts and culture and public benefit.

JChambers@detroitnews.com

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