World Scout Foundation announces new Chair and CEO
The World Scout Foundation Board has announced the appointment of HRH The Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg as the new Chair of the World Scout Foundation (WSF), and Mark Knippenberg as its new Chief Executive Officer. The Board recently convened in Stockholm in the presence of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Honorary Chair of the World Scout Foundation since 1977.
HRH The Crown Prince Guillaume joined the Cub Scouts at age eight and was an active Scout for many years. He has proudly followed in the footsteps of His grandfather, Grand Duke Jean, who was also a member of the World Baden-Powell Fellowship and much-loved head of the Luxembourgish Scouts from 1945 until his passing in 2019. Prince Guillaume proudly assumed the role of Chief Scout of Scouting in Luxembourg on 4 October 2019.
“For me, Scouting is all about building the next generation of committed and responsible young adults, whose essential role will be to shape a more inclusive and sustainable world. The World Scout Foundation plays a key role to support this development and I am honoured to serve as Chair,” said HRH The Crown Prince Guillaume.
The Board unanimously confirmed the appointment of Mark Knippenberg as CEO following a robust and extensive international selection process in which both external and internal candidates were assessed for the role.
Mark joined the World Scout Foundation as Deputy Director in 2010, where he took on a lead role in the coordination of donor engagement, including WSF Investor Conferences and Honours Programme field visits. He also worked to strengthen systems to effectively manage donors, grants and fundraising through the deployment of the a new grantmaking system and the Scout Donation Platform.
Mark drove the successful 2020–2021 fundraising campaign during the global COVID-19 pandemic which raised over USD 2.9 million to date. In addition, he has strengthened coordination with the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) via the World Scout Committee and by acting as the day-to-day liaison with the World Scout Bureau.
Prior to the Foundation, Mark directed the World Scout Centre in Kandersteg, successfully expanding the centre’s global reach and developing the Kanderlodge facility. Before his Scout-related roles, Mark held leadership positions with the Dutch ING Bank & Insurances and the Royal Dutch Navy, initially inspired by his early days as a Sea Scout in the Netherlands.
“I am humbled, privileged and committed to leading the Foundation and to increasing both our capital and project funding for Scouting around the world. I am prepared to seize the opportunities ahead working alongside our Foundation Board, led by HRH The Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg - as well as with our incredible network of Baden-Powell Fellows and partners - in close cooperation with WOSM,” said new CEO, Mark Knippenberg.
Mark Knippenberg assumed his position as of 1 September 2021. John Geoghegan, who served the World Scout Foundation for twenty years, will continue to support the Foundation by focusing on a number of partnerships. Among the numerous highlights from John’s two decades of service, he was instrumental in efforts to drive and increase fundraising in support of World Scouting, and in particular for spearheading the Messengers of Peace Initiative, introducing numerous Regal Circle Members to the Foundation, and approaching his work with great hospitality, humour and passion for the Scout Movement.