Former Penn president Judith Rodin stepping down at Rockefeller Foundation

Judith Rodin, the first woman to lead the Rockefeller Foundation, announced Thursday that she plans to step down from the New York philanthropic institution.

Before her 12-year tenure as head of the foundation, Rodin was president of the University of Pennsylvania. When tapped to lead Penn, she became the first female president of an Ivy League university.

The foundation said Rodin would remain in charge until a new president is selected.

The foundation "has benefitted enormously" from Rodin's tenure, board chair Dick Parsons said in a statement. Rodin assumed the presidency in March 2005.

"Over the last 12 years, she has led the foundation to embrace a new and cutting-edge approach to grant-making and innovation, and she has positioned us as a global leader in the urgent dialogue regarding how to make ours a better, more just, and more sustainable world," Parsons said. "As both a longtime friend and a colleague her presence will be missed, though her vision will continue to guide us."

Highlights of Rodin's tenure at Rockefeller include her work helping cities build resilience, building the field of "impact investing," and partnering with the musical Hamilton to provide access to the popular show and an arts education program to 20,000 inner-city students, according to the foundation.

Rodin was president at Penn from 1994 to 2004. She was widely credited with working to revitalize the area surrounding the school's West Philadelphia campus during her tenure there.

@emilybabay