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Tillman Scholar Dan Futrell named as Chief Executive Officer

By Shannon Speshock   |   May 6, 2019
2011 Tillman Scholar Dan Futrell is named CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation

Chicago, IL  (May 6, 2019) Today, the Board of Directors of the Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) announced 2011 Tillman Scholar Dan Futrell as Chief Executive Officer to lead the organization’s mission to unite and empower remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. As CEO, Futrell will drive the vision and operations of the foundation, its team and programs as the organization embarks on a five-year strategic plan ahead of its 20th anniversary.

“PTF is at a pivotal point in developing the preeminent academic fellowship program for U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses. As the community surpasses 600 Tillman Scholars nationwide, we’re confident now is the time for a Tillman Scholar like Dan to lead the mission,” said Marie Tillman, Board Chair and Co-Founder of PTF. “Dan brings a wealth of leadership experience in education, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and military service to this role, as well as being an active Tillman Scholar for the past eight years. We’re excited by his passion for public service and vision to unite the Tillman Scholars to make a greater impact here at home and around the world.”

Futrell transitions to PTF with nearly 15 years of cross-sector professional experience spanning board leadership, nonprofit operations, and social impact technology. For over five years, he served as a Platoon Leader in Baghdad with the U.S. Army’s first Stryker Brigade, a Company Commander, and an Aide-de-Camp. After his service, he earned a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University as a Tillman Scholar. Prior to joining PTF, he served in leadership and operational roles with the ed-tech startup Money Experience, the Housing Partnership Network and Year Up. He has also served in an elected role on the Somerville School Committee for six years. As one of PTF’s most engaged Tillman Scholars, he has participated on annual scholar selection committees, competed and fundraised in support of Team Tillman, and represented the organization as a presenter and panelist at the annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit as well as the SXSW Festival and other national conferences. Learn more about his background.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead and humbled by the task of advancing the values on which the foundation is based. Growing up partially in foster care and being raised by a single father, my path has been statistically unlikely,” said Futrell. “It’s only because of selfless people and organizations like the Pat Tillman Foundation that my path has been possible. Over the past eight years, I’ve had the privilege to learn and grow as a leader within this passionate and innovative group of Tillman Scholars. Their potential impact as leaders for our country has no bounds, and I’m honored to lead the foundation and scholar community into this next chapter.”

Futrell assumes day-to-day leadership of the organization on May 6, succeeding Executive Director Killjan Anderson who is relocating to be closer to family and will begin a new chapter as the first Executive Director for USA Basketball Foundation in Colorado Springs, CO. The Board of Directors and staff are grateful to Anderson for his leadership driving the foundation’s growth and impact since 2014 as its first Chief Operations Officer and then Executive Director.

“The Tillman Scholars’ best years of service to our country are still ahead of them. They’re sharp, they’re driven and it has been an incredible honor to work with them as they tackle tough issues impacting our country,” said Anderson. “I’m thrilled for Dan, as a Tillman Scholar, to take the helm of the organization, and I have no doubt he will take the mission to the next level.”

To date, PTF has invested more than $16 million in academic support, and named over 580 Tillman Scholars at over 100 academic institutions nationwide. On June 10, PTF will announce the Class of 2019 Tillman Scholars, and then in late July will convene the 2019 Pat Tillman Leadership Summit to unite scholars from around the nation to address the toughest challenges facing the country and their communities.

If you are a member of the media who wishes to arrange an interview with new Pat Tillman Foundation CEO Dan Futrell or Board Chair and Co-Founder Marie Tillman, please contact Shannon Speshock at (224) 408-0451 or sspeshock[at]pattillmanfoundation[dot]org.

About the Pat Tillman Foundation
In 2002, Pat Tillman proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve his country. Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in April 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy of leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit