Richard King Mellon, R.K. Mellon Family foundations tap heir as new leader |

Richard King Mellon, R.K. Mellon Family foundations tap heir as new leader

Deb Erdley
Richard A. Mellon, 56, of Ligonier, new leader of the Richard King Mellon Foundation
Seward Prosser Mellon, 76, of Ligonier, retired leader of the Richard King Mellon Foundation

Richard A. Mellon, a grandson of Richard King Mellon, has been named to lead the foundations that bear his grandfather’s name.

He was unanimously appointed as chairman and CEO by the boards of both the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the R.K. Mellon Family Foundation, marking the beginning of the next generation of leadership of the groups that have played a key role in the life of the region for more than seven decades.

Mellon, 56, of Ligonier succeeds Seward Prosser Mellon, 76. The elder Mellon, a son of Richard King Mellon, was a trustee for both foundations. He recently announced his retirement following a decade as board chairman and CEO.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation, with assets of $2.5 billion, is the largest grant-making philanthropy in the region and the 36th largest in the United States. It approved grants and program-related investments in 2018 totaling $127.6 million.

A foundation spokesman said the organization invests in “the competitive future and quality of life in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and in the protection, preservation, and restoration of America’s environmental heritage.”

The new leader of the philanthropies is the son of Richard P. Mellon and has served on both boards since 2005.

He was the founder and president of RAM Transit Inc., a trucking and logistics company he sold in 2012. He graduated from Skidmore College in 1987 with a major in geology and a minor in economics.

“I am proud and honored to serve our region and the priorities of my family’s philanthropic mission,” Richard A. Mellon said in a statement. “We will continue to invest in improving the quality of life here and across the country just as my grandfather intended and our trustees and staff have guided over the years.”

Under Seward Prosser Mellon’s leadership, the philanthropies “encouraged support and investment for addressing and reducing poverty, hunger, homelessness, infant mortality, child abuse and substance abuse, and invested in academic research funding and scholarships that allow children to reach their full potential,” a foundation spokesman said.

Sam Reiman, who became director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation in January, said no immediate changes are expected at the foundation.

“It has been an honor to have had the experience of working with Prosser Mellon the past four and a half years and to help build upon the foundation’s grant-making legacy regionally and nationally. I look forward to working with and supporting Richard A. Mellon in his new role as board chairman and CEO, the next generation of family trustees and the entire board during this leadership transition,” Reiman said.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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