Gregory E. Deavens elected to the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees

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Gregory E. Deavens elected to the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees
Gregory E. Deavens is President and Chief Executive Officer of Independence Health Group (Independence), parent of Independence Blue Cross, a role he has held since January 2021.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Board of Trustees of the Barnes Foundation today announced that Gregory E. Deavens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Independence Health Group, has been elected to the Board of Trustees. The Board has also announced that current trustee Armando I. Bengochea, PhD, has been named a Lincoln University-nominated trustee, having been officially nominated by Lincoln University’s Board of Trustees and elected by the Barnes Foundation’s Board.

“Our Barnes Trustees and staff are thrilled to welcome Gregory Deavens to the Board of Trustees,” says Aileen Roberts, Chair of the Barnes Foundation Board of Trustees. “Greg is dedicated to improving lives—through his leadership at Independence Health Group and his philanthropic work supporting health and cultural organizations. This experience, along with his extensive financial and business background, will make him a significant asset to the Barnes as we continue to grow and innovate in our second century and beyond.”

“The Barnes Foundation’s educational mission is one that I deeply admire, along with its commitment to improving minds and transforming lives through art,” says Deavens. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow trustees and the staff as we continue expanding the Barnes’s impact at home in Philadelphia, across the nation, and around the world.”

“It has been deeply rewarding to serve the Barnes—an institution with a remarkable history, world-renowned collection, and mission dedicated to education—as Trustee for the past two years,” says Bengochea. “I am proud to continue this service now in my new role as a trustee nominated by the board of Lincoln University, a Historically Black College and University with long, significant ties to the Barnes.”

Brenda A. Allen, President of Lincoln University, adds: “The relationship between Lincoln University, the first degree-granting HBCU in the United States, and the Barnes Foundation began in 1946, when Dr. Albert C. Barnes first met Horace Mann Bond, then President of Lincoln, and subsequently encouraged Lincoln students to attend classes at the Barnes. Today, Lincoln University’s Board of Trustees nominates five members of the Barnes Foundation’s Board to be elected by the Foundation’s Trustees. With Armando’s extensive experience in higher learning, dedication to diversity and inclusion, and critical support of students through his professional and philanthropic work, we are delighted about his continued service to the Barnes in this new capacity.”

Gregory E. Deavens is President and Chief Executive Officer of Independence Health Group (Independence), parent of Independence Blue Cross, a role he has held since January 2021. Deavens joined Independence in 2017 as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer.

Deavens was previously employed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) where he served as corporate controller from 2012 to 2016 and as CFO for the US Insurance business from 2006 to 2012. Before joining MassMutual, Deavens held senior financial roles at NY Life, Cigna, and GE Capital. Deavens began his career in public accounting with Price Waterhouse, where he specialized in financial services while working in the firm’s New York, London, and St. Louis offices.

Deavens currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of Hartford HealthCare. He also serves on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia; Alegeus Technologies; Quartet Health; the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association; America’s Health Insurance Plans; and other entities as part of his Independence responsibilities. He is a certified public accountant (CPA inactive) and a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the National Association of Corporate Directors, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition to his role as a Trustee for the Barnes Foundation, Deavens sits on the Board of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and is an honorary Trustee of the Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford, Connecticut.

Deavens holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Florida A&M University. He and his wife, Beverly, live in Philadelphia and have three adult children.

Armando I. Bengochea is senior program officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities and director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In this role, Bengochea makes grants across the many sectors of higher education, including to the top research universities; private liberal arts colleges; large, urban comprehensive universities; Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribal Colleges and Universities; and Hispanic Serving Institutions. As director of the MMUF—which is, at 30 years old, the Mellon Foundation’s longest continuously running grantmaking program—Bengochea helps design pathways to the humanities professoriate for fellows who begin as college sophomores and who are subsequently supported throughout their time in PhD programs as well as into their early careers as faculty members.

Bengochea joined the Mellon Foundation in 2012 following 26 years as an academic dean at Brown University and Connecticut College. He received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in politics from Princeton University. He is a trustee of Colby College and serves on the New York Advisory Board of the organization Facing History and Ourselves. He has served on the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees since 2020 and was named a Lincoln University–nominated trustee in 2022.

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