Oct. 29, 2018
Contact: Judith Cebula


Lilly Endowment Elects Lechleiter to its Board of Directors


INDIANAPOLIS – John Lechleiter has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of Lilly Endowment Inc., effective December 1, 2018. Lechleiter is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company.  He joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development. He later served in leadership roles in project management, regulatory affairs, product development and pharma operations. He retired as Lilly’s president and chief executive officer in December 2016 and as its chairman in May 2017.

A native of Louisville, Lechleiter is a 1975 graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University.  He is a member of the American Chemical Society.

Throughout his long career with the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company, Lechleiter has been active in serving many charitable organizations, including several based in central Indiana. Lechleiter and his wife Sarah are well known and admired for their inspiring philanthropy in Indianapolis and throughout the world.  He presently serves on the boards of the Hoosier Art Salon, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute. He is an honorary trustee of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and a member emeritus of the board of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.

A former chairman of the board of United Way Worldwide, Lechleiter continues to serve on that board and on the boards of Ford Motor Co. and Nike, Inc.

“For a multitude of reasons, my colleagues and I are delighted that John has agreed to join our board,” said N. Clay Robbins, Chairman, President and CEO of the Endowment. “When he led Eli Lilly and Company, he spearheaded efforts to honor the legacy and values of the Lilly family members who founded and led the company. That commitment aligns well with our dedication to their legacy and values as demonstrated in their establishment of the Endowment.  We will benefit greatly from his wisdom, experience, judgment, intelligence and passion for philanthropy.”


About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.