The Annenberg Foundation’s private Rancho Mirage estate will be turned into a public venue for meetings of government officials and other leaders, the foundation announced today.
USC dean Geoffrey Cowan, 68, was named the first president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, the home of the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg, according to foundation spokesman Geoffrey Baum.
The Sunnylands Trust is an independent, nonprofit organization established by the Annenberg Foundation to address social and political issues facing the nation and the world.
Cowan will lead the transformation of the estate into a public destination that will include tours of the grounds and the 25,000-square-foot mansion. A museum is slated to open in late 2011.
“We have an opportunity to use one of the world’s most spectacular venues to make an impact on a range of important issues,” Cowan said.
The estate will serve as a venue for the meetings of government officials and leaders from education, philanthropy, the arts, culture, science and medicine, according to Baum.
Cowan is a former Voice of America director and dean emeritus at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.