Dina Merrill has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to leadership and public service as a corporate leader, philanthropist, and activist.
She devotes a great deal of her time working for the disadvantaged through the New York City Mission Society where she served as vice president. When one of her children was diagnosed with diabetes, Dina founded the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, dedicated to diabetic research. She serves as the International Ambassador for the ORBIS International, a flying eye hospital which teaches advanced eye care and surgical techniques all over the world.
Ms. Merrill is an energetic supporter of the performing arts, acting as trustee of the Hillwood Museum in Washington, DC. She is a founding trustee of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and a director of the Paley Media Center. She has served for 12 years as presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and remains on the Artists Committee. Recently she was honored by Guild Hall with the naming of the Dina Merrill Pavilion at it’s East Hampton cultural center.
She also serves as a board member of the Population Resource Council and the Republican Majority Committee promoting “choice” for women and was a founding vice chairman of the Pro-Choice Coalition.
Along with her husband, Ted Hartley, Merrill was a co-founder and a driving force behind the creation and endowment of the Foundation for International Film Artists, which funded the Hartley-Merrill Prize for Screenwriting. Merrill feels strongly about supporting talented writers in emerging economies with nascent film industries. The Foundation also endows The Story Project, which promotes literacy among inner city youth.
As a corporate leader, she serves as the Vice Chairman of RKO Pictures and is actively involved in many of its productions and activities. She has served on the Board of Directors of Lehman Brothers and that of American Express.