John Lechleiter has been elected to serve on the board of directors of Lilly Endowment Inc., effective December 1. He is the former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Co. Lechleiter 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. Lechleiter retired as 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. He and his wife, Sarah, are well known and admired for their inspiring philanthropy in Indianapolis and throughout the world. Lechleiter 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.