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Fifteen Promising Leaders in Philanthropy

Thursday, July 8, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Pool
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Arlington, VA – Fifteen promising philanthropic leaders have been selected for the inaugural cohort of the Council on Foundations' 2010-2011 Career Pathways (Pathways) program. The effort is designed to recruit and foster diverse talent and excellence in the sector's most senior levels.

The intensive one-year program kicks off July 12-14, 2010 at the Council's conference center in Arlington, Virginia.

"The impact and effectiveness of philanthropy are strengthened by diversity and inclusive practices that support leadership preparation,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. "We expect that Pathways will become one of the most effective efforts to prepare, recruit, and retain talented leaders who will help drive the sector's efforts to improve lives and communities.”

The 2010-2011 Pathways inaugural cohort includes:

· Tonya Allen, vice president, program, The Skillman Foundation, Detroit, MI

· Dale Robinson Anglin, program officer, Victoria Foundation, Glen Ridge, NJ

· Fatima Angeles, director of evaluation and organizational learning, The California Wellness Foundation, Woodland Hills, CA

· E. Thomas Brewer, director of programs, Archstone Foundation, Long Beach, CA

· Craig Drinkard, program officer, Victoria Foundation, Glen Ridge, NJ

· Jeffrey P. Malloy, director of finance & administration, The James Irvine Foundation, San Francisco, CA

· Jason McGill, vice president, member services, Philanthropy New York, New York, NY

· Caroline Merenda, senior program officer, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Rochester, NY

· La June Montgomery Tabron, senior vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

· Debra Joy Perez, senior program officer, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ

· Praveen Prasad, development specialist, TrustAfrica, New York, NY

· Valerie Raines, vice president, corporate philanthropy and senior program officer, Key Bank Foundation, Cleveland, OH

· Latonya Slack, senior program officer, The James Irvine Foundation, San Francisco, CA

· Julie Walther, senior program officer, The Brinson Foundation, Chicago, IL

· Heidi Williamson, vice president, communications and executive director of the Community Indicators Project, Berks County Community Foundation, Reading, PA

The program brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds and is designed to help them gain the knowledge necessary to expand their capacity to serve and to successfully advance in the field of philanthropy. The program includes self-directed career planning, in-person learning sessions, site visits, research, one-on-one executive coaching, mentoring, leadership projects, and exposure to professional networks and decision makers. Each participant will analyze and identify their individual leadership styles and explore a range of issues facing foundation executives, including strategic planning, administration, financial management, board relations, organizational culture, and public speaking. The program also includes three, two-day group learning sessions that will be facilitated by expert faculty representing senior executives and trustees in philanthropy, as well as experts from other sectors.

"Pathways represents a unique approach in nurturing diverse talent in philanthropy,” said Renée B. Branch, director of the Council on Foundations' Diversity and Inclusive Practices program, which aims to foster effective, sustained, and diverse leadership in America's philanthropic sector. "This program will help ensure participants have the support and resources they need to serve in senior, executive, and trustee positions.”

A volunteer panel of grantmaking executives, trustees, and human resources professionals considered dozens of applicants representing a range of experiences and foundation types and sizes. The panel then interviewed candidates and made recommendations to the Council.

Pathways is part of the Council's Diversity and Inclusive Practices program and is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The program is the result of research commissioned by the Council to identify leadership development opportunities in the sector. The effort included a survey of executives in the field about leadership characteristics and professional success and an analysis of hiring practices, demographic characteristics, and advancement opportunities. More information about Pathways and the Council's diversity and inclusive practices efforts is available at:


The Council on Foundations, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include approximately 2,000 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The assets of Council members total more than $307 billion. The Council's mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good. For more information, visit the Council's Web site at

The Technology Affinity Group (TAG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization that promotes the power of technology to advance the goals of the philanthropic sector.