As I look ahead to the next chapter in the incredible 107-year history of the Rhode Island Foundation, I am filled with excitement and humbled by the opportunity to take the helm as the Foundation’s President and CEO.
While I will certainly draw on my own experiences in leading the organization, as I transition into the role of President and CEO, I plan to spend as much time as I can listening to and learning from you – the Foundation’s donors, grantees, community partners, and qualified staff.
Although I won’t be starting until June 1, I wanted to take this opportunity to express how much I look forward to engaging with you in my new role and to share a few initial perspectives.
First, in the Foundation’s civic leadership efforts and across all three strategic priorities – economic security, educational success, and healthy lives – the focus on equity for historically marginalized and underserved Rhode Islanders is paramount. I am dedicated to the work the Foundation is doing – and will continue to do – to ensure that economic success is within reach for all Rhode Islanders, to create a world-class public education system that prepares all students to succeed in life, and to eliminate disparities in health and expand access to high quality, affordable health care for every Rhode Islander.
Next, the mission and work of our state’s community foundation has been, and always will be, nonpartisan. I am fully committed to this principle and to meeting the needs of all Rhode Islanders through a vision and set of values and strategies that are fair and unbiased.
Finally, as you know, the Foundation is built as solidly as can be – thanks to careful stewardship of its assets and generous support from donors. The Foundation is called to respond to community need as a funder and civic partner, while also protecting and growing its asset base. I fully recognize that keeping the two in sync is essential. I have great confidence in the Foundation’s dedicated staff, board of directors, and experienced finance and investment committee volunteers to maintain financial continuity and balance.
In closing, please join me in thanking Neil Steinberg for his transformational leadership of the Foundation. I am grateful for the example Neil has set through nearly 15 years of dedicated service, and I am committed to honoring his legacy.
Leading the Rhode Island Foundation is an incredible opportunity to continue my public service to the people of Rhode Island, in a different form and with unique resources and responsibilities. I am humbled and energized by this opportunity, and I look forward to working closely with you to advance the vital mission and initiatives of Rhode Island’s community foundation.