Today, we’re announcing that after two amazing years with the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Loren Harris will move on from his role as vice president of programs and the leader of our racial and economic justice portfolio in August of this year, and that we are beginning two searches during the transition. Loren and his family are making a personal decision to move to the West coast to be closer to family and pursue personal, educational and professional goals.
I, along with the Board and staff, am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together and am grateful for the amazing contributions Loren has made to NCF’s growth and development. Our Board Chair Ruth Cummings echoed this sentiment, saying: “How fortunate that Loren joined us at the time he did. He enriched new thinking and implementation strategies for NCF's refined focus areas as a key member of the senior leadership team. He supported the Board's request for learning opportunities and evaluation strategies. He is the consummate team player, and I believe we are stronger from his example and will continue to be inspired by him as we bring in new leadership for the future. We know he will continue to lead with us even from afar.”
Loren made sure that who we hire and how we work reflects our values.He led the hiring for a diverse and experienced group of program directors and associates for four new focus areas. And in early 2017, Loren convened our partners for an important listening session following the election that informed our Board’s decision to increase the amount of resources going to the field. When we made the decision to increase our giving, Loren helped us stand alongside our grantees and philanthropic partners, and respond to these challenging times with leadership, urgency and impact.
Loren was instrumental in shaping our strategic direction and making progress on racial and economic justice.In 2016, when we shared our Evolving Focus and explicitly named racial and economic justice as an area of focus, we knew that was an important moment of alignment for NCF and a signal of our priorities to the field. Loren introduced new innovation in our racial and economic justice work through an explicit focus on racial and gender justice that recognizes the critical leadership of women of color. He made the case for the need to invest in a virtuous cycle of community wealth building that expands pathways to prosperity and advances an inclusive clean economy. He was also an invaluable partner in our decision to align our nearly half-billion dollar endowment with our mission.
Loren took our focus on collaboration and integration to the next level.Loren came in to help build an integrated team and support the development of interventions that cut across multiple focus areas using policy, market-based, and culture change strategies, creating the breakthroughs we need to drive change. He supported our goal to model new ways for philanthropy to get out of its silos and work across programs. Loren drove exploratory grantmaking in the field of criminal justice, an issue deeply connected to the foundation's legacy and relationships with partners working on increasing income and wealth for women and communities of color. This new body of grantmaking included new partnerships with theVera Institute, the Action Center on Race and the Economy and the National Academies of Sciences, among others.
Moving forward, we are creating a director of racial and economic justice position and are launching that search today. Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group will lead the search and we would appreciate your help to share this announcement with your networks. We’ll begin the recruiting process for a new vice president of programs next and will share that description soon. Loren will be with us through August, and will support our recruitment and on-boarding and serve as a resource for these new team members, along with Taina McField and Rachel Fagiano.
President & CEO
Nathan Cummings Foundation