Newsmakers | July 2017

Carol Butera, MSW,CFRE has been announced as the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation’s new executive director. Butera joins the Sarasota, FL-based foundation from her position as vice president of development at Children First, a charitable nonprofit in Sarasota which participates in the Head Start/Early Head Starts programs and provides direct services to disadvantaged children up to five years old and their families. She served in this position for almost ten years, becoming well-known in Florida’s philanthropic community and helping significantly expand the capacities of Children First in the area. Having dedicated her career to serving disadvantaged youth, Butera also worked at the Sarasota YMCA for nearly ten years before her move to Children First. With her unanimous selection by the administrative committee and her acceptance of the position at the head of the Selby Foundation, Carol Butera, MSW,CFRE succeeds outgoing executive director Sarah H. Pappas effective mid-July, who has led the foundation since 2008. “It is an honor to represent the Selby Foundation and steward the remarkable legacy left by William G. and Marie Selby,” said Ms. Butera. “Their gift has had significant impact on the lives of thousands of young people, and the operations of hundreds of charitable organizations.    My hope, with the support of the Administrative Committee, is to continue the collaborative partnership of the Foundation in improving the lives of current and future generations.”


The Michigan-based Kresge Foundation recently announced the selection of Seth Beattie as a program officer for the foundation’s new Arts & Culture Program. In this new position, Beattie will be responsible for using creative placemaking to integrate arts, culture and community-engaged design in community development and urban planning. His experience makes him well-suited to this task, having worked in the arts and community development arenas since 2004. Beattie served for almost nine years as the strategic initiative director for the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture in Cleveland, Ohio. After leaving his position there in 2013, he went on to found Spire + Base, a consulting agency specifically focused on helping organizations use creative placemaking strategies in their community projects. He served at the helm of Spire + Base for over three years until his selection for his new position at Kresge. A native of Michigan, his career path has resulted in him working and partnering with numerous Kresge grantees in the areas of arts and culture throughout the years, making him already very familiar with the work of the foundation. Before embarking on this career, he earned a bachelor of arts in journalism and political science from Franklin College and a master of public administration in public policy from Cleveland State University. “American cities are in the midst of an incredible renaissance, due in part to the contributions of artists and cultural organizations. I’m thrilled to help communities build on this momentum, particularly with an eye toward ensuring that positive change is realized by all community members and not a select few,” he said. “Kresge is an ideal place to make that contribution.”


Barbara Chow is joining the Heising-Simons Foundation as its news director of education. A true veteran of both the private sector and government, Chow brings over three decades of experience to her new position. The earlier half of her career was dominated by her service in government, working as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee for four years and from 1985 to 1989. The early 90’s saw her serving the Clinton administration in several different positions over the years, including as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, associate director for Education, Income Maintenance, and Labor programs at the Office of Management and Budget, and as special assistant to the President for White House Legislative Affairs. She then went on to serve as a program associate director at the office of management and budget under Bill Clinton and George Bush from 1997 to 2001. It was immediately after this position that she made her first foray into the private sector, joining the National Geographic Education Foundation as its executive director in 2001. She worked there until 2007, when she accepted her appointment as the policy director for the U.S. house Budget Committee in early 2007.  After serving in this position for almost two years, Chow returned to the private sector, having remained there since. She took a job as the director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s education program in 2009, where she has lead initiatives that have greatly increased the availability of open educational resources and expanded support for “deeper learning” initiatives. After serving at the helm of the Hewlett Foundation’s education initiatives for more than eight years, Barbara Chow began work in her new position at the Heising-Simons Foundation effective May 17.


The regional grantmaking and foundation network and sponsor, Philanthropy Northwest, has announced the appointment of Kiran Ahuja as its next chief executive officer (CEO).  Ahuja grew up in Savannah, Georgia as a child in a family of recent immigrants from India and England. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She then moved on to earn her juris doctor degree from the University of Georgia, beginning her career as a trial attorney in the civil rights division at the U.S. Department of Justice.  After serving in that position for three years, she moved on to accept a position as the executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) in early 2003. She led NAPAWF for nearly five years while also working as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law for the majority of her tenure. Her exemplary work with NAPAWF drew attention from the public sector. Ahuja was appointed by Barack Obama to be the executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in late 2009. She served in this position for six years, working with 23 federal agencies and numerous private sector partners to better these disadvantaged communities across the nation and world. Ahuja then made the move to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, recruited to be its chief of staff. The move to the head of Philanthropy Northwest marks a long-coming return to the private sector for Kiran Ahuja. “As we navigate the future of philanthropy and advance community vitality, our board is confident that Kiran is exactly the right leader for the next stage of this journey,” said Kevin Walker, Philanthropy Northwest board chair and Northwest Area Foundation CEO. “With her broad experience in cross-sector collaboration and her deep understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion, Kiran’s skills and her leadership style align beautifully with the values and aspirations of our network.”


Andrew Lane is stepping down from his position as executive director of the Johnson Family Foundation (JFF) after ten years of leadership. During his tenure he has acted as chief executive of the $80 million foundation; designing and implementing national and place-based grantmaking programs, recruiting and developing staff and overseeing the creation and expansion of JFF’s web and social media presence. Lane first arrived at JFF in 2007 coming from the United States Trust Company, which he joined in 2000 as assistant vice president to the vice president and achieved promotion to eventually become the senior vice president by the end of his seven years at the financial institution. Previous to his time at the United States Trust Company, his first career position was at J.P. Morgan Charitable Trust as an analyst. He soon rose to the position of associate, responsible for providing grantmaking and advisory services to foundations as well as reviewing proposals and making recommendations on behalf of corporate contributions programs and client foundations. Mr. Lane’s education includes a bachelor of arts in economics from Hamilton College and a master of education in higher education from the Marxe School of Public & International Affairs at Baruch College at the City University of New York. A dedicated philanthropist and progressive social change advocate, Lane has served as chair of the Movement Advance Project, chair of Funders for LGBTQ Issues and as president of the now-closed Paul Rapoport Foundation. Also in the arena of suicide prevention, he was on the executive committee of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership convened by the Obama administration. With the departure of Andrew Lane, the Johnson Family Foundation has announced that Richard Burns will serve as interim executive director during the transition period.


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