The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation (RPDFF) has named Shawn Escoffery as its new executive director. He joins RPDFF from the Surdna Foundation, where he worked for seven and a half years as the director of its Strong Local Economies program. As head of this program, Escoffery led the development, funding and implementation of projects and initiatives that helped create economic opportunities for families in disadvantaged communities across the nation. Before joining the Surdna Foundation he served for three years as the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative’s deputy director, focusing on neighborhood revitalization in the years after Hurricane Katrina.
Escoffery’s experience in urban planning and community development began with his undergraduate education at Rutgers University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. From there he moved on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his graduate work, obtaining his master’s degree in city planning, housing, community and economic development. He then began his working career at the Empower Baltimore Management Corporation, serving as its director of workforce development policy for about two years before moving on to a similar position at the New Jersey-based New Community Corporation. He would work as its director of workforce development and special projects for almost four years. Escoffery holds a certificate in International Development and Communications, Public Policy and International Affairs from Carnegie Mellon University as well as a certificate in Urban Redevelopment from the University of Pennsylvania. With his extensive work experience and education in community development and in the nonprofit sector, he will be a great fit to lead the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation in its mission to help even the playing field for disadvantaged populations and develop safer and more sustainable communities. Shawn Escoffery begins his new role as executive director in June 2018.