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United Philanthropy Forum Launches Search for Next President and CEO

Thursday, December 21, 2023


United Philanthropy Forum is preparing to embark on a new chapter as our current President and CEO, Dave Biemesderfer, is set to begin his retirement on January 15, 2024. As the Forum plans for Dave’s departure, we are working to ensure that this transition embodies our dedication of racial equity, diversity, and full inclusion of both the board and staff. 

The full job description can be found on the Axis Talent Partners website. The ideal candidate will bring a track record of leadership in a highly visible, externally facing role, as well as experience in the philanthropy and/or PSO (philanthropy-serving organization) space, a strong orientation toward building lasting relationships and network connections, a well-developed executive leadership and change management tool kit, and a proven alignment with the Forum’s mission, particularly our racial equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments. 

During this period of transition, the Forum’s Board of Directors has named an Interim Leadership Team made up of current Senior Directors on the Forum staff: Courtney Moore, Matthew L. Evans, Traci Slater-Rigaud, and Val Rozansky. The Interim Leadership Team will co-share responsibilities until a new President and CEO is named.  

The Forum team has the internal capacity to continue its strong work through this transition; they have Dave’s full confidence, as well as the confidence of the board to continue shepherding the Forum’s work during this transition period. Additionally, the board has established both a search committee and a transition committee that will work with the staff, Dave, and the incoming President and CEO on the transition. 

With the help of Axis Talent Partners, we are confident that the search for the Forum’s next President and CEO will embody the Forum’s equity values. Axis is a boutique executive search and people strategy firm led by women and founded by women of color. Their mission is to support social impact organizations in finding the right leaders, increase the diversity of the leadership in the sector, and facilitate access to positions of authority for people of color and historically marginalized identities.  

We hope to have a new President and CEO named in March 2024. This timeline is short, but we believe that Axis’ capabilities of providing a strong pool of candidates that believe in the power of PSOs and are committed to building a strong and courageous sector. That, along with the board including many colleagues who have been a part of leadership searches and transitions, makes us firmly believe that Dave’s successor can be chosen by then, even if they do not start right away.  

“As the forum’s board chair and chair of the search committee, I appreciate the patience of our members and partners during this transition,” said Amanda Andere, Forum board chair and CEO of Funders Together to End Homelessness. “While we had hoped to be further along in process, we believe slowing down and being inclusive is important as we lean into our racial equity values. The search committee was deliberate and thoughtful in the selection of Axis Partners, and we wanted to make sure the discovery process was inclusive of as many voices as possible. I have been grateful to our board members who are balancing their full-time jobs with their board service to ensure the process is equitable. Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to working with the leadership transition team and I am confident in their abilities to collaborate with the board in the New Year.” 

There will be a reception to honor Dave’s tenure at the Forum that will take place on Jan. 10, 2024 from 4:30-6:30pm EST at Yours Truly Hotel in Washington, D.C. To RSVP, please contact Matthew L. Evans

Even though our timeline is ambitious, we will ensure that our equity values are not compromised in the process. The board is committed to the current direction of this CEO transition process, including continuing the Forum’s equity journey and growing the Forum network. 

For questions, contact Amanda Andere

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