Press Release

Council on Foundations Appoints Kathleen P. Enright as President and CEO

Highly respected leader will reinvigorate the Council’s role as a proactive partner to the philanthropic sector that enhances the field’s ability to advance the common good.

The Council on Foundations today announced the appointment of Kathleen P. Enright as its new President and CEO.

Widely respected for her significant role in creating an even more robust, effective philanthropic and nonprofit sector over two decades as a mission-driven leader and coalition builder, Enright joins the Council after 17 years as President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). During her tenure, she guided GEO to a programmatically strong and financially healthy position, experience she brings to her new role leading the Council on Foundations.

“Now is the right time to take stock of philanthropic and public policy trends, to look carefully at the role the Council on Foundations has played — and, most important, how we can strengthen that role moving forward,” said Javier Soto, Council on Foundations Board Chair and President and CEO of The Miami Foundation. “Under our visionary new leadership, we can think expansively and creatively to make sure the Council is prepared to play an even more vital, essential and positive role in the years to come.”

The choice of Enright as the Council’s new President and CEO was the result of a robust search that included input from Council members and the field of philanthropy.

“We listened closely to what we heard about the essential attributes required to address the most important issues facing philanthropy right now,” said Jamie Merisotis, Board Vice Chair of the Council on Foundations and President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, who chaired the search committee. “Our broad search was deeply diverse by race, gender, LGBT status, geography and other factors. After careful consideration, the Council is confident Enright is the ideal choice to steer the Council on Foundations’ course moving forward.” 

Under Enright’s leadership, the Council will sharpen its focus on shaping the public view of philanthropy as positive agents in advancing the public good, providing important public policy and advocacy and engaging in national programs that add unique value in the current landscape. Ultimately, the Council will prioritize giving its members more of the support they need to strengthen the mission of philanthropy to ensure a vibrant democratic society and create a more equitable world. 

“The Council must be a convener that builds trust and helps foundations have productive conversations about issues that defy easy answers, because that's how philanthropy will continue to make progress,” said Enright, who will take the helm on March 5. “I will lead the Council collaboratively and with humility so that we are better positioned to both advance our mission and support our members as they work tirelessly to accomplish theirs.”

The Council’s current Interim President and CEO, Gene Cochrane, will continue to lead the organization through February.


About the Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the United States and globally.

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