Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
President & CEO
Les Garner is the President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is a convener and leader for community initiatives that involve charitable giving. In addition to overseeing the strategy and operations of the foundation, he works with high-wealth donors to help them discover ways to meet their philanthropic goals. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Les was president of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa from 1994 to 2010. During his tenure, he created a strategic plan for the college’s future that resulted in innovative opportunities for students. Other prior positions include president of North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; assistant professor of business administration and director of the Young Executives Institute at the University of North Carolina; and special assistant to the director at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Les received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in history and holds master’s and doctoral degrees in public policy from Harvard University.