Jun 2023

Grantmakers for Education Names Nicole Rodriguez Leach as New Executive Director

For Immediate Release

PORTLAND, OR. – June 21, 2023  The Grantmakers for Education (EdFunders) board of directors announced today that Nicole Rodriguez Leach, former vice president of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, has been selected as the organization’s next executive director. Rodriguez Leach was selected after a national search for a successor to former executive director Celine Coggins, who stepped down in December 2022.

“Nicole has a strong track record as a strategic and mission-driven leader. It is clear she has what it takes to lead the organization, deepen connections among grantmakers, and build on our mission of centering racial justice and equity in education and philanthropy,” said Richard Tagle, who is chairperson of the EdFunders board of directors and also president and CEO at the Denver Public Schools Foundation. “The board is thrilled that she will be the next leader of Grantmakers for Education.”

Rodriguez Leach’s experience ranges from teacher, nonprofit leader, education policy researcher and philanthropist. She currently serves as a nonprofit and philanthropic executive advisor, while completing her Ph.D. in public and urban policy at The Ohio State University. She recently served as interim executive director for the Center for Racial Justice in Education. Throughout her career, she has been guided by a vision for schools to serve as ecosystems that support flourishing learners, families and communities.

Rodriguez Leach has over a decade of experience with Grantmakers for Education, including four years of board service, serving on the finance and external committees and chairing the organization’s annual conference.

“EdFunders holds a crucial role in education philanthropy – supporting healthy debate and collaboration across a diverse body of organizations and ideologies,” said Rodriguez Leach. “The fields of education and philanthropy are both undergoing transformational thinking. This is the right moment to deepen partnerships that can champion an education system that educates, affirms and emboldens learners.”

Grantmakers for Education is the nation's largest and most diverse network of education grantmakers dedicated to advancing effective, strategic and equity-centered grantmaking in the field of education.

Grantmakers for Education engaged Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm that specializes in leading searches exclusively for clients that advance the public good, to conduct the national search for its next executive director.

Tagle added, “As we look to the coming years, we’re eager for Nicole to forge ahead—building upon EdFunders’ commitment to grantmakers who believe in the transformative nature of education and bring bold thinking to philanthropy in all education sectors.”

Rodriguez Leach begins her new role on July 1, and will continue to reside in the New York City area. “I accept this position with the hope of advancing a bold vision for deep learning and leadership among education funders who are working toward educational justice for all learners,” Rodriguez Leach said.