May 2023

Leadership Transition Update

The executive director search team, made up of EdFunders board and staff members, and led by the board of directors, has been working diligently to find the next leader for Grantmakers for Education. With the support of search firm Isaacson, Miller, we met with a number of excellent candidates and several are moving into the final stages of the process. If all proceeds as expected, we look forward to being able to announce a new executive director before the end of the second quarter. We are excited to be nearing the moment of welcoming a new leader to the organization.

In order to find the best leader to fill this crucial role, Grantmakers for Education is working with the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, a leading national firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients and is deeply familiar with the fields of education and philanthropy. The process is being led by Karen Avery, a name familiar to many members from her prior work with member PBS Foundation and Edfunders' Arts Education Impact Group. Karen and the Isaacson, Miller team are working closely with EdFunders’ selection committee, made up of board and staff members. The process includes outreach to EdFunders members for assistance and support in finding the next visionary to lead our network through a new phase of our collective work to deepen education philanthropy's impact on the schools, districts, education systems and learners in the communities we serve.

In the interim, Ulcca Joshi Hansen, chief program officer, and Beverly Ross Denny, managing director, are leading the organization as co-interim executive directors. You can learn more about Beverly and Ulcca here.

Members may reach out to Isaacson, Miller by contacting Karen Avery, partner ( or Shalini Uppu, senior associate ( for more information.

See the board of directors’ announcement and letter from former Executive Director Celine Coggins here.