Emerging Leaders

When I first learned of the Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways program, I wasn’t sure whether I should apply. I was interested by the programs’ goal to increase the number of people of color in senior and executive positions in philanthropy and to thereby deepen capacity for impact in the field, but facing a looming deadline made me think it’d be best to wait until next year.

Last year, I attended an event hosted by the New England Impact Investing Initiative (NEIII) for a conversation with Michael McCreless, Senior Director of Strategy and Impact, at Root Capital. At this event, Michael showed us how to use a tool he developed, a simulator, he calls the Efficient Impact Frontier. The efficient impact frontier seeks to provide investors with tools to efficiently balance risk, return, and impact in their portfolios.

For five years, I have been fortunate to work for a foundation that has implemented continuous learning and commitment into its core values. In holding to these core values, our CEO is committed to intentionally seeking out opportunities for her team to learn and develop. In October 2016, she and our Senior Director of Talent and Organizational Development informed me of the Career Pathways program.

I work in a small three-person office/private foundation in Queens, New York City. When my boss forwarded me the Career Pathways application last fall, my intent behind my application was to expand my network, reflect on my skills and experience in the sector over the past decade, and connect with colleagues who shared my commitment to the values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Jennifer Price-Letscher, a member of the 2017 Career Pathways cohort, reflects on what she learned about leadership and philanthropic risk taking at a Career Pathways session at the Council's Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the application period for its flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, is open now through October 31, 2016. Through Career Pathways, the Council seeks to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline and develop a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations and the broader philanthropic sector.