The Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts has announced Susan K. Urahn as its new president and CEO, effective July 1. Urahn will succeed Rebecca W. Rimel, who announced last April that she was stepping down as president and CEO after thirty-six years with the organization.
Rimel, who joined Pew in 1983 as health program manager and was appointed executive director in 1988 and president and CEO in 1994, will transition into a temporary senior advisor role. As executive director and then president/CEO, she oversaw the evolution of the organization from a Philadelphia-based grantmaker into a global research and advocacy institution with offices and staff in Washington, D.C., and across the Americas, Europe, and Australia. The original trusts was the successor and sole beneficiary of seven charitable funds established by the adult sons and daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew, between 1948 and 1979. In 2004, under Rimel's leadership, the trusts created the Pew Research Center and shed its private foundation status to become one of the largest public charities in the country.
Urahn joined Pew's planning and evaluation division in 1994 and directed the division from 1997 to 2000. After seven years heading the organization's education and state policy portfolio, she helped launch the Pew Center on the States in 2007 and served as its director until 2012, when she was named executive vice president of the organization. In 2016, she was appointed chief program officer.
"I have had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Sue Urahn for more than twenty-five years," said Rimel. "She is an intellectually curious and strategic leader who has conceptualized and managed a large portfolio of projects that have successfully improved public policy and the lives of the public. Pew strives to create positive change, and it has been my immense privilege to serve with the dedicated and talented people who are committed to Pew's mission every day."
"I am deeply grateful to the board of directors, as well as to Pew's talented staff in the United States and around the globe," said Urahn. "Pew has a long history of advancing pragmatic solutions to challenging problems, and I am honored to have this opportunity to tackle new issues and test novel approaches."