People in the News (12/17/17): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

People in the News (12/17/17): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

The Arcus Foundation in New York City has announced that MAYA L. HARRIS has joined its board of directors. Harris is a legal and political analyst for MSNBC and served as a senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to joining the Clinton campaign, she was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where she authored Women of Color: A Growing Force in the American Electorate; served as vice president of democracy, rights, and justice at the Ford Foundation and as executive director of the ACLU of Northern California; and was a senior associate at PolicyLink, where she conducted research and policy advocacy on community policing issues and authored the publications Community-Centered Policing: A Force for Change and Organized for Change: The Activist’s Guide to Police Reform.

The Central Park Conservancy has announced the appointment of ELIZABETH "BETSY" WEINBERG SMITH as its new president and chief executive officer, effective March 1, 2018. Smith previously served as NYC Parks Assistant Commissioner during the Bloomberg administration, with responsibility for the agency’s large concession portfolio as well as its annual roster of all major special events. Since leaving NYC Parks at the end of 2013, Smith has remained an avid supporter of urban parks and open space, serving as a board member of Friends of the High Line and the Open Space Institute and as vice chair of New Yorkers for Parks, in addition to serving on the conservancy’s board of trustees.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has named KRISTIN SAKODA as executive director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Sakoda, who will join the commission on February 15, has more than twenty years of cultural arts experience and for the past nine years has been instrumental in guiding the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the largest arts funder in the U.S. outside of the federal government.

The board of directors of StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working to improve education for every child, has announced the election of JENNIFER BLATZ as president and chief executive officer, effective January 1. Blatz has served the organization as interim CEO since July 2017 and has been affiliated with StriveTogether and its predecessor organizations since 2001. Blatz will succeed StriveTogether co-founder and former executive director JEFF EDMONDSON, who left the organization earlier this year to become managing director of the Ballmer Group, the organization co-founded by Connie and Steve Ballmer to improve economic mobility for children and families in the U.S. who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. 

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) in Miami has announced the appointment of JIM FROST as vice president of strategic partnerships. A seasoned arts advocate with twenty-five years of experience in arts administration and programming, Frost has spent the majority of his career working with Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA), where he served in various positions, most recently as co-executive director.

The Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, Oklahoma, has announced ALEXIS CARTER-BLACK as its first  director of development and state-community relations. Carter-Black brings more than twenty years of development and grantmaking experience to Noble, and has served in positions at Health Care Without Harm, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, the Mercy Health Foundation, and Langston University.

In other news, following the resignation of HERMAN GRAY earlier this month, the board of directors of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan has announced TANYA HEIDELBERG YOPP, chief operations officer for United Way, as the organization’s interim CEO, effective December 15. The board also announced that TONYA ALLEN, United Way board member and president and CEO of the Detroit-based Skillman Foundation, will chair a search committee formed to find Gray’s successor.

"Maya L. Harris Joins Arcus Foundation Board of Directors." Arcus Foundation Press Release 12/11/2017. "Central Park Conservancy Names Elizabeth Weinberg Smith President & CEO." Central Park Conservancy Press Release 12/13/2017. "L.A. County Board of Supervisors Appoints Arts Leader Kristin Sakoda as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission." Los Angeles County Arts Commission Press Release 12/12/2017. "National YoungArts Foundation Names Jim Frost Vice President of Strategic Partnerships." National YoungArts Foundation Press Release 12/14/2017. "Noble Selects Carter-Black as First Director of Development." Noble Research Institute News Release 12/14/2017. "Nonprofit StriveTogether Names Jennifer Blatz President and CEO." BusinessWire 12/14/2017. "Media Update. " United Way for Southeastern Michigan Email. 12/13/2017.