Thursday, July 19, 2012

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy Announces New Executive Director

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) has announced the appointment of Rahsaan K. Harris as its new Executive Director.

Founded in 2001, EPIP develops extraordinary new leaders for foundations and the communities they support. With over 600 diverse members from 35 states and 12 robust chapters, the EPIP community offers members valuable peer support, professional development, and a voice in shaping the future of organized philanthropy. Program offerings include orientation to foundations and grantmaking for social change; career coaching; support for emerging leaders of color; tools for supporting grantee talent; and the premiere conference for the next-generation of grantmakers.

“Rahsaan's experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector will serve the organization well as we harness the potential of emerging professionals to create social change,” said Trista Harris (no relation), EPIP Board of Advisors Chair and Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. “His laser-like focus on strengthening the value proposition of EPIP, and amplifying the voices of our members, will take our work to the next level.”

Upon accepting the position, Mr. Harris noted, “Continuing to expand our membership, and the leadership development opportunities we offer members as they advance in their careers, will truly create a powerful force for the field and for social change. I am looking forward to building on the great foundation that has been developed over the last decade.”

Mr. Harris is a doctoral candidate in Public and Urban Policy at the New School University in New York City. His dissertation examines the philanthropic influences and interests of African-Americans. Rahsaan holds a Masters in Management from NYU and a Masters in Education from Columbia University. He attended Princeton University, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uruguay.

A member of EPIP since 2009, Mr. Harris serves as Board Chair of the Foundation for Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases. He is a member of the Council on Foundations Professional Development Committee, and has been a Connecting Leaders Fellow with the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and an American Express NGen Fellow at Independent Sector.

He led diversity and racial equity initiatives as a program executive at The Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation with assets over $3 billion. During his seven years at Atlantic, Mr. Harris managed the foundation's response to the Haitian earthquake; oversaw grants to community groups in Bermuda; and supported the CEO on spend-down planning, discretionary grantmaking, and high-engagement grantmaking practices. Prior to Atlantic, Mr. Harris was Executive Director of Playing2Win, the nation's first public access technology learning center serving inner city, low-income residents.

Mr. Harris succeeds Rusty M. Stahl, Founder and Executive Director since 2002. Rusty announced his departure in February of this year and will conclude his term this month as he reaches his 10-year mark. Mr. Stahl, who will serve as an advisor to Mr. Harris, stated, “In light of Rahsaan's involvement in EPIP over the years, his substantial contributions to philanthropy, and his deep knowledge of our field, I am delighted to pass the torch to my brilliant colleague and to support his leadership.”

Learn more about EPIP by visiting

Source:  Press release
Submitted by Akira Barclay, NY Contributor

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