Rhode Island Foundation names Congressman Cicilline as next CEO

The Rhode Island Foundation today announced that Hon. David N. Cicilline will serve as its next president and chief executive officer.

Cicilline has represented Rhode Island’s first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011 and plans to step down from his seat effective June 1, 2023. Prior to being elected to Congress, Cicilline was the mayor of Providence from 2003 to 2011—the first openly gay mayor of a U.S state capital city—and served in the Rhode Island General Assembly from 1995 to 2003. An alumnus of both Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center, Cicilline has spent his career fighting for equity for marginalized people.

He will begin his service to the Foundation on June 1, 2023, succeeding Neil D. Steinberg, who will continue to serve as president and CEO until Cicilline’s tenure begins.

Congressman Cicilline was selected by the Foundation’s board of directors after a thorough national search that included significant community input and generated an impressive pool of diverse candidates.

“We are confident in Congressman Cicilline’s abilities, intellect, and accomplishments and are excited to begin working with him as our next president and CEO,” said Dr. G. Alan Kurose, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. “David’s skills and values fit perfectly with those of the Rhode Island Foundation—he is committed to meeting the needs of all Rhode Islanders and has been throughout his public-service career.”

Dr. Kurose continued, “It was a high priority for us, from the beginning of this search process, to attract a diverse pool of candidates. Congressman Cicilline’s career-long fight for equity and equality at the local, national, and international level, and his deep relationships within Rhode Island’s communities of color are two of the many factors that led us to this decision.”

“I’m honored for the opportunity to continue serving the Ocean State as president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation,” said Representative Cicilline. “It’s thrilling to join the Foundation after 15 years of growth and philanthropic excellence during Neil Steinberg’s leadership. I’m excited to apply my experience and passion to this nonpartisan role.”

Cicilline is a leader on issues that align squarely with the Rhode Island Foundation’s values and strategic priorities—including ensuring equitable access to economic opportunity; access to quality, affordable healthcare and the means to live a healthy life; and supporting educators and students as they strive for success in school and beyond.

Representative Cicilline is currently a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Committee on the Judiciary. He’s worked with his colleagues in the Rhode Island congressional delegation to secure federal funding for Rhode Island to support infrastructure improvements, neighborhood centers, public safety, and local programs and services.

In addition, Cicilline is a co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and has led efforts to promote equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he’s also worked to promote human rights around the world.

“I am thrilled with the choice of Representative Cicilline as the next president and CEO of the Foundation, having seen first-hand—over many years—his commitment to a better Rhode Island,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s current president and CEO. “He has the experience, the skills, the passion, and the network to ably lead the Foundation. I’m confident that he will very successfully engage with our donors, nonprofit grantees, and community stakeholders. I applaud, and thank, our board of directors for making this excellent selection and know that he will build on our success and take the Foundation to the next level, on behalf of all Rhode Islanders.”

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.



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