Foundation Begins Search for New President

Publication Date: November 28, 2012

WILLIAM PENN FOUNDATION BEGINS SEARCH FOR NEW PRESIDENT

Foundation and Jeremy Nowak decide “time is right” to part ways

PHILADELPHIA (November 28, 2012) – The William Penn Foundation today announced it will initiate a search for a new president to oversee the Foundation and lead the implementation of its strategic plan. The Foundation and Jeremy Nowak, who served as its president since June 2011, mutually decided that the time is right for Nowak to transition out of his current role.

Nowak served as a valuable change agent during the Foundation’s strategic planning process, said William Penn Foundation Board Chairman David Haas.  As the process continued, he said it became clear that the Foundation and Nowak have differences in approach regarding implementation of the plan and both agreed that a change in leadership at this time made sense.

“Jeremy Nowak guided the William Penn Foundation to understand the challenges the region will face in the coming years and to help position the Foundation to focus its resources to meet those challenges,” Haas said. “The Foundation thanks Jeremy for his innovative thinking and leadership.  He will remain an important resource and advisor as the Foundation moves forward in implementing its strategic plan.”

Nowak says he supports the Foundation’s core areas of focus, including children, culture and the environment, and will continue to lend his expertise to further its service to the community.

“I am extraordinarily proud of the work we have done that will guide the William Penn Foundation for years to come,” Nowak said.  “I am confident the Foundation is well positioned to positively impact the region – particularly with so many facing such economic uncertainty.  I look forward to continuing to support the Foundation to address the critical needs of the Greater Philadelphia Region.”

The William Penn Foundation is forming a search committee to identify candidates for the position and has appointed Helen Davis Picher as interim president.  Picher has served in a variety of key programmatic positions within the Foundation for nearly 30 years, most recently as director of evaluation and planning.

The William Penn Foundation remains committed to the strategic plan and the Haas family reaffirms its enduring commitment to children, culture and the environment.  In support of those areas of focus, the strategic plan endeavors to serve the community by closing the achievement gap for children from low-income families; ensuring a sustainable environment by protecting the Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds; and advancing Philadelphia as a leading center of creativity that enhances civic life.  While the principles of the plan remain unchanged, its implementation continues to evolve and be refined. The strategic plan will deliver on the values of stewardship, respect for others, transparency, communication, learning and commitment to collaboration that have guided the William Penn Foundation for nearly 70 years. 

The William Penn Foundation will issue new program guidelines and application procedures in late January.

******

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, works to close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. With assets of nearly $2 billion, the Foundation distributes approximately $80 million in grants annually.

Note to editors/reporters:  When referring to our organization, “William Penn Foundation” (or “the Foundation” on second reference) is preferred over “Penn Foundation” to avoid confusion with the University of Pennsylvania, with which we are not affiliated. Thanks very much.