May 2, 2023 - News

Cleveland Foundation elevates Lillian Kuri to CEO

Headshot of Lillian Kuri, Cleveland Foundation President and CEO

I'd be smiling too, Lillian. Photo: Provided by the Cleveland Foundation

Lillian Kuri has been named the next president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation.

Driving the news: In a video yesterday, the local grantmaking organization announced that Kuri, 53, had been selected by its board of directors and will succeed president and CEO Ronn Richard on Aug. 1.

Richard has been at the foundation's helm since 2003. In January he announced his planned retirement.

What they're saying: "[Kuri] knows the city like the back of her hand and has an amazing ability to foster and build relationships," Constance Hill-Johnson, chairperson of the Cleveland Foundation Board, said in a press release.

Details: Kuri, a licensed architect, is the Cleveland Foundation's executive vice president and chief operating officer. She began her career there in 2005 after leading Cleveland Public Art, the precursor to the public art and design firm Land Studios.

  • Plus: Kuri oversaw the planning and design of the foundation's new headquarters in MidTown.

The intrigue: The board did not conduct a national search nor interview other candidates. A "transition consultant" worked with an ad hoc committee to create a profile of the organization's next leader, and Kuri was the consensus pick.

The bottom line: “I firmly believe that this is an exceptional moment for Greater Cleveland." Kuri said in the release.

  • "We have a new generation of local leadership that includes civic, government and nonprofit leaders who are bringing fresh perspectives to their jobs and a track record of working together."

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