Today, I’m sharing some bittersweet news. At the end of May, I will step down as president and CEO of Philanthropy Roundtable. My family will be undergoing an exciting period of change this summer, and I have decided to devote my full attention to being present for them during this important time.
The last three years have been invigorating and rewarding, and I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work with our wonderful and inspiring donor community. Their generosity and partnership have been so meaningful to me, and the Roundtable wouldn’t exist without them: donors who are truly passionate about improving lives through effective charitable giving.
I am incredibly proud of the excellent Philanthropy Roundtable team, and I have full confidence in their ability to continue to carry out the Roundtable’s important mission. I’m delighted to hand the reins to the very talented Christie Herrera, our senior vice president of policy and programs, during this time of transition. On June 1, 2023, Christie will assume the role of Philanthropy Roundtable’s interim president and CEO. For those who have not met Christie, she has been our fearless advocate of philanthropic freedom — leading the organization’s work on this front since she joined the Roundtable in 2019. Last year, Christie was elevated to oversee all of our programs and policy work as a member of our executive team. I know the organization will continue to thrive under her leadership, and I couldn’t be leaving the Roundtable in better hands.
I know Philanthropy Roundtable’s best days are ahead, and I’m honored to have been a part of an organization that is needed now more than ever. I’m looking forward to watching the Roundtable continue to grow and succeed.
Below is a copy of the press release formally announcing this news. In the coming weeks, the Philanthropy Roundtable board of directors will launch a national search for a new chief executive.
To everyone in the Roundtable community, we are grateful to you for helping us make our work possible, and I deeply appreciate your continued support.
President & CEO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2023
Elise Westhoff Announces Plan to Step Down as
Philanthropy Roundtable President and CEO
Board of Directors to Launch National Search
WASHINGTON – Philanthropy Roundtable announced today that Elise Westhoff will step down as president and CEO on May 31, 2023, after leading the organization through a time of tremendous growth and success.
“On behalf of Philanthropy Roundtable’s board of directors, we could not be more proud of what the Roundtable has accomplished over the last three years under the strong leadership of Elise Westhoff,” said Philanthropy Roundtable Board Chairman Richard W. Graber. “Elise has brought an incredible amount of energy and strategic focus to her work, and we’re grateful for her role in solidifying the Roundtable as a champion of philanthropic freedom and an unwavering advocate for our community’s shared values. We have full confidence in the direction of the organization and the team’s ability to continue to execute the Roundtable’s critical mission.”
“I was honored to take the helm of Philanthropy Roundtable in 2020 to implement a new strategic plan and a vision that is close to my heart: building a vibrant American philanthropic movement that strengthens our free society,” said Westhoff. “While these past three years have been challenging for our nation, I couldn’t be more optimistic about our future. The critical work of our principled, compassionate and courageous Roundtable donor community is an inspiration. While it’s bittersweet to close this rewarding and invigorating professional chapter, I look forward to devoting my energy and attention to my family during a joyful and exciting period of change for us.”
Under Westhoff’s leadership, Philanthropy Roundtable built out its philanthropic advising services and grantmaking expertise as the organization saw record growth in fundraising. During polarizing times, she played a key role in the launch of the organization’s True Diversity initiative, an equality-based and holistic framework for embracing diversity that seeks to unify Americans rather than divide. The Roundtable continued to grow its public policy presence and expanded philanthropic freedom in dozens of states during Westhoff’s tenure.
Philanthropy Roundtable’s board of directors will commence a national search for a new chief executive immediately. Starting June 1, 2023, Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs Christie Herrera will assume the role of Philanthropy Roundtable’s interim president and CEO. Herrera joined the Roundtable in 2019 and has served on the organization’s executive team.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with a dear friend and someone who has built immense enthusiasm for the Roundtable’s mission among our community. We are grateful to Elise for her bold voice that has stood up for our values — liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility — and the essential freedoms that foster charitable giving and its unique ability to solve problems,” said Herrera. “We have no plans of slowing down, and I’m excited to lead this talented team as we continue what Elise started — because the work the Roundtable is doing is more important than ever.”
Philanthropy Roundtable is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant American philanthropic movement that strengthens our free society. To achieve this vision, the Roundtable pursues a mission to foster excellence in philanthropy, protect philanthropic freedom and help donors to advance liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility.