May 6, 2008
Foundation names Neil Steinberg new president & chief executive office
Board of directors unanimously appoints current chief of Brown University’s fundraising campaign to top position after national search
The Rhode Island Foundation board of directors announced today that Neil Steinberg had been appointed president and chief executive officer, effective August 15, after a national search spanning four months.
|Neil Steinberg |
David Hirsch, a Foundation director since 2003, chaired the eight-member search committee, which included George Graboys, Foundation chairman and acting president, and board members the Honorable Maureen McKenna-Goldberg, Cynthia Garcia-Coll, Ph.D., and Peter Damon. Former Foundation director Walter Stone, Esq., businessman and entrepreneur Lorne Adrain and Executive Director of Grow Smart RI Scott Wolf also served on the committee.
“We were fortunate to see a number of truly extraordinary candidates,” noted Mr. Hirsch, who added, “We were delighted to be able to recommend Neil to the board for approval after a comprehensive and thoughtful search.”
Steinberg, who will take up his duties at the Foundation in August, said, “I am honored to accept this position and look forward to working with the board and staff, as well as our generous donors and the Foundation’s many partners in Rhode Island. There is no question that at this time in the state’s history, philanthropy is key to building stronger communities. The Foundation is poised to build on its history, mission and leadership to increase its impact in Rhode Island, to address critical challenges in areas including affordable housing, public education, and healthcare.”
Steinberg, who has been vice president of development and campaign director at Brown since 2004, was formerly chairman and CEO of Fleet Bank-Rhode Island. A civic leader with a long record of community involvement, he is on the advisory board of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and is a director of the Business Development Company of Rhode Island and the Urban League. He also serves on the community advisory board of United Way of Rhode Island. Steinberg was a member of the transition teams for Governor Carcieri and Mayor Cicilline, and chaired the group that reviewed the Providence Public Library’s fiscal situation in 2006. His recommendations for restructuring were subsequently accepted by the Library’s board of trustees. Steinberg is a former director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, the Providence Performing Arts Center, and the Providence Foundation. He was named Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce Corporate Leader of the Year in 2004, and inducted into the Brown University Hall of Fame in 2007.
During the past three years Steinberg has successfully led Boldly Brown, the university’s campaign for academic enrichment. The campaign has raised almost $1.2 billion toward its $1.4 billion goal. Steinberg is credited with many important gifts, including a $100 million contribution by Warren Alpert to the Medical School, now known as the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
Steinberg graduated from Brown in 1975 and immediately went to work for Fleet National Bank – which was Industrial National Bank at the time – rising from assistant branch manager to vice president and manager of the New York Loan Production Office in 1981. After six years as a partner in a Rhode Island-based investment banking firm, Steinberg returned to FleetBoston Financial (now Bank of America) in 1990 as senior vice president. Promoted to executive vice president in 1996, he led the bank’s successful acquisition of Summit Bank, and was named president of Fleet Bank-Rhode Island in 2001 and chairman/CEO in 2003.
Speaking on behalf of the Foundation board, George Graboys noted, “It was eminently clear to us that Neil would bring to the Foundation a wonderful ability to translate vision, values, and mission into action. We could not have asked for a more qualified new leader.”
The Rhode Island Foundation, established in 1916, is one of the nation’s oldest community foundations. With assets exceeding $600 million, the Foundation made grants of $25.4 million in 2007 to 1,275 nonprofit organizations, the vast majority in Rhode Island. During the past three years, the Foundation has raised nearly $90 million for permanent endowments. In 2007, the Foundation accepted gifts of $35 million and established 66 new funds, bringing its total number of component funds to 1036.
The Foundation, along with United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Housing, is a principal funder of HousingWorks RI, an initiative created to address the critical issue of affordable housing in the state. In 2006, the 125-member HousingWorks RI coalition succeeded in passing a $50 million affordable housing bond, and actively continues its advocacy and outreach efforts.
Other recent Foundation projects include a significant investment in the URI-Central Falls partnership focused on transitioning Central Falls High School into a high performing school of distinction, and the Black Philanthropy Initiative, designed to address the needs of the state’s Black population. The Foundation has also recently launched a campaign to raise $500,000 for its Equity Action Fund designated for LGBTQ causes.
The Foundation, known for its grantmaking in economic and workforce development, public education, health care, the environment, arts and culture, is governed by an 11-person board responsible for setting policy and stewarding the organization’s mission. Members of the board in addition to Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Graboys, Justice McKenna-Goldberg, Mr. Damon, and Dr. Garcia-Coll are: Frederick K. Butler; Patricia Flanagan, M.D.; the Honorable Ronald K. Machtley; Benjamin Paster, Esq; Cynthia Reed; and Anne Szostak.