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Meet the Expert: Bob Eckardt

Areas of Expertise

  • Grantmaking: Strategic Planning, Program Planning and Development
  • Operations: Staff Recruitment and Development
  • Governance: Board Development and Relations, Succession Planning
  • Issue Areas: Access, Aging, Public Policy and Advocacy Strategies

About Bob

Dr. Robert E. Eckardt is the former Executive Vice President at The Cleveland Foundation, America’s oldest and fourth-largest community foundation. Working with the foundation’s board of directors, he provided overall direction and supervision for grants totaling more than $85 million annually, and was also responsible for managing activities related to program evaluation. He directly supervised ten senior program staff and provided overall supervision and administrative leadership for a program staff of more than 25 people.

Dr. Eckardt first moved to Cleveland as a Planning Associate at the Federation for Community Planning. In this capacity, he worked on improved methods to meet the long-term care needs of Clevelanders. He also directed a federally-funded program to improve training in geriatrics and gerontology. He then assumed the position of Program Officer with The Cleveland Foundation. Over the years, he was promoted to Senior Program Officer, Manager of Evaluation, Vice President, Senior Vice President, and, ultimately, to Executive Vice President in 2010.

Dr. Eckardt has also served on the boards of several national philanthropic groups, including Grantmakers In Health, Grantmakers in Aging, Funders Concerned About AIDS, and the Grantmakers Evaluation Network and has consulted with foundations throughout the country. He is an active member of several professional organizations and was an elected Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America for his leadership in aging. He currently serves on the Boards of the National Center for Creative Aging, Village Capital Corporation, and the American Society on Aging, as well as on the advisory committee of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and on the faculty of the Grantmaking School at Grand Valley State University. He is the 2006 recipient of Grantmaker In Health’s Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy and the 2010 Distinguished Grantmaker Award from the Council on Foundations.

Dr. Eckardt graduated with honors from Grinnell College in Iowa. He received his Masters in Public Health with a focus on Health Planning and Administration, a Certificate of Specialization in Aging, and his DrPH from the University of Michigan.