President and CEO, The Colorado Trust
Chair, Grantmakers In Health Board of Directors
Last week, Grantmakers In Health announced that Cara James has been selected as the organization’s fourth President and CEO. We are thrilled to welcome her to the GIH family.
Soon after Faith Mitchell announced that she would be stepping down from the organization, GIH’s board and staff gathered to discuss the skills, experiences, and characteristics we believe a successful leader should possess.
Like other philanthropy support organizations, GIH occupies a unique space in the foundation world. Our President and CEO must be able to both lead and serve the field of health philanthropy. This requires someone who possesses extensive management experience and content expertise, and someone who can continue to raise GIH’s profile nationally. It also requires someone who values diversity, fosters collaboration, and brings humility to the position.
With those qualifications in mind, in early 2019 the board formed a transition committee, retained a well-regarded talent solutions firm, and launched a national search for our next leader. The process was designed to be highly inclusive, incorporating detailed input from essential stakeholders through a GIH Funding Partner survey and key informant interviews. We are delighted with the result, which we believe fully reflects GIH’s core values of integrity, transparency, and fiscal responsibility; excellence; respect; responsiveness and innovation; collaboration; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What excites us most about Cara is her intellectual curiosity; health policy expertise; experience working in both philanthropy and government; track record of building relationships, developing strategic partnerships, and navigating shifting policy landscapes; commitment to including diverse voices, experiences, and viewpoints; and ability to communicate and operationalize a bold, inclusive vision. GIH turns 38 this year, and I am confident that it is in good hands, with a talented staff; dedicated board; energetic constituency; and strong, creative new leader. I look forward to working together over the next decade to achieve our mutual vision of better health through better philanthropy.