Rahsaan K. Harris has been selected as the Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.
“Rahsaan’s experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector will serve the organization well as we harness the potential of emerging professionals to create social change,” said Trista Harris (no relation), EPIP Board of Advisors Chair and Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. “His laser-like focus on strengthening the value proposition of EPIP, and amplifying the voices of our members, will take our work to the next level.”
Upon accepting the position, Mr. Harris noted, “Continuing to expand our membership, and the leadership development opportunities we offer members as they advance in their careers, will truly create a powerful force for the field and for social change. I am looking forward to building on the great foundation that has been developed over the last decade.”
Mr. Harris received his doctorate in Public and Urban Policy from the New School University in New York City. His dissertation examined the philanthropic influences and interests of African-Americans. Rahsaan holds a Masters in Management from NYU and a Masters in Education from Columbia University. He attended Princeton University, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uruguay.
A member of EPIP since 2009, Mr. Harris serves as Board Chair of the Foundation for Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases. He is a member of the Council on Foundations Professional Development Committee, and has been a Connecting Leaders Fellow with the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and an American Express NGen Fellow at Independent Sector.
Rahsaan led diversity and racial equity initiatives as a program executive at The Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation with assets over $3 billion. During his seven years at Atlantic, Mr. Harris managed the foundation’s response to the Haitian earthquake; oversaw grants to community groups in Bermuda; and supported the CEO on spend-down planning, discretionary grantmaking, and high-engagement grantmaking practices. Prior to Atlantic, Mr. Harris was Executive Director of Playing2Win, the nation’s first public access technology learning center serving inner city, low-income residents.
A new fundraising effort, dubbed The EPIP Fund the Future Campaign, has raised just over $1 million in unrestricted, multi-year support for the executive transition, execution of a strategic plan, and to support the sustainability and growth of EPIP. There is $700,000 to be secured to reach the $1.7 million goal. Campaign supporters include The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation*, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, California Endowment*, Social Justice Fund Northwest, and Headwaters Foundation for Justice.
“We want to ensure that EPIP is sustainable and well-supported during this critical executive transition as we complete our founding phase and move into our next stage.” said Board Chair Trista Harris. “I am so appreciative of the generous support of the foundations investing in this crucial Campaign.”
Mr. Harris succeeds Rusty M. Stahl, Founder and Executive Director since 2002. Rusty announced his departure in February of this year and will conclude his term this month as he reaches his 10-year mark. Mr. Stahl, who will serve as an advisor to Mr. Harris, stated, “In light of Rahsaan’s involvement in EPIP over the years, his substantial contributions to philanthropy, and his deep knowledge of our field, I am delighted to pass the torch to my brilliant colleague and to support his leadership.”
Founded in 2001, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy develops extraordinary new leaders for foundations and the communities they support. Its guiding principals emphasize the value of multigenerational learning, professionalism and effectiveness, and social impact to build a more just, equitable and sustainable society. EPIP has over 600 diverse members from 35 states and 12 robust chapters. The EPIP community offers members valuable peer support, professional development, and a voice in shaping the future of organized philanthropy. Program offerings include orientation to foundations and grantmaking for social change; career coaching; support for emerging leaders of color; tools for supporting grantee talent; and the premiere conference for the next-generation of grantmakers.
Headquartered in New York City with an office in the Bay Area, EPIP is a project of the Tides Center, and partners with Council on Foundations, regional associations of grantmakers, affinity groups, academic centers and numerous sister organizations. For more about Rahsaan and EPIP, visit epip.org.
* pending approval