The Arcus Foundation has announced that Kevin Jennings has been named Executive Director. Jennings, a respected leader with a strong record of accomplishment in the nonprofit and public sectors, is currently CEO of Be the Change, Inc., where he was instrumental in launching the “Opportunity Nation” campaign to promote economic opportunity and social mobility in America. He will join Arcus in September.
As announced in April, Annette Lanjouw, who is currently serving as Arcus’ Interim Executive Director, will remain at the Foundation in her ongoing role as Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Great Ape Programs. Arcus supports organizations worldwide working to advance equality across the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities (SOGI). The Foundation also funds global efforts to protect and conserve the world’s great apes.
"Kevin brings an impressive set of experiences, skills and accomplishments that are perfectly suited to our goals and complemented by a record of infectious leadership,” said Arcus Founder and President Jon Stryker. “His qualifications and lifelong commitment to the work and values that are at the core of Arcus make him a natural and compelling choice.”
"I have had tremendous exposure to and admiration for the Arcus Foundation’s work since its founding twelve years ago,” said Jennings. “I could not be more excited about joining the team and helping to advance the Foundation’s ambitions for justice and humanity, which map so closely to my own.”
Prior to his leadership at Be the Change, Jennings served as Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education, by appointment of President Barack Obama. In this role, he headed the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Previously, he founded and led the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Prior to founding GLSEN, Jennings taught high school history at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, and at Concord Academy in Concord, MA, where he was the faculty advisor of America’s first Gay-Straight Alliance.
Jennings graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in History from Harvard College. He earned a Master’s degree in Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Jennings has received numerous awards, including the Human and Civil Rights Award of the National Education Association, the Distinguished Service Award of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Diversity Leadership Award of the National Association of Independent Schools.