The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has announced the appointments of Kevin Cavanaugh as Director of Communications and Public Affairs and Ryan Kelsey as Program Officer for New Programs.
In the new position of Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Kevin Cavanaugh will oversee all external and internal communications and public affairs strategies and initiatives for the Trust. In this capacity, he will work in close coordination with the Trustees, the CEO and other executive leadership, as well as the various program directors. Mr. Cavanaugh comes to the Trust from the global law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where he was the Director of Business Development. Since joining the firm in 2001, he led the marketing, strategic communications, events and new business support functions across Davis Polk’s 10 offices worldwide and dramatically expanded the firm’s global business development staff and resources.
Prior to joining Davis Polk, Mr. Cavanaugh was the Director of Communications at Winstar, a global telephone and broadband services provider. Earlier, he was a senior member of a New York-based marketing and communications firm, leading a variety of national accounts for technology and financial services companies. He began his career running a small nonprofit housing program for low-income individuals and families in Portland, OR. Mr. Cavanaugh holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH.
As the Program Officer for New Programs at the Trust, Ryan Kelsey focuses on national work in improving educational practices, with a special emphasis on higher education, STEM learning and effective uses of technology. Prior to coming to the Trust, Kelsey spent thirteen years at the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, most recently as the Director of Projects. At Columbia, Kelsey led a team of educational technologists and design specialists partnering with faculty on innovative educational projects in the full range of academic disciplines, including simulations, case studies, health interventions and global learning initiatives with funding from multiple public and private sources. He has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Instructor at Teachers College and New York University, offering courses in the design and analysis of effective solutions for improving higher education classroom practice using purposeful technology.
Kelsey earned his Ed.D. and M.A. in Communication and Education from Teachers College and his B.S. in Biology from Santa Clara University. He also devotes time to environmental issues by serving on the board of the Black Rock Forest Consortium. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.