Jocelynne Rainey, Ed.D. Announced as New President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation

Monday, November 8, 2021

Jocelynne Rainey, Ed.D. Announced as New President and CEO of Brooklyn Community Foundation

Today, we are thrilled to announce that Dr. Jocelynne Rainey will join Brooklyn Community Foundation as President and CEO on December 6, 2021. She follows Cecilia Clarke, who departed in July after holding the position since 2013.

Dr. Rainey brings extensive experience in nonprofit leadership to the Foundation, having served previously as President and CEO of Getting Out & Staying Out (GOSO) and Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC). She is also a long-time Brooklyn resident.

Dr. Rainey’s appointment comes after an extensive search led by the Foundation’s Board Chairs, Nicole Gueron and Harsha Marti.

“We proudly introduce Jocelynne as the new leader of Brooklyn Community Foundation. A Brooklynite through and through, Jocelynne’s nonprofit management expertise, commitment to racial justice, and visionary leadership make her the perfect person to direct the Foundation and lead us in advancing equity and social change in Brooklyn and in the philanthropic sector more broadly,” said Gueron and Marti.

“Jocelynne is an impressive leader who knows Brooklyn and understands the unique value this institution brings to our borough. We're confident she is the right person to steer the Foundation’s rapid growth while ensuring we increase our positive impact on nonprofits driving change throughout Brooklyn,” added the Foundation’s Chair Emeritus, Alan Fishman.

Dr. Rainey will join the Foundation after serving as CEO of GOSO, a nonprofit that empowers young people to avoid involvement in the criminal justice system by reshaping their futures through educational achievement, meaningful employment, and financial independence. In addition, the organization does violence prevention work in East Harlem to build community safety and connect young people to GOSO’s network of services. While there, Dr. Rainey increased the budget from under $5 million to over $7 million as she led the strategy, finances, fundraising, and operations of the organization. 

 "I have spent much of my career working on behalf of New York City families, and specifically Brooklynites. Joining Brooklyn Community Foundation at this moment in the history of Brooklyn and New York City is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. I am humbled to be taking the helm of this iconic institution that serves my beloved Brooklyn through a racial justice lens. This is my life’s work. I am excited to collaborate with the Foundation’s staff, board of directors, donors, incredible grantees, and Brooklyn communities to advance racial justice and community-led change in the borough.”

- Dr. Jocelynne Rainey

Dr. Rainey has an impressive track record as a strategist and administrator in propelling growth. During her tenure with GOSO, she expanded program capacity and participation, stabilized and increased funding, and improved program effectiveness. This past summer, she was selected as a Robin Hood Foundation Power Fund leader. In her role as Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation she was a key driver in doubling the number of businesses from 200 to 400; expanding jobs at the Yard from 5,000 to 20,000; and doubling the number of BNYDC staff. Dr. Rainey also developed career training opportunities for Brooklyn young people through the STEAM Center, a strategic partnership with the New York City Department of Education involving accelerated learning for juniors and seniors at eight high schools.

Moreover, Dr. Rainey is already deeply connected to our work at Brooklyn Community Foundation. She has served on the Spark Prize Committee, attended and contributed to numerous annual events, and is a donor advisor of a scholarship fund administered by the Foundation.

“Brooklyn Community Foundation is in good hands with the appointment of Dr. Jocelynne Rainey as its new CEO. Dr. Rainey has a long track record of working towards the betterment of our borough and I can not think of a more appropriate role for her to continue her commitment to empowering all Brooklynites. I thank Cecilia Clarke for her years of dedicated service to our communities and I look forward to working with Dr. Rainey in her new capacity."

- Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President

Dr. Rainey received a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Metropolitan College of New York and a Doctorate of Education and Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College in Rochester. She also earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Executive Leadership from the Business School at Columbia University. She is a former trustee of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and currently serves on the boards of New York City Workforce Investment, Mark Morris Dance Group, and the Leadership Advisory Council of the Bridge Street Economic Development Corporation. She also holds board positions at the Murray Koppelman School of Business at Brooklyn College, the City Tech Foundation, and the Southern Connecticut State University Foundation.

“I congratulate Brooklyn Community Foundation for its continued commitment to racial justice and community-led change," added Gregg Bishop, Executive Director, Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation's Social Justice Fund. “The appointment of Dr. Jocelynne Rainey as CEO and President of Brooklyn Community Foundation solidifies that commitment. Jocelynne is highly respected and has a passion for serving the Brooklyn community, and is well positioned to lead the Foundation to continue building a fairer, more just Brooklyn.”

“I am thrilled not just for Jocelynne but for the entire Brooklyn community that the foundation has selected her for this critical role," said David Ehrenberg, President & CEO, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “Jocelynne’s determination to build a more just Brooklyn was instrumental in the Navy Yard’s recent efforts to live by the full meaning of our social mission. I am thrilled that she will be bringing her commitment and creativity to Brooklyn Community Foundation and all of the local organizations the Foundation works with.”

“The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce applauds the appointment of Dr. Jocelynne Rainey as Brooklyn Community Foundation’s next President and CEO," said Randy Peers, President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. "Her longstanding commitment to equity and inclusion throughout the many facets of her career, along with her genuine dedication to improving the lives of Brooklynites, makes her an excellent choice to lead the Foundation during this critical time in the organization’s history.”

“Brooklyn Children's Museum is delighted that our former trustee Jocelynne Rainey will be joining Brooklyn Community Foundation as President & CEO," said Stephanie Wilchfort, Executive Director, Brooklyn Children’s Museum. "Jocelynne has been a powerful champion for children and families in Central Brooklyn and throughout the borough. It is wonderful to have her back in Crown Heights, supporting our communities.”

Find More By

Related Organizations