Kathryn O'Neal-Dunham Named CEO of Philanthropy New YorkDear Members:
On behalf of Philanthropy New York’s Board of Directors, we are delighted to announce Kathryn O’Neal-Dunham as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. Through a robust and extensive national search process, Kathryn was the clear choice as a leader who brings exceptional strengths in partnering with the board, staff, and a broad philanthropic community toward a vision of a more equitable, democratic, and sustainable society.
This is a pivotal moment for philanthropy, our city, and Philanthropy New York. As we embark on a strategic planning process in 2021 to think anew about our role amidst a fundamentally changed environment and evolving philanthropic sector, we know Kathryn will be an innovative and collaborative partner in creating a collective vision for the PNY community.
For the last seven years, Kathryn has served as Chief Operating Officer of Philanthropy New York. She has demonstrated a keen ability to foster collaboration and to support PNY and our members in building more racially equitable organizational cultures and practices. The press release below shares more about Kathryn’s vision, commitment, and experience.
We want to thank the Search Committee and Koya Partners for their leadership in crafting a search process that aligned with Philanthropy New York’s values, and to the PNY staff and members who contributed to this important effort in the midst of a challenging year.
We are deeply grateful to Ronna Brown, whose leadership of Philanthropy New York over the last 13 years expanded the organization’s vision and capacity, and created an essential hub for New York area funders.
To ensure a thoughtful transition, Philanthropy New York’s board appointed a Transition Committee last fall, chaired by Maria Mottola. We hope you will reach out to Maria, members of PNY’s board, Kathryn, and PNY staff to share your vision for PNY and this community in the years to come.
We look forward to you getting to know Kathryn in her new role, and to continuing our work together.
Board Chair, Philanthropy New York
President, Korean American Community Foundation
Board Member and Search Committee Chair, Philanthropy New York
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, The Wallace Foundation
To lead this organization at this critical moment in the philanthropic sector and Philanthropy New York’s history is both humbling and inspiring. I have developed a deep appreciation for what makes PNY such a dynamic and interdependent community of funders. I feel fortunate to partner with a staff and board whose skills and diverse perspectives enrich and inform every decision. Guided by our new values, I look forward to deepening our commitment to racial equity and expanding opportunities for our members to advance meaningful social change.
- Kathryn O’Neal-Dunham, CEO, Philanthropy New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2021
Contact: Kristen Ruff
Senior Vice President
Kathryn O'Neal-Dunham Named CEO of Philanthropy New York
NEW YORK, NY – The Board of Directors of Philanthropy New York (PNY) is delighted to announce Kathryn O’Neal-Dunham as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 19, 2021. Philanthropy New York is a network of nearly 300 funding organizations that champions effective grantmaking and sector collaboration.
“Through a robust and extensive national search process, Kathryn was the clear choice as a leader who brings exceptional strengths in partnering with the board, staff and a broad philanthropic community toward a vision of a more equitable, democratic and sustainable society,” shared Kyung Yoon, Philanthropy New York’s Board Chair, and Kenneth Austin, Search Committee Chair, in a message to PNY members. “Philanthropy New York plays a critical role in activating collaboration in our field and supporting members to advance meaningful social change. In this pivotal moment, Kathryn’s skills in collaboration and coalition building, a deep commitment to advancing racial equity, and expertise in organizational strategy are great assets.”
O’Neal-Dunham has served as Chief Operating Officer of Philanthropy New York since February 2014. In this role, she led PNY’s internal capacity building work and programming for funders to support more racially equitable organizational cultures and practices. She has been a key partner across the philanthropy-serving ecosystem. She brings to her new role a proven track record of developing and implementing inclusive, high-impact initiatives and a keen ability to build consensus and create a vibrant, cohesive PNY community. A hallmark of O’Neal-Dunham’s leadership is her commitment to investing deeply in relationships across New York City’s philanthropic and nonprofit community and the wider philanthropic ecosystem.
“To lead this organization at this critical moment in the philanthropic sector and Philanthropy New York’s history is both humbling and inspiring,” said O’Neal-Dunham. “I have developed a deep appreciation for what makes PNY such a dynamic and interdependent community of funders. Guided by our new values, I look forward to deepening our commitment to racial equity and expanding opportunities for our members to advance meaningful social change.”
Before joining Philanthropy New York, she held leadership roles at United Way of New York City, Macquarie Group Foundation, and Inwood House. At UWNYC, she led a Task Force of academics, practitioners, and community leaders to design the organization’s community investment strategy around income stability. She built Macquarie’s philanthropic strategy in the Americas and crafted the process to revise the Foundation’s strategic goals and objectives.
O’Neal-Dunham is a well-rounded leader who builds and nurtures talented teams and thinks strategically to ensure financial stability and organizational growth. She provided leadership in Philanthropy New York’s successful Fund for 2025 campaign and more recently championed the organization’s process to reimagine its values. In 2020, O’Neal-Dunham was responsible for strengthening key partnerships across the City and State’s nonprofit associations while navigating the maze of advocacy needs during the COVID crisis.
O’Neal-Dunham succeeds Ronna Brown, who served as Philanthropy New York's President for 13 years, and announced to the board early in 2020 that she would be stepping down at the end of the year. Under Brown’s leadership, PNY expanded its vision and capacity and created an essential hub for New York area funders. “Ronna strengthened PNY’s convening power, advanced racial equity as being core to PNY’s values and work, and steadfastly engaged with members and nonprofit and philanthropy sector leaders on operational and public policy issues for the field,” Board Chair Kyung Yoon shared in a message to PNY members. “The board thanks Ronna for her tremendous leadership of Philanthropy New York and looks forward to all the ways she will continue to bring her gifts and talents to the broader community.”
About Philanthropy New York
Philanthropy New York is a trusted community of nearly 300 funding organizations that develops forward-thinking guidance, programming, and advocacy to address the unique challenges of philanthropy and convenes funders to strengthen ties across the sector. Established in 1979, Philanthropy New York champions effective grantmaking by building a vibrant philanthropic ecosystem committed to an equitable, sustainable, and democratic society. Through Philanthropy New York’s work, philanthropic organizations in the New York metro area convene and collaborate as a community; share knowledge, build skills and transform practices; and amplify the voice of the philanthropic field. For more information, visit www.philanthropynewyork.org.