Message from PNY Board Chair on Leadership Transition

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Philanthropy New York Leadership Transition

Read Ronna Brown's Leadership Transition Announcement

A Letter From Kyung Yoon

Dear Members,
As Philanthropy New York’s Board Chair, I write regarding the news that Ronna Brown shared yesterday about her plans to step down as PNY’s president at the end of this year. What a bittersweet moment for all of us in the PNY community! Please join me as we celebrate Ronna’s remarkable tenure and her gracious and brilliant leadership.
Ronna has been a transformational leader of Philanthropy New York over the past 13 years. In addition to expanding the organization’s vision and capacity, her leadership has increased PNY’s impact and created an essential hub for New York area funders—all during a period of significant change within the sector and the landscape of philanthropy in New York and beyond. She has strengthened PNY’s convening power, empowered staff to develop timely and diverse programming, advanced racial equity as being core to PNY’s values and work, and steadfastly engaged with members, peer affinity groups, and non-profit sector leaders on operational and public policy issues for the field.  And she has done all this with extraordinary thoughtfulness, warmth and generosity. I remember more than 10 years ago, walking into my first PNY meeting of what was then the Increasing Diversity in Philanthropy Committee. At that time, I was relatively new to philanthropy and looking to learn and connect with a community of peers. Ronna was so generous with making introductions and encouraging my involvement with PNY that she had me convinced I was “special” until I learned that she does this for everyone!
In recent months, as New York City became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. and the killing of George Floyd sparked protests in the city, the country and the world, PNY’s ability to adjust to new needs and opportunities in support of our membership is another testament to Ronna’s strong and resilient leadership over the years. She has built and nurtured a superbly talented staff, a dedicated Board and an engaged membership. She has also been laser focused on ensuring the health and sustainability of Philanthropy New York and will leave the organization on sound financial footing. We are grateful to Ronna and look forward to building on these strengths as we search for a new leader who will continue to champion PNY’s mission of advancing effective grantmaking to build a more equitable, sustainable and democratic future.
The Board has been quietly working over the past few months to prepare for this important transition. PNY Board member, Kenneth W. Austin, Secretary and General Counsel of The Wallace Foundation, has been appointed to chair the Search Committee and will spearhead the selection process for PNY’s next president. We have engaged Koya Leadership Partners to conduct a national search, and we invite you, our members, to contact Molly Brennan at with any inputs on potential candidates or the process. If you have any questions or concerns about the transition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at
Best regards,


Kyung B. Yoon
Board Chair, Philanthropy New York
President, Korean American Community Foundation

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