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March 29, 2023

Greater Worcester Community Foundation names new CEO

A man with glasses in a portrait photo Photo | Courtesy of Greater Worcester Community Foundation Pete Dunn, president and CEO of Greater Worcester Community Foundation

Following a tumultuous two years at the top of the organization, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation has selected New York foundation executive Peter Dunn to be its new president and CEO.

He will succeed interim CEO and president Tim Johnstone and will start on Aug. 1, according to a Wednesday announcement from the foundation.

"I am proud to be part of an organization with such a longstanding history of impact in the Greater Worcester area,” Dunn said in a Wednesday press release. “The foundation's commitment to promoting philanthropy and supporting nonprofits is critical to building a strong and vibrant community. I look forward to working with the board, staff and community partners to build on the foundation's legacy of impact and develop innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of the Greater Worcester area. Our collective efforts will help ensure that everyone in the community has access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”

Dunn comes into the GWCF at a time when the foundation needs stable footing after its previous full-time CEO Jim Ayers left his position on June 3. Ayers held the position for five months and left due to personal reasons. He replaced Barbara Fields, who left the foundation in March 2021 after 19 months as president and CEO. Johnstone served as interim CEO as GWCF searched for a permanent CEO.

Dunn has been the CEO of the Central New York Community Foundation in Syracuse for 15 years. In January he announced a planned departure from the foundation for June of this year. According to Wednesday’s press release, CNYCF’s assets nearly quadrupled from $110 million to $399 million under Dunn’s leadership. The organization’s annual grantmaking increased from $5.2 million in 2008 to $18.1 million in 2022. Over the past 15 years, CNYCF has handed out more than $200 million in grants.

"Peter's extensive experience in community leadership and philanthropy will help us continue to advance our mission in Worcester, and all of Central Massachusetts,” GWCF Board Chair Christopher Collins said in a press release. “His expertise, his vision, and his passion for serving with, and for, others to improve communities will help build on our legacy of impact and create a brighter future for Worcester. I also want to express my gratitude for the exceptional leadership provided by Tim Johnstone during the past year. ”

The incoming GWCF president shares the same name with Peter Dunn, the City of Worcester’s chief development officer. The two are not related.

Before joining CNYCF, Dunn was vice president, philanthropic services and chief development officer at the California Community Foundation in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s largest community foundations. He is a member of the Community Foundations National Standards Board.

The GWCF is Central Massachusetts’ leading community foundation. Since 1975, GWCF has built a $198 million endowment and has awarded close to $146 million in grants.

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Jodi Breidel
March 29, 2023

Great news! Welcome, Peter!

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