A Note from the Forum for Youth Investment’s Board of Directors

2021 Opportunities and Transitions

Happy New Year! After a long and difficult 2020, the Forum for Youth Investment is committed to working with our partners, clients, and funders to build back together in new ways to meet the moment. Though the challenges we face may be great, we also see incredible opportunities and potential to change the odds that all young people are ready for college, work, and life.

We look forward to 2021 as a year of renewal and growth in our field, and especially for the Forum. As many of you know, Karen Pittman has signaled for some time her readiness to pass the reins of the Forum’s day-to-day management. Today we announce the launch of our national search for the Forum’s next President & CEO. With the full support of the Forum’s Board of Directors, we are delighted to share that Karen will shift into a new Senior Fellow role as of February 1, 2021 and devote her time and immense energy to doing what she does best – inspiring and challenging us all to think differently, act differently, and act together. She will continue her instrumental work with the Readiness Projects and serve as an advisor to the executive team and Board throughout this transition.

“For decades Karen has served as a leading thinker, fearless voice, and tireless organizer in the youth development field,” says Steve Fleischman, chairperson of the Forum’s Board. “It is rare to have a visionary leader also be an institution builder, but this is what Karen did in co-founding with Merita Irby and then growing the Forum for Youth Investment into a leading national organization. The Board looks forward to benefiting from Karen’s ongoing contributions in her new role as Senior Fellow, even as we search for a worthy successor to help continue the Forum’s leadership in the youth development field.” 

The Board has engaged Isaacson, Miller to conduct the search in partnership with the Board’s Transition Committee, chaired by Judy Seltz. As Judy observes, “Thanks to Karen’s leadership, we are in a moment that is ripe for aligning the whole community to build the readiness of the whole child or young person – with a strong focus on the Forum’s long-standing commitment to equity. This is an incredible opportunity for a dynamic leader to join the Forum’s team and leverage the credibility and relationships that Karen and the Forum’s staff have nurtured over more than 20 years.”

During this transition period, Kris Minor, the Forum’s Chief Operating Officer, will serve as Acting President & CEO until the appointment of a permanent new leader for the Forum.

In preparation for this first phase of the transition, Karen recently reflected, “We have been wrestling with the core ideas that undergird youth development ever since Merita and I founded the Forum more than two decades ago. The opportunities I see now to move those ideas into policies and practices that strengthen the entire learning and development ecosystem have never been greater. I’m eager to have more time and space to move these ideas to impact. I’m proud of the Forum’s contributions over the years and am confident it will remain a strong voice and leading partner in the important work ahead.” 

For more information about the search, please contact Amy Segal at asegal@IMSearch.com.