Daily News

Community Foundation Welcomes Megan Burke as President and CEO

SPRINGFIELD — The trustees of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointment of Megan Burke to the position of president and CEO. Burke has been a Community Impact officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for more than seven years, most recently serving as its director of Community Impact Grantmaking.

Burke has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, strategic planning, and philanthropy. She will begin her tenure at the Foundation on Jan. 18, succeeding Katie Allan Zobel, who moved forward in her career on Oct. 1 after navigating the pandemic and a period of tremendous growth for the foundation.

Burke began her career working on international peace and security issues at the Ford Foundation and through the United Nations. She also lived in Nicaragua for several years, where her work supported the emerging LGBTQ+ movement and the development of a nationwide campaign to advance human rights. Prior to her most recent position at the Hartford Foundation, Burke led the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines, an international network of nonprofits engaged in advancing a ban on anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions worldwide. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a master’s degree from Yale University.

“On behalf of the trustees of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, I am excited to share the news that we have selected our next president and CEO, and I am honored to welcome Megan Burke to the Foundation,” said Paul Murphy, chair of the CFWM trustees. “Megan is a dynamic, collaborative, and visionary leader with a deep understanding of philanthropy and community foundations. Her demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion and supporting community engagement has been influenced by her multi-faceted lived experience. We look forward to her future contributions to advance our mission and strategic initiatives, all for the benefit of the communities we serve.”

Burke was selected as a result of an extensive local and national search conducted by Lindauer Associates in partnership with the foundation’s search committee, led by Murphy.

“As a resident of Western Mass., I am excited to be able to lead the well-respected Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in advancing equity and opportunity for all residents of the Valley,” Burke said. “This region has enormous potential to be an even more vibrant community with all residents enjoying access to high-quality early-childhood care, more affordable post-secondary education and training, and a more inclusive, creative economy.

“Throughout my professional career, I have seen what can happen when people come together to address seemingly intractable problems,” she added. “I have been part of collective efforts that have resulted in a global ban on inhumane weapons, access to healthcare and education for LGBTQ+ residents of Nicaragua, and increased employment and food security for Greater Hartford residents. My work at the Hartford Foundation has demonstrated the critical role a community foundation can play in bringing people together, especially when that work is done inclusively.

“The Hartford Foundation has mobilized its resources to support efforts to shift power and promote more equitable economic and social mobility, including by opening its doors wider to effectively support smaller, and BIPOC-led, nonprofit organizations,” Burke went on. “I am eager to bring my passion for this work to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, building on its strong reputation and the progress its staff has made to ensure CFWM is serving all residents of our region.”

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