New Haven, CT — The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) announced today that Michelle Knapik will serve as its next President, effective May 12, 2014. Ms. Knapik will join EHTF after more than nine years in the philanthropic sector having led strategy, program development and innovative grantmaking at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation (previously) and the Surdna Foundation (currently). "The board and staff are excited to welcome Michelle and confident that her leadership approach will help take us to the next level of impact," said Amanda Stanley, EHTF Board Chair.
At Dodge and Surdna, Ms. Knapik led important strategic refinement of programs and helped advance sustainable development goals and sustainable community initiatives at neighborhood, regional and national scales. She believes in deep cross sector partnerships and has been connected to the launch of programs that include Sustainable Jersey; a grantmaking strategy around next generation infrastructure; scenario planning and decision making tools for green infrastructure; and strategic communications and storytelling platforms such as Next City's blogs The Works and Water Mark, Orion Magazine's Reimagining Infrastructure, the Wallace Center's Solving Local, and Climate Desk. Ms. Knapik’s systems thinking approach continues to emerge from her layered experience in grassroots activism, the armed services, the legal field, policy and program development in local government, and cross program experience in philanthropy that has included environment, arts and culture, local economies, and education.
“I am honored to step into this leadership position, help build on the impressive legacy of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and support the next generation of the family board in finding key leverage points and accelerating innovative solutions." said Knapik. "The Foundation seeks to operate on the cusp of social change strategies. When combined with the family's appreciation of multiple pathways to learning you get an exciting, entrepreneurial energy fueling the work, which is exactly what is needed to take on contemporary and complicated social issues," stated Knapik.
The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation seeks and funds innovative projects that advance solutions to basic and enduring problems. For more than twenty years, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation has been engaged in three key program areas: Art, Environment and Learning Disabilities. The Foundation grants over $3.5 million dollars per year to organizations around the United States to support works in these fields. Current initiatives include increasing parent and caregiver action in creating positive and sustainable outcomes for children with learning disabilities; promoting professional practices training for visual arts (Marketplace Empowerment for Artists); and state-based initiatives to combat climate change.