The Board of Overseers of the Cambridge Community Foundation has named Geeta Pradhan to be its president. She succeeds Bob Hurlbut, Executive Director, who led the organization for 21 years before recently announcing plans to retire.
“Geeta is innovative, collaborative and action oriented, three key qualities that we sought,” said Richard Harriman, Chairman of the Board of Overseers for the Foundation. “She brings a wealth of experience in addressing the issues and opportunities that we see in our community. Her blend of passion, bold thinking, humility and hard work will serve the foundation and the community of Cambridge well.”
Pradhan brings a deep background in philanthropy, urban planning and economic development. She comes from the Boston Foundation, where she oversaw community impact and grantmaking in Education, Health, Jobs, Housing & Neighborhoods and the Arts. Pradhan also played a leading role in a range of initiatives and collaborative ventures, including work on the Fairmount Corridor Initiative, a project on a grand scale which seeks to create greater opportunity for Boston’s low-income neighborhoods by improving transit access as well as housing and community economic development through the arts, entrepreneurship, and family asset development.
As the Boston Foundation’s strategic leader for the nonprofit sector, Pradhan helped seed and develop the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, the state association of nonprofits, and co-authored the groundbreaking report Passion & Purpose: Raising the Fiscal Bar for Massachusetts Nonprofits, the first-ever in-depth analysis of the economic and social impact of the nonprofit sector on the state.
Earlier, she initiated and co-developed the Boston Indicators Project, an award-winning web-based resource that pioneered the use of data to track progress on key community goals at the regional and local levels. The Indicators Project integrates data across ten sectors, including Civic Health, Cultural Life, Economy, Environment and Energy, Education, Health, Housing, Public Safety, Technology and Transportation.
Pradhan earlier served in local government, as director of the Sustainable Boston Initiative, following a leadership role in the Department of Neighborhood Development for the City of Boston.
She is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned a Master’s Degree of Architecture in Urban Design. Pradhan received a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, India. An artist who studied traditional Chinese brush painting, she has held public exhibitions of her work.
“It is an honor to succeed Bob Hurlbut and add to his exceptional legacy” said Pradhan. “My goal is to build alliances and partnerships necessary to mobilize the unique and extraordinary resources of Cambridge for greater access to opportunity and contribute towards an inclusive community for everyone who calls this great city home.”
The Cambridge Community Foundation was established in 1916, making it one of the oldest community foundations in the country. It is a key supporter of nonprofit organizations, distributing $1.1 million in grants in 2014 to meet local needs and support the aspirations of Cambridge residents. The Foundation provides leadership support to deal with urgent local challenges and partners with donors to provide a permanent source of charitable funds for the community.