The Cambridge Community Foundation has announced the appointment of Usha Pasi as vice president for Donor and Philanthropic Partnerships. She will work with the president, the leadership, members of the board, and donors to increase the reach and impact of the foundation.
“It is an exciting opportunity to be able to add someone of Usha’s caliber to our team,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the foundation. “She brings an extraordinary record of achievement at some of the most significant organizations and institutions in our region, and nationally.”
Pasi served most recently as chief development officer at Facing History and Ourselves, which engages students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. She played a leadership role there, and with her team, secured $150 million to support the organization’s mission. During her tenure, Facing History recorded its largest number of donors to date; grew its endowment substantially; and, raised the largest commitments in its history. Earlier, she was director of leadership gifts and associate campaign director at the Museum of Fine Arts, during an historic campaign that reimagined and greatly expanded the museum.
She also has extensive experience with institutional and individual giving at Yale University, and was instrumental in building Stanford University’s foundation relations program. Pasi was director of foundation relations for Yale University, and she held comparable leadership responsibility for major gifts at Yale. She earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Pasi will be responsible for increasing institutional capacity and strengthening relationships with individual donors and with other philanthropic organizations, building on the foundation’s collaborative culture. She will be developing the foundation’s leadership potential in local philanthropy, raising its position as a force for civic leadership.
“Cambridge boasts a unique heritage and today the city stands at the epicenter of the 21st century innovation economy,” said Pradhan. “That adds up to significant challenges and opportunities. Having Usha with us in her new role positions us to deliver on the power of philanthropy driving change in a positive direction.”
Pasi is married to Subir Sachev, Herchel Smith Professor of Physics at Harvard University, and the couple has two daughters. Pasi has been active with professional organizations, including service as president of Women in Development of Greater Boston, and board membership board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Massachusetts Chapter. More recently, she has been serving as pro bono counsel for Grub Street, one of the country’s leading creative writing centers, and consulting with the Perimeter Institute (www.perimeterinstitute.ca).
“It is a singular honor to be invited to join Geeta Pradhan and the team in supporting and advancing the Cambridge Community Foundation’s far-reaching grantmaking and donor advisory efforts,” said Pasi. “Cambridge is a modern city with a deep history of citizen engagement, great generosity, and a profound understanding of and commitment to diverse perspectives. Its unswerving embrace of democratic inclusion and creative inspiration contributes to the dynamism of the broader region. I am very optimistic about the prospects for new levels of achievement and impact by Cambridge Community Foundation in the years to come.”
Cambridge Community Foundation was established in 1916, making it one of the oldest community foundations in the country. The only foundation with the whole city of Cambridge in its purview, it is a key supporter of nonprofit organizations, distributing $1.2 million in grants in 2015 to meet local needs and support the aspirations of Cambridge residents. The Foundation provides advocacy and leadership support to deal with urgent local challenges and partners with donors to provide a permanent source of charitable funds for the community.