Lillian Kuri promoted to Cleveland Foundation executive vice president and chief operating officer

14-year veteran of the foundation will move into newly created role on March 1

CLEVELAND (Feb. 26, 2021) – The Cleveland Foundation today announced that, effective March 1, 2021, Lillian Kuri will be promoted to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief operating officer. Kuri will oversee the day-to-day headquarters operations of the foundation and the development of a new strategic plan, which will include placekeeping and placemaking strategies designed in partnership with the community as part of the foundation’s upcoming move to the intersection of the MidTown and Hough neighborhoods.

“This well-deserved promotion is a testament to Lillian’s dedicated and exceptional leadership at the foundation,” said Ronn Richard, Cleveland Foundation president & CEO. “She has been an amazingly creative innovator – not only in Greater Cleveland, but in the national field of philanthropy. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Lillian in her new role during this exciting next chapter in the foundation’s service to our community.”

Kuri joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2005 as a project consultant for the revitalization of Greater University Circle – now one of the nation’s leading comprehensive anchor institution development strategies. She officially joined the foundation staff in 2007 as a program director and in 2016 was promoted to vice president for strategic grantmaking, arts & urban design. In that role, Kuri focused her work on arts, culture and placemaking, including the foundation’s arts mastery initiatives, which bring year-round, rigorous, mastery-based programs in theater, music, and visual arts to more than 3,000 underserved children each year. Over the last several years, she has also played a key role in strengthening the foundation’s work in social impact and mission-related investing, economic and workforce development, and sustainability initiatives.

In January 2020, Kuri was promoted to senior vice president for strategy for her work on planning and design of the foundation’s new home at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street. Prior to joining the foundation, Kuri was the executive director of Cleveland Public Art and held positions as the project manager for the City of Cleveland’s Citywide Plan under Mayor Michael R. White, as well as project coordinator for the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She is a licensed architect in Ohio and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-accredited professional.

Kuri earned a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Kent State University. She currently serves as the vice chair of the City of Cleveland’s Planning Commission.

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