April 20, 2021 – Executive recruitment firm BoardWalk Consulting has placed Johanna Chao Kreilick as president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in Cambridge, MA. Most recently, Ms. Kreilick managed the Open Society Foundations’ strategy unit responsible for planning, research and assessment for the foundations’ 50 global programs, national foundations and advocacy offices. She will officially join UCS on May 10. Boardwalk Consulting conducted an exhaustive nationwide search to fill the role, reaching out to more than 500 candidates.
Ms. Kreilick succeeds Ken Kimmell, who announced last summer that he would be stepping down at the end of 2020. Kathleen Rest, executive director, has been serving as interim president. “For three decades, Johanna Chao Kreilick has been a passionate driver of social change,” said Anne Kapuscinski, UCS board chair and the director of the Coastal Science and Policy Program and a professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “We were particularly impressed with her track record of integrating racial justice into the work and culture of complex organizations, her understanding of the role of science in effective decision making, and her ability to work with teams of researchers and advocates to advance policies that make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”
A Strong Background
Ms. Kreilick founded the Open Society Foundations’ $43 million climate action initiative. The U.S. component includes support for nonpartisan public mobilization and policy advocacy at city, state, regional and federal levels, as well as shareholder advocacy and litigation aimed at corporate polluters. Prior to joining Open Society in 2013, she created and led a justice and human rights program at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. She previously launched and led an economic justice grant-making program at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, supporting informal workers’ movements globally, and organized within the Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant community to advance rights-respecting economic and health policy.
UCS’ new president holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Stanford University and a master of public administration degree in non-profit administration, negotiation and public policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
“Climate justice, democracy, security and science are deeply intertwined and urgent matters of both domestic and foreign policy,” said Ms. Kreilick. “I look forward to building on the strengths of the Union of Concerned Scientists in rigorous analysis and leading science advocacy as we steer into the headwinds of an escalating climate crisis, a racial justice reckoning, and a polarized political landscape illuminated by a growing public appreciation for the vital role of facts in the health of democracy.”
Founded in 1969 at MIT, UCS has grown to be a $46 million science-based advocacy organization that combines technical analysis and advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe and sustainable future. UCS has a staff of about 230. The organization benefits from the support of more than 130,000 members, and foundations. Over 70 percent of support comes from individual donors and 87 percent of funding goes to program work. UCS does not accept government or corporate funding.
Non-Profit Focused Recruiters
BoardWalk Consulting, based in Atlanta, is a national executive search firm that recruits CEOs and senior leadership for mission-driven non-profit organizations. Founded in 2002, the firm leads executive searches for clients from across the non-profit sector with global, national, regional, and local missions. Many of the firm’s team members have previously served as non-profit executives, grant makers and board leaders. BoardWalk Consulting is also an active partner in Panorama, the global network of independent executive search firms.
BoardWalk Consulting Tapped to Find President for Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
BoardWalk Consulting has been enlisted to find the next president for the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), a non-profit that promotes energy efficiency as a catalyst for economic growth, workforce development and energy security. Mandy Mahoney, who has led SEEA for 10 years, recently announced that she depart next spring to pursue public office. Leading the assignment are senior director Jon Sparrow and Patti Kish, director of research.
Earlier this year, BoardWalk Consulting commenced a search for chief people officer for UCS. Leading the search for this newly created position are Kathy Bremer, managing director, and Diane Westmore, senior associate. The CPO will be expected to build and lead a forward-looking, high-impact human resource function, said BoardWalk Consulting. The individual will report to the non-profit’s executive director, Kathleen Rest, and will be part of the management team which includes the president, chief development officer, director of communications, chief administrative and financial officer, and the director of organizational effectiveness.
The CPO will be based in Washington, D.C., as the senior-most management team member. He or she will manage a team that includes the HR director and two direct reports, a senior HR manager based in D.C. and an HR manager based at the organization’s headquarters. The position will address all aspects of human capital strategy and operations including equity and inclusion, talent development, employee relations, culture-building, innovation, and alignment with UCS’ mission and direction, said the search firm. As a member of the management team and staff, the CPO will provide vision, HR expertise and leadership to foster a positive, fully-inclusive, high-achieving, equitable, anti-racist workplace.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media