November 22, 2017
    New CEO succeeds 'rock star' Aviv at Independent Sector

    Looks forward to implementing board’s new strategy


    Independent Sector named the president of a school achievement nonprofit as its new CEO.

    Dan Cardinali will succeed Diana Aviv as the Sector's CEO on July 5. Aviv became CEO of Feeding America in October.

    Cardinali is president of Communities in Schools, where his last day will be June 3. The CIS mission is to prevent dropout in schools. It serves nearly 1.5 million students in 25 states and DC.

    Cardinali joined CIS in 1999 as field operations VP. In 2001, he became network operations EVP.  In 2004, he was named president, succeeding founder Bill Milliken.

    Before CIS, he was leadership development assistant director at Partners in Americas. Cardinali is a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow. He is a trustee of America’s Promise, and a board member of Independent Sector and of Child Trends. President Obama appointed him to the to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in 2011.

    He earned a B.S. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown and an M.A. in philosophy at Fordham. Russell Reynolds assisted in the search.

    Trained as a community organizer in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinali served on a team organizing a “squatter” community of 120,000 to secure land rights, running water and public education.  He described the experience of living simply as “transformative,” in which he learned two important lessons: communities such as those have enormous wisdom. Second, “community change doesn’t happen over night, it takes patience.”

    His first challenge in succeeding Aviv, whom he describes as a “rock star,” is to listen to the various constituencies of the Sector, including staff, to implement the board’s new strategy. He notes technology and globalization are ‘very quickly changing the world,” and he is going to work to find the “mechanism to bring together the best insights to make informed decisions to embrace change.”

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