WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The March of Dimes Foundation announced today that its Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the selection of Stacey D. Stewart as its next President. Mrs. Stewart will begin transitioning to the March of Dimes on November 7 and officially assume all duties as the President on January 1, 2017.
"We are very excited to have Stacey join us as the next President of the March of Dimes", said Gary Dixon, Chairman of the March of Dimes Foundation National Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Search Committee. "She brings a wealth of experience as a non-profit CEO, a leader of complex organizations with national and global footprints, a fundraiser and a national spokesperson. Stacey is mission-driven and results-focused and is deeply committed to our mission and public service."
Following the announced retirement of Dr. Jennifer Howse, the Board of Trustees engaged Diversified Search – an executive search firm – who initiated a 6-month process seeking input from many senior management, volunteers, donors and other key stakeholders. With these insights, a national search was launched that included more than 200 candidates with backgrounds across nonprofit, business, government, medicine and educational sectors.
"We were tremendously impressed with Stacey's candidacy," explained Monica Luechtefeld, Search Committee and National Board of Trustees member. "She is an experienced executive who is deeply committed to our mission to give every baby a fighting chance. She has a vision for the March of Dimes: to grow the revenue base and enhance the Foundation's financial strength; to engage our volunteers, employees and philanthropic supporters; and to continue our strong C.A.R.E.S. focus: community, advocacy, research, education and support."
Before joining the March of Dimes, Stewart served as the U.S. President of United Way Worldwide where she provided strategic direction in driving community impact, as well as enhancing the organization's brand. A business veteran, Stewart also has held a number of senior roles, including Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President for the Office of Community and Charitable Giving at Fannie Mae, as well as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Fannie Mae Foundation.
"Stacey is an accomplished leader and passionate champion of bringing communities together to solve our toughest problems," said Brian Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way Worldwide. "While we are saddened that she is leaving United Way, we could not be more pleased to see her join an organization that is so committed to the health and well-being of babies, mothers, and communities as a whole. Stacey is sure to make a tremendous impact at the March of Dimes and, ultimately, for the families it serves."
Stewart holds a master's of business administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in economics from Georgetown University. In addition to many national awards, she also has been recognized with honorary degrees from Alabama A&M, Morgan State University, Texas Southern University and Trinity University. Mrs. Stewart is married to Jarvis C. Stewart, the Chairman and Managing Partner of I+R Media LLC, a public affairs and strategic communications firm based in Washington, D.C. The Stewarts have two children, Madeleine and Savannah.
"I am grateful to have the opportunity to lead an organization with such a storied history as the March of Dimes," said Stewart. "Across polio, birth defects and the prematurity campaign – few organizations have made such a lasting impact on the futures of mothers and babies as the March of Dimes. I feel honored to join this tradition and seek new ways to reach and protect every mother and baby in the future."
'We welcome Stacey as incoming President," said Dr. Howse. "She is a highly regarded and accomplished nonprofit executive who will bring her keen sense of social justice to the March of Dimes and our commitment to health equity and a healthy birth for every baby. While we've made progress in reducing rates of premature birth, more work is needed. I am confident that her leadership will drive continued improvement in national prematurity rates by expanding our cutting-edge research and broadening the reach of our programs."
Dixon shared this sentiment. "We are very excited to have Stacey lead us into the future. We are equally grateful for the wonderful legacy and iconic leadership of Dr. Howse. Our work to end prematurity under her leadership has been outstanding. It's delightful to see these two working together toward a smooth and orderly transition. Our entire organization, its volunteers, staff, donors and partners should be proud of both our heritage and our future."
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.
For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit marchforbabies.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
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SOURCE March of Dimes