ATLANTA, April 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CARE USA announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Michelle Nunn as the global poverty-fighting organization's new president and CEO.
Nunn, a social entrepreneur and public service pioneer, will officially take the reins at CARE on July 1, replacing Helene D. Gayle, who is stepping down after nearly a decade of service. Nunn co-founded Hands on Atlanta and grew its volunteer engagement model nationally. She then engineered the group's merger with Points of Light — formed to promote the spirit of volunteerism championed by former President George H. W. Bush — to create the world's largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, with affiliates across the globe.
"Michelle is an innovative, dynamic leader whose passion for international social justice issues and ability to energize people around a mission will help CARE connect more Americans to the movement to end extreme poverty," said Paul Jansen, chair of CARE USA's board. "The members of CARE's CEO search committee seized on Michelle as our top choice following a global search that, with the help of Diversified Search, turned up many terrific candidates."
Even prior to her 2014 race for U.S. Senate, which was one of the country's most closely watched, Nunn was a nationally recognized leader in the service and nonprofit sectors. As CEO of Points of Light, she helped develop a portfolio that engaged tens of thousands of nonprofits and corporations through a network of 250 volunteer centers in the United States and 29 other countries. Named to the Nonprofit Times "Power and Influence Top 50" seven times, Nunn has served on the President's Council on Service and Civic Engagement and as co-convener of the Service Nation Coalition. She was a leading advocate for the Serve America Act, enacted in 2009.
"As someone with a passion for citizen movements, I couldn't be more excited to lead an organization that has the most critical and compelling mission in the world today: alleviating poverty by empowering women and girls," Nunn said. "I am eager to lead CARE's innovative work helping communities lift themselves out of poverty."
Nunn said she was particularly honored, given her work with millions of volunteers, to join the organization that originated the CARE Package®, a symbol of American generosity. "I look forward to deepening and extending that tradition with the team at CARE and harnessing the energy of supporters who won't accept a world where more than 1 billion people live in extreme poverty."
Nunn, who lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children, said she's thrilled to take the helm of an organization based in her native Georgia. "CARE is among the groups writing the next chapter in Atlanta's role as a global leader in civil and human rights, and I'm so proud to be part of that. There is a tremendous legacy of leadership at CARE and an extraordinary team of the highest integrity, intellectual vigor and passion— in Atlanta and around the world."
Nunn replaces Dr. Gayle, who will continue as CARE's president and CEO through the end of June. Dr. Gayle will lead McKinsey Social Initiative as its inaugural CEO, starting in July. "I am thrilled to be able to pass the leadership baton on to Michelle," Dr. Gayle said. "I have known her and admired her work and commitment to public service and social justice for years. I will leave CARE with a sense of great satisfaction knowing that she will very capably continue to advance CARE's mission to end global poverty and take the organization to the next level."
About CARE: Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. A nonpartisan, nonreligious organization, CARE worked in 90 countries last year and reached more than 72 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.