Chicago Community Trust names its first Latina president and CEO
Andrea Sáenz succeeds Dr. Helene Gayle, who resigned in June to become president of Spelman College in Atlanta.
The Chicago Community Trust on Tuesday named Andrea Sáenz as its president and CEO, the first Latina to lead the 107-year-old organization.
“We are thrilled that Andrea has accepted our offer to serve as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust,” Jim Reynolds, chair of the community foundation’s executive committee, said in a statement.
“She brings a lifetime commitment to the issues central to the trust, and a solutions-oriented approach that will allow her to build on the incredible foundation of this prestigious institution. We are also grateful that our new leader helped craft the strategic vision the talented trust team is working to make a reality.”
Sáenz most recently served as the foundation’s chief operating officer, as well as interim president and CEO. She succeeds Dr. Helene Gayle, who served as president and CEO from October 2017 to June 2022. Gayle resigned to become president of Spelman College in Atlanta.
“As an immigrant from Ecuador who grew up in Los Angeles and came to Chicago as an adult, I have long felt embraced by Chicago and energized by our city’s diversity, cultural vibrancy, and civic commitment,” Sáenz said in a statement.
“I was initially drawn to the Trust because of the opportunity to invest in and help support committed leaders and organizations working to improve their communities. Since joining, I’ve been proud to work with colleagues, donors, and partners who have such a deep love and commitment to this city and region, and I look forward to doing all that I can to continue bringing resources and visibility to community-led solutions for our future.”
The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation with a focus on “closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap for the Chicago region while responding to our most vulnerable residents.”
In fiscal year 2021, about 7,000 organizations received a total of about $1.4 billion in funding from the Trust and affiliated programs, according to the Trust’s website. The Chicago Sun-Times was among the organizations receiving funding.