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Fran Barrett Appointed Director of Capacity Building at The Atlantic Philanthropies

Resource type: News

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

Fran Barrett has been appointed Director of Capacity Building at The Atlantic Philanthropies effective September 6, Senior Vice President and Marcia Smith announced today. 

In this newly created role, Barrett will manage a unit of communications, advocacy, organizational development and fundraising experts who will provide support directly to the foundation’s programs and grantees, and recommend external resources on the ground in each of the countries where Atlantic operates. 

Barrett joins Atlantic from Community Resource Exchange (CRE), a management consulting firm she founded in 1979 and where she served as Executive Director.   She will bring to Atlantic decades of expertise advising nonprofit organizations and championing social justice issues. 

Barrett has recently been an active spokesperson regarding the impact of the economic downturn on nonprofits.  She is the recipient of several honors, including the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s 2009 Founders Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual for exceptional contributions to the field of nonprofit capacity building over 25 years or more, and the Brooke Russell Astor Award, presented annually to an individual whose dedication and perseverance have made an important contribution toward improving the quality of life in New York City. She has served on numerous boards and advisory boards, and plays a leadership role at Gray Matters NYC, a group of dedicated professionals who share their expertise with nonprofit organizations on a pro bono basis. Fran holds a masters degree in politics and education from Columbia University.

“We are thrilled to welcome Fran Barrett to Atlantic,” said Marcia Smith.  “Atlantic believes that building the capacity of its grantees and supporting the development of strong leaders, organizations and movements is essential, particularly since the foundation plans to spend down its assets and award its final grants in 2016 and close its doors by 2020.  With her decades of experience in providing counsel to thousands of nonprofits, we are confident that Fran is the perfect person to build and develop our newly created Capacity Building Unit.”   

“It is a pleasure to join The Atlantic Philanthropies to lead the newly created Capacity Building Unit.  Atlantic’s joint commitment to capacity building and social justice makes it a perfect place to bring all that I have learned from CRE’s clients and staff over the years.  I look forward to working with Atlantic’s leadership, staff and grantees to help the foundation bring about lasting social change in the foundation’s remaining years.” 


About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic makes grants through its four programme areas – Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, and Reconciliation & Human Rights – and through Founding Chairman grants. Programmes funded by Atlantic operate in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam. To learn more, please visit: