Michelle Nunn To Head CARE, Stay In Atlanta

April 20, 2015       Mark Hrywna      

After an unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, former Points of Light Institute CEO Michelle Nunn will remain in the Atlanta area as the next president and CEO of CARE USA.

The Atlanta-based global poverty-fighting organization yesterday announced the appointment. Since July 2013, Nunn had been on an unpaid leave of absence as president/CEO of the Points of Light Institute to run for U.S. Senate. She lost to David Perdue by about 8 percentage points last November in one of the most closely watched races in the nation to succeed the retiring Saxby Chambliss.

Nunn, the daughter of former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn, will replace Dr. Helene Gayle, effective July 1. Gayle will continue as CARE’s president and CEO through the end of June, after which she will become the inaugural CEO of the McKinsey Social Initiative (MSI).

“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, chairman 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,” he said in a press release announcing the appointment.

Since 2006, Gayle has been CEO of CARE USA, among the largest charities in the country. The organization reported approximately $492 million in total revenue for 2013, ranking No. 35 on The NonProfit Times 2014 NPT 100, a study of the nation’s largest nonprofits. She twice was selected to The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50, in 2010 and 2011.

CARE’s announcement did not include details about annual compensation for its new CEO. Gayle earned $441,190, including a base salary of $404,147, according to the organization’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 for the year ending June 2013. As CEO at Points of Light, Nunn earned $320,194 in total compensation, including a base salary of $287,770, according to the organization’s Form 990 for the year ending September 2013. Points of Light Institute reported $27.1 million in total revenue that year. She was selected to The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 seven consecutive years, from 2007 to 2013.

Nunn, 48, co-founded Hands On Atlanta and grew its volunteer engagement model nationally. She then engineered the group’s merger in 2007 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.

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. Nunn has served on the President’s Council on Service and Civic Engagement and as co-convener of the Service Nation Coalition.

“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. 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,” she said.

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,” she said.