Aviv Leaves Feeding America, CEO Search Underway

Diana Aviv has resigned as CEO of Feeding America after a little more than two years leading the hunger-fighting charity.

The Chicago-based organization announced that Aviv was stepping down, effective immediately. Both sides cited personal reasons. The same announcement indicated that the board has started a search for a new CEO. Keith Monda, chairman of the board and a former president and COO of Coach, Inc., will take a more active role as executive chairman on an interim basis.

Aviv said she resigned for personal reasons and quality-of-life issues. She remained in Washington, D.C., after joining Feeding America, which is headquartered in Chicago. “I was spending almost all of my time on the road and in hotels and airports,” she said in an email to The NonProfit Times this morning.

Aviv joined Feeding America as CEO in October 2015 after a dozen years as CEO of Independent Sector (IS), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization for nonprofits and foundations.

“The leadership team who came together under my tenure are among the most talented and outstanding people with whom I have ever worked, and Feeding America is blessed with an exceptional board,” she said. “During my tenure, we substantially revised the 10-year goal aimed at closing the meal gap and we committed to including a focus on making available nutritious food to people in need.”

The vast majority of revenue reported by Feeding America each year comes in the form of donated goods. Of the $2.5 billion in revenue last year, $148 million was through fundraising, including individual and corporate contributions, and corporate promotions. That figure is up from $119 million in 2016, primarily from a bump of $15 million in corporate contributions, according to the organization’s financial statements.

Aviv said she looks forward to moving in a different direction and has “already begun on that path,” though she did not go into details except to say that it will unfold in the coming months.

“We wish Diana all the best in her future endeavors,” Monda said, in a statement released Friday. “Now, more than ever, people facing hunger need the support of our network of food banks, and we will be there to meet that need,” he said.

Aviv has been selected to The Nonprofit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for 15 consecutive years, including the last two representing Feeding America after 12 years as CEO of Independent Sector. Prior to joining IS in 2003, the native of South Africa spent nine years as vice president for public policy and director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Jewish Federations of North America.