City Year, IAVA Founders Stepping Down

The founders of two national nonprofits yesterday announced they would be moving on from leading their organizations as CEOs.

Co-founder Michael Brown will step down from his position as CEO at City Year in June, when the organization will marks its 30th anniversary. Paul Rieckhoff, who founded Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) 14 years ago, announced that he would be stepping down next month from his role as CEO.

Brown will remain as a senior adviser to the Boston, Mass.-based organization through June 2020 to support the leadership transition and promote the success of The City Year Campaign, City Year’s current capital campaign. In addition, Brown will continue to serve on City Year’s national board as a charter trustee.

In consultation with the Board of Trustees, City Year Co-Chairs Jonathan Lavine and David Cohen will appoint a committee to launch a national search for the next CEO.  The search will be open to internal and external candidates.

Rieckhoff also will remain on IAVA’s Board of Directors but the governing body already has selected his successor: Jeremy Butler, currently the organization’s chief operations officer. Rieckhoff said he will turn his focus to new endeavors, including his second book, launching his first podcast, and leading other media projects to be announced.

“Outside of building my family, founding and leading IAVA has been the greatest honor of my life. And all our groundbreaking work has always truly been a team effort,” Rieckhoff said via a press release announcing the transition. “I’m humbled and grateful to have served alongside so many inspiring colleagues, partners and IAVA members to create and grow a new model for impact,” he said.

“I’ll always be IAVA member #1 and forever grateful for the opportunity to serve this community. After 14 incredible (and exhausting) years, it’s time for me to embark on new challenges. Most exciting of all, the arrival of our second son next month,” he said.

Based in New York City, IAVA reported total revenue of $4.8 million for 2017, with net assets of $253,695, according to its most recent tax form, filed in November 2018. Rieckhoff earned total compensation of $265,634, including base compensation of $234,582.

Brown and his co-founders launched City Year in 1988 with the goals of uniting young adults from diverse backgrounds for a year of full-time community service, leadership development and civic engagement, and inspiring public policy that promoted national service opportunities for America’s young adults. City Year, which now serves exclusively in public schools, has grown from 50 members in Boston to 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members serving in 29 U.S. cities, with affiliate programs in South Africa and the U.K. Since its founding, City Year has generated 30,000 alumni nationwide, served more than 1.9 million children, and completed over 52 million hours of service.

Brown has been a leading advocate of voluntary national service, and City Year served as an inspiration for the federal national service program AmeriCorps, a public-private partnership that has engaged more than one million Americans in service since 1994.

Brown has been awarded the Independent Sector’s John Gardner Leadership Award, the Reebok Human Rights Award and been selected as one of America’s best leaders by U.S. News and World Report. He has been recognized seven times in The NonProfit Times’ annual Power and Influence Top 50, including the past four years and previously in 2009-11.

City Year reported total revenue of $150 million for the Fiscal Year Ending June 2017, with about $72 million from government grants and $69 million from contributions. The Boston, Mass.-based organization reported with net assets of $66 million. Brown earned total compensation of $439,700, including base compensation of $342,784, according to the annual Tax Form 990 filed in May 2018.

In a message to the national City Year community, Brown stated that the conclusion of the organization’s 30th anniversary year is the right milestone to begin a “new chapter” dedicated to “leading on initiatives that are important to me in the nonprofit, philanthropic and social change arenas and mentoring and teaching a new generation of nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs.”