Marcus F. Walton, a nonprofit industry veteran, was unveiled as the new president and chief executive officer of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) in Washington, D.C.
Walton will assume the role in September and interim chief executive, J McCray, will return to his role as chief operating officer. The transition started when GEO founder and chief executive Kathleen P. Enright was tapped to run the Council on Foundations.
Walton has served as a community organizer, nonprofit practitioner, grantmaker, leadership coach and collaborative change maker who has successfully harnessed the power of change to develop more effective strategies for cultivating thriving communities.
“I am energized by the opportunity to work alongside a diverse team of practitioners and grantmakers to help evolve the strong foundation established by those before me and to effectively represent and deliver the aspirations of GEO members and stakeholders well into the future,” said Walton via the announcement.
The GEO board selected Walton upon recommendation of a search committee composed of board members, longtime GEO members, and current GEO staff.
“Marcus was our unanimous and enthusiastic choice for CEO,” Kathy Reich, GEO board chair, said via a statement. “His combination of philanthropic, nonprofit, and C-suite experience; his long track record managing member organizations; his deep commitment to and expertise in advancing racial equity; and his exceptional skill as a facilitative leader all make him ideal for this role. Under Marcus’ leadership, we know that GEO will continue to grow and thrive, transforming the philanthropic sector for years to come.”
As a certified executive coach and facilitator, Walton has a decades-long track record of leading institutional change with community-based and philanthropic organizations, including The Cleveland Foundation and Neighborhood Progress Inc. Subsequently, he went on to serve as vice president and chief operating officer of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), where he oversaw operations, HR, staff development and the administration of racial equity focused programming.
In his most recent role as Director of Racial Equity Initiatives for Borealis Philanthropy, Walton worked in partnership with 19 philanthropy-serving organizations to move from transactional to transformative partnership models that close access gaps in marginalized communities, increase engagement and improve outcomes.