Nonprofit Finance Fund Appoints Interim CEO

Trella Walker, J.D., part of the executive transition team at the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and leader of the organization’s Social Innovation and Equity Council, was appointed interim chief executive officer and president.

Walker will continue to lead the organization, along with executive transition team co-leads Andrea Briscoe and Kristin Giantris, while NFF conducts a search through the remainder of 2021 for permanent leadership, according to a statement from the organization. The board expects to announce permanent leadership in early 2022.

NFF CEO Antony Bugg-Levine announced this past June that he was stepping down after nearly a decade. Since the announcement, Walker has shared responsibility for NFF’s day-to-day leadership with Briscoe and Giantris. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Federal reserve Bank of New York.

Bugg-Levine was instrumental in introducing a new strategy for NFF rooted in efforts to dramatically expand the organization’s work on racial diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Bugg-Levine and the executive team secured grants exceeding $25 million from leading donors and funders, including MacKenzie Scott, the Ford Foundation, and Morgan Stanley, among others.

At the end of 2019, the NFF board approved a new strategy focused on community-centered leaders and leaders of color that had been developed over several years. “When we first started on this journey, I knew that we were building to a time when my departure would be necessary so that NFF could take this work to its next level guided by a visionary, community-centered leader with lived expertise of the issues we work on. That time is now,” Bugg-Levine told The NonProfit Times back in June.

Walker previously was NFF’s vice president and chief strategy officer, working on the evolution and ongoing implementation of NFF’s strategy to better support nonprofits led by and serving people of color. NFF’s Social Innovation and Equity Council is an enterprise-wide group of staff members dedicated to supporting the organization and holding it accountable to its equity commitments both internally and externally.

Walker has more than 20 years of nonprofit sector experience across a variety of fields including youth and social services, healthcare, arts and culture, education, veteran affairs, and law. During the past 10 years, NFF has increased its loan portfolio by 400%, built a diverse team with a broad range of expertise, and has $43 million of unrestricted net assets to invest in its mission, according to data in the announcement.

Based in New York City with offices in Boston, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Philadelphia, NFF provided more $1 billion in grants, loans, and federally supported New Market Tax Credits, as well as financial consulting, to thousands of nonprofits since it was formed in 1980.