Feeding America will soon get a new leader.
Diana Aviv, who currently serves as president and CEO of Independent Sector, the national leadership network for America’s nonprofits, foundations and corporate giving programs, will become CEO of Feeding America on Oct. 1. Aviv has led nonprofit organizations in their efforts to serve low-income and vulnerable people in the U.S. for more than 30 years.
“We are delighted to welcome Diana as CEO. She is the right person at the right time for our organization,” said Jan Pruitt, chairperson of Feeding America’s board of directors. “We are confident that her vast leadership experience and proven ability to create collaboration among groups of all kinds will accelerate a real movement to end hunger in America.”
Since its founding in 1980, Independent Sector has sponsored research, advocated for public policies that support the independent sector, and created resources so staff, boards and volunteers can improve their organizations and better serve their communities. During her tenure at Independent Sector, Aviv has interacted with numerous food banks that use its resources.
A frequent speaker on trends in and key issues for the charitable community, Aviv has testified before Congress and has been featured in national print and electronic media outlets. She served as executive director of the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, an independent panel that recommended actions to strengthen the governance, transparency and accountability of public charities and private foundations, many of which were enacted into law. The Panel also issued the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. More than 150,000 have been distributed to members of the nonprofit community.
In December 2010, President Obama appointed Aviv to the White House Council for Community Solutions that mobilizes citizens, nonprofits, businesses and government to solve community needs.
Prior to joining Independent Sector in 2003, Aviv spent nine years at the Jewish Federations of North America as its VP for public policy and director of its Washington Action Office. She focused on federal legislation and regulations, particularly policies affecting health and human service organizations. She was formerly associate executive vice chair at the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, director of programs for the National Council of Jewish Women and director of a comprehensive program to serve battered women and their families.
A founding board member of the Outcomes and Effective Practices Portal, Aviv serves on the advisory board of governors of the Partnership for Public Service, as well as on the board of directors for the Southern Africa Legal Services Foundation. She is a member of the advisory boards of the Comptroller General’s at the Government Accountability Office, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, and the Centers on the Public Service of George Mason University.
She previously was a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents’ Committee on Governance, the board of directors for GuideStar and the National Council on Aging, and the advisory board for the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law.
She had a private psychotherapy practice in New York and New Jersey and has served as an expert witness in capital cases in New Jersey. A native of South Africa, Aviv graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and received a master’s degree in social work at Columbia University.
The nation’s third largest charity, the Feeding America Network of food banks, food pantries and meals programs serves more than 46 million people and is on pace to deliver 3.63 billion meals this year. Feeding America’s long-term strategic plan is to not only feed more people in need, but also to “shorten the line” of people who need assistance by helping them achieve stability. Food insecurity does not exist in isolation; it coexists with other basic needs such as healthcare, employment and housing, according to the Chicago-based organization.
“I have admired Feeding America and its extraordinary efforts to provide much needed help to our most vulnerable community members. I look forward to joining the organization’s dedicated team and continuing to bring together many different groups to strengthen our communities to help people achieve food security, stability and no longer know what it is to be hungry,” Aviv said. “Together I believe we can achieve a hunger-free America.”