Dear Friend of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation: 

I am reaching out to let you know that today I am announcing my plans to step down as President & CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation at the end of 2021. 

My 14 years at the Foundation have been a deeply rewarding experience professionally and personally. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many talented and inspiring staff, grantees, and so many others—all committed to ensuring that public education in our region is defined by excellence and equity. 

I am very proud of the work that we’ve been able to accomplish during my time at the Foundation—from seeing student-centered approaches to learning taken up as a major education reform strategy, to joining in essential and bold conversations about racial equity in philanthropy and public education. 

Mine has been a long-anticipated transition that is a natural part of the successful evolution of the Foundation’s approach to meeting our organizational mission and strategy adopted in 2019. Deep reflection and learning about who I am, my place in the world, what I have come to understand and what I now believe, led me in part to this decision. 
Living into the values we have come to embrace as an organization—and that guide my own actions so much today—means it is time for me to help the Foundation find a new leader whose experience and expertise will support the organization’s new work even more fully moving forward.
The Foundation’s Board Chair, Greg Gunn, along with the other members of the Nellie Mae Board have asked that I remain active in my role as they conduct a search process for my successor. I look forward to helping the Board find a person who embraces the values, racial equity principles, and expertise to guide the Foundation’s work for the years to come. We will be sharing more about the search process in the coming weeks. And I look forward to a productive year guiding the Foundation's work toward our mission that I believe in so deeply. 

This moment of transition is obviously an important one for the Foundation. We see this as an incredible opportunity to continue our growth in service to advancing racial equity in public education in the New England region and beyond. I invite you to read the organization’s official statement on the transition here.

Thank you for the work that you continue to do every day to ensure all New England learners have access to an equitable and excellent public education. And thank you for your support of our work at Nellie Mae and your support of me personally. I am very fortunate to have had many great professional opportunities over the years. Working at Nellie Mae has been the honor of a lifetime.  

Yours Sincerely, 
Nick Donohue 
President & CEO 
Nellie Mae Education Foundation