ROCKY HILL, Conn. (August 26, 2020) — United Way of Connecticut’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Tepper Bates to serve as UWC’s new President and CEO, effective October 1, 2020.
Ms. Bates brings over 25 years of experience working in diplomacy and nonprofit leadership, most recently named by Governor Ned Lamont as Connecticut’s Senior Coordinator for Housing and Transit Oriented Development. She will succeed Richard Porth, who will retire in early September after 12 years with the organization.
Ms. Bates is joining UWC after leading an effort to enhance use of data-driven approaches and implement innovative solutions to meet the needs of people facing housing instability, to improve human outcomes and conserve government resources, resulting in one of the most ambitious multi-agency data matches completed to date by any U.S. state.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Ms. Bates took on a new role, as the Chair of the Recovery and Immediate Needs Subgroup of the state’s emergency management team. In that role, she worked with senior leadership from state and federal agencies alongside leaders from nonprofits, trade associations, advocacy organizations, and philanthropy on a wide range of emergency response efforts as well as on the development of a statewide framework to engage multi-sector partners in planning for recovery from the impacts of COVID.
Ms. Bates brings to her new role strategic vision, seasoned leadership experience, and a collaborative style, making her ideally suited to lead UWC forward. Her personal and professional experience align with United Way’s mission of meeting the needs of Connecticut and its residents by providing information, education, and connection to services. Her background in nonprofit management and government relations will be critical to this new role.
Chris Skomorowski, CEO of Bicron Electronics Company and UWC Board President said of Ms. Bates, “Our selection of Lisa to lead the United Way of Connecticut as its President and CEO is the result of a thorough search. We had many outstanding candidates, but it was Lisa’s commitment to the mission of UWC, along with her vision for the organization that led the Transition Committee to our final decision. Lisa has extensive experience with external relations, liaising with government agencies, and representing an organization as its public face. We are grateful to have her as UWC’s next President and CEO.”
Ms. Bates stated that “United Way of Connecticut plays a critical role in connecting residents of our state with the services they need every day. Rick Porth has done impressive work to build a strong organization. I’m honored to take on this important role at this challenging time, and to build on the work he has done. I look forward to leading the organization and its terrific team into the future.”
Governor Lamont said, “I greatly value the state’s partnership with United Way of Connecticut, which provides important help every day to Connecticut residents, and has played a central role in our state’s efforts to manage the COVID-19 public health emergency. I’m grateful to Lisa for her terrific work on a wide range of subjects in my Administration, and I have asked her to stay engaged on some of the important projects that she helped to launch. I wish her the best as she moves into this position – the United Way has made a good choice.”
Ms. Bates served as a U.S. diplomat from 1992 to 2006. She worked overseas and in Washington, including as a Special Assistant for Europe to the Undersecretary of State and as Director for Southeastern Europe at the White House National Security Council. Her tours of duty included Poland, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia, where she worked for several years on implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement the ended the war in Bosnia.
She transitioned from diplomacy to non-profit management, serving as Executive Director of Mystic Area Shelter & Hospitality (MASH), and then as Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH). At CCEH, Ms. Tepper Bates led efforts to transform the homelessness response system of Connecticut. She was a core member of the leadership team that worked together to reduce annual homelessness across Connecticut by 40% in just six years.
Ms. Bates holds a BA from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MBA from the Yale School of Management, where she focused on non-profit management. She is a Board member of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority and has served on a number of nonprofit and community boards and committees. She lives with her husband and son in Stonington.