Kent State Alumna to Lead the Cleveland Foundation

Lillian Kuri has been unanimously elected as the Cleveland Foundation’s 10th president and CEO. The Kent State University alumna, who grew up in Freedom Township in Portage County, will lead the 109-year-old foundation starting Aug. 1, 2023, succeeding retiring Ronn Richard. Currently serving as the Cleveland Foundation’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Kuri will be the first woman to hold the president and CEO position on a full-time basis.

Kuri received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1993 and a Bachelor of Architecture (BARC) in 1994, both from Kent State.

According to a article, while studying architecture at Kent State, Kuri said she realized “I was going to go ahead and get licensed, but I wanted to use my skills in a nontraditional way. I knew I was going to have to find my own path.’’

She attended Harvard University after graduating from Kent State and earned a master’s degree in urban design.

Kuri first joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2005 as a project consultant for the revitalization of Greater University Circle. She officially joined the foundation’s staff in 2007 as a program director, and in 2016, she was promoted to vice president for strategic grantmaking, arts and urban design. In 2020, Kuri was named senior vice president for strategy for her work on the planning and design of the foundation’s new home in MidTown at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street.

“I’m really honored to have the opportunity to serve in this next moment for the foundation. It’s a really big moment for us and for Cleveland,” Kuri told Ideastream Public Media. “We are poised as a region for tremendous growth and change.”

Watch the Cleveland Foundation’s video announcement:

POSTED: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 04:45 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 17, 2023 10:03 AM
Emily Vincent