Akilah Watkins to Depart as President and CEO of Center for Community Progress

September 14, 2022

Akilah Watkins Speaks at 2022 RVP Closing Plenary in Chicago

The Center for Community Progress Board of Directors issued the following statement on the departure of President and CEO Akilah Watkins.

After more than five years of dedicated service, Dr. Akilah Watkins will depart her role as President and CEO of the Center for Community Progress to assume the position of the next President and CEO of Independent Sector.

Under Dr. Watkins’ leadership, the Center for Community Progress has blossomed into the nation’s leading nonprofit resource for urban, suburban, and rural communities seeking to address the entire cycle of property revitalization.

“Leaving Community Progress was one of the most difficult decisions of my professional career,” said Dr. Watkins. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such a mission-driven staff—many of whom have been with the organization since its inception. Their world-class leadership and expertise create tangible impact in our nation’s disinvested communities.”

“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I thank Akilah for her five years of exceptional service to the Center for Community Progress,” said Jeanne Wardford, Chair of the Community Progress Board of Directors and program officer for Family Economic Security at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Akilah departs at a time that the organization is at its strongest. We are financially and procedurally stable, with strong internal leadership, and are coming out of the pandemic with a superior foundation for the work to come.”

Over the next few months, the board of directors will announce an interim leader and provide updates on the search for a new President and CEO.

Please direct questions and media requests to Maria Elkin, Director of Communications (melkin@communityprogress.org).

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