Announcing Angelique Power as our Next President CEO
The Skillman Foundation is delighted to announce that Angelique Power will lead the organization as president & CEO, beginning on September 13th. Power is an accomplished champion for racial justice who comes to the Foundation after serving as president of the Field Foundation in Chicago.
“Selecting Angelique Power was a unanimous decision by the search committee and board. She has a storied track record of building across constituencies locally, regionally, and nationally to achieve massive, community-led change. Her experience and skills will build on The Skillman Foundation’s 60 years of impact, furthering racial equity and helping Detroit children be the authors of their own future,” said Suzanne Shank, president and CEO of Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC. and vice-chair for The Skillman Foundation who led the search committee.
Also on the search committee were Skillman Foundation trustees Bill Emerson, vice-chairman of Rock Holdings, Inc.; Ron Hall Jr., president and CEO of Bridgewater Interiors; Denise Ilitch, an owner of Ilitch Family Companies and president of Ilitch Enterprises, LLC; Solomon Kinloch Jr., lead pastor at Triumph Church in Detroit; Mary Kramer, Skillman Foundation board chair and director, Detroit Homecoming, at Crain Communications; and one recently retired trustee, Dr. Herman Gray, chair of the Wayne State University Department of Pediatrics. The search was supported by the executive search firm Korn Ferry.
Born and raised on the southside of Chicago by a white, Jewish mother who was a Chicago Public School teacher and an African American father who rose to be Sergeant in the Chicago Police force, Power has an intense passion for catalyzing new ways of thinking about racial equity and social justice.
“The past year has transformed us and the year ahead is even more important. This is a moment to rise up, link arms, and pursue massive change. I am excited to work alongside so many thoughtful folks in Detroit who’ve long been rethinking systems to ensure they work for everyone,” said Angelique Power, incoming president for The Skillman Foundation.
As Detroit and Michigan grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial inequities that stifle opportunity and prosperity for Detroit youth, Power will continue the Foundation’s work to advance an Opportunity Agenda for Detroit Children, retooling systems to center child well-being, youth voice and leadership, and skills that align to the future of work.
“This moment demands a reset. As Detroit comes out of the pandemic, there’s a great need and opportunity to take new approaches to support children and help them lead a lifetime of success. Angelique Power comes to Detroit as a seasoned leader with fresh eyes. She is not dug in to approaches or affiliations, only what’s best for Detroit youth,” said Mary Kramer, vice president and director of special projects for Crain Communications and board chair for The Skillman Foundation.
“As we turn the page on the past year, it’s vital that the young people at the heart of so many movements are supported and empowered to catalyze and sustain change,” said Darren Walker, Ford Foundation president. “Angelique Power is recognized nationally as a uniquely talented CEO with an impeccable record of transformative leadership in philanthropy. She will elevate and extend The Skillman Foundation’s inspired legacy of championing Detroit’s young and emerging leaders to meet this moment.”
Power started her career in philanthropy with the Dayton Hudson Corporation, where she learned about corporate social responsibility and what effective civic engagement looks like in areas across the Midwest, including in Detroit. She went on to lead community relations giving at Target Corporation. In addition, she has served as director of community engagement and communications at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and as program director at the Joyce Foundation where her regional focus included funding in Detroit.
As president of the Field Foundation, Power doubled the grantmaking and staff size through strategic partnerships locally and nationally. Additionally, under her leadership, a socially responsible and racially equitable focus was added to the endowment, new funding paradigms were created, and the foundation’s impact measurement was re-thought.
Power’s collaborative nature led her to co-found Enrich Chicago, a nonprofit focused on anti-racism organizing. She is also a co-founder of Just Action, a group of 200 individuals and institutions focused on helping organizations make their racial equity statements from 2020 real. She has also led an interactive mapping project with 30 institutions focused on an equitable post-COVID recovery.
Power chairs the boards of 6018North and Enrich Chicago and serves on the board of Forefront Illinois and the Julian Grace Foundation. Power has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan.
Power, her husband Sean, and their 11-year-old daughter Sadie Louisiane will relocate to Detroit in late summer.
The Skillman Foundation recently celebrated 60 years of service to children in December of 2020. Across its six decades, the organization has been led by bold leaders who have leveraged the Foundation’s assets (currently approximately $550M) as well as its human and reputational capital to help provide Detroit youth with opportunities to learn and to lead. The Foundation focuses on Detroit K-12 education, afterschool and summer programming, and pathways to college and career. It has co-led efforts to boost the city’s high school graduation rate; advocate for state funding to protect the Detroit Public Schools district from bankruptcy and reinstate local control after decades of state emergency management; grow youth employment, including seeding and supporting Grow Detroit’s Young Talent which provides more than 8,000 paid work experiences during the summer; strengthen the network of providers offering afterschool and summer programming; and more.
Power succeeds Tonya Allen, who stepped down as president & CEO in February 2021 to lead the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis. The Foundation had an established succession plan, which appointed Vice President of Operations & CFO, Maria Woodruff-Wright, as an interim CEO.
“The appointment of Angelique Power is another important step in continuing the prodigious mission of ensuring Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations in life. Angelique has a proven track record of leading with integrity, compassion, and a laser focus on building a better tomorrow – where people from all walks of life thrive,” said Pastor Solomon Kinloch, Jr., lead pastor at Triumph Church and Skillman Foundation board member who served among the executive search committee.
“The Skillman Foundation has a rich history of supporting Detroit children in holistic ways. It amplifies the voices of Detroit youth and ensures they are able to dream and design their destiny. I could not be more proud to join the team on this mission,” said Power.