Johnson Center's executive director retiring this year
Teri Behrens, executive director for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, announced her retirement on February 16, effective later this year.
Behrens joined the Johnson Center in 2009 after seven years with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as director of evaluation.
Attracted to the Johnson Center’s national reputation in grantmaker education, Behrens began working parttime to launch The Foundation Review, the first peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy in the United States. She said the center’s mission played a factor in her deciding to join.
“The Johnson Center is dedicated to bridging the gap between the information philanthropy needs and the change we want to make,” said Behrens in a statement. “I joined the Johnson Center to be a part of that mission.”
As her responsibilities grew, her position evolved over the years — senior researcher, then becoming director of special projects and then director of the Institute for Foundation and Donor Learning.
In 2018, she was named executive director of the Johnson Center and guided it through a challenging period as the COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty among philanthropic and nonprofit organizations.
She said the last four years have highlighted the resiliency of the organizations the center guides as well as her team.
“I feel great pride and confidence in what the Johnson Center team has accomplished in the last four years,” said Behrens. “We have shared the same challenges that so many of our colleagues in philanthropy have faced: fear, urgency, uncertainty.
“But also, determination, innovation, and a conviction that our mission to ultimately support strong, inclusive communities can and does sustain us in the hardest of times.”
Behrens will remain on staff as the national search for her successor commences this spring. She will also remain editor-in-chief of The Foundation Review until a new editor can be brought on board.
“The leadership of GVSU is committed to conducting an equitable and robust national search to identify a new executive director,” said Behrens. “With a solid strategic framework, clear roadmap, and supportive team, that leader will take the Johnson Center into its next chapter."