The Board of Trustees of Connecticut Community Foundation announced today the appointment of Julie Loughran as its next President and Chief Executive Officer. Loughran has served as the Foundation’s Director of Development and Communications since 2014 and will take over the reins from Paula Van Ness, who plans to retire in December after leading the Foundation for six years.

Loughran will be only the third CEO of the 94-year-old Foundation, which operated as a volunteer organization with no staff until Ingrid Manning became the first employee in the 1980s.

“For six years, Paula has committed herself to our region, shared her vision, and worked tirelessly to make both the Foundation and the community we serve stronger. We are grateful for her inspiration and her great leadership,” said Martha Bernstein, Chair of Connecticut Community Foundation’s board of trustees.

The Foundation’s board has been working for nine months to determine what the organization would need in leader that would succeed Van Ness upon her retirement. The Board selected Loughran following a rigorous selection process that included consideration of several short-listed candidates.

“As we planned for this transition, Julie emerged as a natural choice to build on our momentum and lead the organization into the future. In her three years with the Foundation, she has contributed to our growth and forged relationships with the local donors who make our work possible, as well as the nonprofit organizations whose work we support,” said Bernstein.

Loughran joined the Foundation in 2014 to lead its fund development and communications efforts. During her tenure, she has worked to raise awareness among philanthropically-minded people throughout Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills of opportunities to build charitable funds that will benefit the community for years to come. She has also overseen the Foundation’s external communications with donors, nonprofit organizations, community leaders and the general public, and has supervised the production and implementation of the Foundation’s Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills annual giving day. She has also overseen the creation of a Women’s Giving Circle, which is new this year.

“It is such a privilege to step into this new role. Building on groundwork Paula has laid tirelessly for six years, I see tremendous potential to partner on important issues with the many community-minded philanthropists in our midst, our civic leaders, and the nonprofit organizations that serve our communities so well,” said Loughran. “With state funding for critical community services declining while needs continue to grow, we will need to work together to find creative solutions that ensure a strong and resilient nonprofit sector and communities that thrive. In a region as generous and engaged as ours, the opportunities are inspiring. I can’t wait to pursue them along with our staff, board of trustees, and community partners as the Foundation looks toward our 100th anniversary and beyond.”

Loughran brings a range of skills and experiences to her new position. A graduate of both Stanford University and Stanford Law School, she spent her early career as a nonprofit and campaign communications strategist, working first for the Democratic National Committee and later as a consultant for candidates and organizations focused on a variety of public policy issues. A twelve-year law career followed, beginning with a clerkship on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Seattle. Loughran later served as an Assistant Solicitor General for the State of New York, litigating appeals that addressed a range of issues, including environmental protection, education, civil rights and mental health policy.  After moving to Connecticut, she worked as a litigator for New Haven-based Wiggin and Dana LLP, where she was recognized for her commitment to pro bono work.

Loughran lives in Washington, Connecticut with her husband, Brendan Foulois, and daughter, Fiona.

“Julie brings a deep connection to the community, as well as a vision for the Foundation’s future. With her leadership, knowledge and passion for our work, I anticipate that with Julie as CEO the Foundation will have ever greater impact in the community, for the benefit of all,” said Van Ness.

Loughran will formally assume her new role on November 15. Following her retirement, Van Ness plans to return to her Tucson, Arizona roots where she enjoys a strong relationship with the area’s community foundation.

“Our Board of Trustees looks forward to working with Paula and Julie for a successful and seamless transition for the Foundation’s donors, nonprofit partners and community leaders,” commented Bernstein.