Foundation for Louisiana Board of Directors Announces the Departure of CEO and President Flozell Daniels, Jr.
FFL Chief Operating Officer Charmel Gaulden to serve as interim CEO as Daniels joins Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
Today Foundation for Louisiana announced the resignation of longtime CEO and President Flozell Daniels, Jr. Since 2007, Daniels has played a critical role in developing FFL’s leadership, programmatic areas, and collaborations. He led more than $50 million of award-winning community investment strategies, and united committed organizations and caring residents together to ignite lasting change in Louisiana. He also led the historic transition from the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation to the Foundation for Louisiana in 2012, forever changing the face of philanthropy in Louisiana.
“We are so grateful for Flozell’s 15 years of dedicated service,” said board chairperson Dr. Pamela Jenkins. “His leadership resulted in real change in our region including more equitable disaster preparedness and response; a historic reduction in the number of people held behind bars in New Orleans, helping to end the citys’ tragic reign as the incarceration capital of the country; the adoption of the first-in-the-South Louisiana Climate Action Plan; and so much more.”
While Daniels’ wisdom, kindness, and courage will be missed, FFL is confident that having such a visionary leader at the helm of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation will result in the further dismantling of oppressive systems throughout the South.
“We founded Foundation for Louisiana, then the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, in response to the historic inequities made even more apparent in the days following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In the years since, our work has grown to address root causes of those inequities, and I am so grateful to have helped build FFL into the organization that it is today – a Black-led, southern philanthropic intermediary partnering with grassroots-level organizations to create change across the state, ” said Daniels.
“Flozell’s leadership at Foundation for Louisiana set the tone for justice aligned philanthropy in the south in ways that will have generations long impact. I am excited to see that replicated on a regional level as he steps into his new role at Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation,” said longtime FFL collaborator Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.
The FFL Board of Directors unanimously voted to name Chief Operating Officer Charmel Gaulden as interim CEO, effective August 6, 2022. Gaulden brings more than 15 years of experience in philanthropic leadership, nonprofit administration, program design, and strategic advocacy to FFL’s mission. She is known across the region for her groundbreaking work with the Greater New Orleans Funders Network, her innovative grantmaking and thought leadership in reducing violence and accelerating criminal legal reform, for landmark wins around fair housing and support for survivors of domestic violence during her tenure as a civil rights attorney, and for being a talented convener across sectors toward solving our most intransigent challenges. For the last three years, Gaulden has capably led organizational strengthening efforts at FFL that have notably improved outcomes and capacity.
“Seeing Charmel Gaulden, a civil rights attorney with a track record of visionary leadership, take the helm of the foundation is exciting and worthy of celebration. Black women have been at the forefront of justice movements in the South, and throughout the nation, for generations and I have no doubt that Charmel’s leadership will usher in a new era for the foundation and changemakers across the state,” said Daniels.