Leigh Gaspar to join Foundation as Vice President and Special Assistant to M. Lee Pelton

King Boston Executive Director Imari Paris Jeffries also joins Senior Management Team, adds Senior Advisor role to duties; Orlando Watkins promoted to Chief Program Officer

September 15, 2021

Leigh Gaspar
Leigh Gaspar

Boston– Boston Foundation President and CEO M. Lee Pelton today publicly announced two additions to the Foundation’s Senior Management Team, as well as a promotion for one of the Foundation’s key leaders.

First, the Foundation is pleased to welcome Leigh Gaspar, who joins the staff next month in the newly-created position of Vice President and Special Assistant to the President and CEO. Gaspar most recently served as the Associate Vice President for Alumni Engagement at Emerson College.  In this new position, Gaspar will play an instrumental role in ensuring that the Foundation is working effectively and cooperatively across departments, and building strong, trusting partnerships with the Foundation’s partners, donors, Board of Directors and other stakeholders across the community. 

“Leigh is perfectly suited to work in partnership with the rest of the Senior Management Team to help us cultivate and steward relationships and engage communities, nonprofits, government officials and other leaders,” said Pelton. “Her exceptional communication and cultivation skills – developed in her alumni engagement role – will help us advance the Foundation’s effectiveness, capacity and impact.”

Orlando Watkins and Imari Paris Jeffries
Orlando Watkins and Imari Paris Jeffries

Pelton also announced that of Imari Paris Jeffries, the Executive Director of King Boston, would also join the Senior Management Team in the role of Senior Advisor to the President and CEO, in addition to his King Boston duties.

“Imari’s work to advance King Boston’s strategic vision and agenda for change over the past 15 months has been inspirational, and his impact has been felt not just within King Boston, but throughout the Foundation and the entire community,” said Pelton. “I look forward to having his thought leadership and visionary ideas for what this Foundation can and should be as a part of our ongoing work.”

Pelton also announced the promotion of Vice President of Programs Orlando Watkins to the title of Vice President and Chief Program Officer, in recognition of his long body of work for the Foundation, most recently his work with the Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and his efforts to support and share leadership with a more diverse set of nonprofits and leaders, demonstrating the important role that philanthropy can play in advancing equity.

These announcements, along with the Foundation’s elevation last month of Jane Dixon to the Senior Management Team as Vice President of Human Resources, brings the number of Senior Management Team members to nine, including:

M. Lee Pelton, President and CEO

Kate Guedj, Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropic Officer

Orlando Watkins, Vice President and Chief Program Officer

Al Van Ranst, Chief Financial Officer

George Wilson, Chief Investment Officer

Jane Dixon, Vice President of Human Resources

Leigh Gasper, Vice President and Special Assistant to the President and CEO

Keith Mahoney, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs

Imari Paris Jeffries, Senior Advisor to the President and CEO and Executive Director, King Boston