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92Y Names Henry Timms as Executive Director

Focus is on Building on the Success and Extending the Impact of Iconic 140-year-old Jewish Cultural and Community Center

NEW YORK, NY: April 29, 2014 – 92nd Street Y today announced the appointment of Henry Timms as its new Executive Director; Timms previously served as the organization’s Deputy Executive Director for Innovation, Strategy and Content and Interim Executive Director.  During his time at 92Y, Timms has spearheaded efforts to reimagine the role of the traditional community and cultural center, using innovative programming and new technology to share 92Y’s programs and values both locally and globally.

"Our search for our new Executive Director was far-reaching and comprehensive,” said Stuart J. Ellman, President of the 92Y Board of Directors, “and we were fortunate to have had such a strong internal candidate in Henry. The board voted unanimously to select Henry, both for his remarkable achievements and leadership to date, and as someone from whom we believe the best is yet to come. We expect that Henry will take 92Y from strength to strength as his leadership builds upon our legacy of innovation and outreach.”

Earlier this month, Henry was honored as a national finalist for Independent Sector's "American Express Next Generation Leadership" award. Achievements under his leadership at 92Y include: 

  • A comprehensive strategic review that has resulted in the organization’s strongest bottom line in many years, and has enhanced the overall impact and service of the organization.

  • The creation of #GivingTuesday - a national day to catalyze philanthropy - that united 10,000 partners in all 50 States and saw online giving increase nationally by 90%.  The campaign’s hashtag was used on Twitter more than 500,000 times, and it earned more than one billion media impressions. The third annual #Giving Tuesday is coming up on December 2, 2014.

  • Winning a Cannes Lion for #GivingTuesday at the International Festival of Creativity and earning 92Y a spot on the short list for the 2013 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation.

  • Expanding the work of 92Y’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Life to share 92Y's award-winning programs with communities across the US, with the launch of the Shababa Network (a professional development program to help Jewish leaders create engaged and active intergenerational Jewish communities around the country) and livestreaming High Holiday services to people in more than 100 countries around the world.

  • Developing the multi-platform 92Y American Conversation, an online hub for substantive and engaging conversations with leading thinkers, including faculty from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

  • Co-Founding the Social Good Summit - a partnership that brings together Mashable, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Foundation, to open up the UN General Assembly to a global audience. The conference sparked gatherings in nearly 100 countries, where local leaders explored the ways new technology could help to achieve goals like clean water, civil rights, and the alleviation of poverty.

  • Working with Wesleyan University President Michael Roth to launch a MOOC called "How to Change the World."  Taught by Roth, the MOOC extended the reach and scope of the Social Good Summit, enrolling over 50,000 students worldwide.

"Henry has a remarkable talent for bringing people and organizations together across sectors and then harnessing the power of those partnerships to foster good works and ultimately create a better world," said Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation, a founding partner of the Social Good Summit and #GivingTuesday with 92Y. “Henry exemplifies a dynamic new generation of leaders that is focusing on driving broad, global collaborations to promote social good. He is both a creative and visionary thinker and a leader who gets things done. We have certainly been energized by working with Henry and the 92Y team.”

“I am confident that 92Y’s new professional leadership will enable 92Y to sustain its extraordinary role as the leading Jewish cultural institution in our city and far beyond,” said John S. Ruskay, Executive Vice President & CEO of UJA Federation of New York. “Henry has proven his ability to develop innovative new ideas that will help 92Y continue to grow and prosper well into the future.”

“I am deeply honored to serve as 92Y’s new Executive Director,” Timms said. “This organization has a superb Board and a stellar staff; it’s a team that is committed to serving every member of our community more fully and to thinking big about how we can increase our impact.  This is a remarkable organization full of both creativity and compassion, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Executive Director Henry Timms has dedicated his career to the support and encouragement of philanthropy, culture and the arts. In 2012, Henry rallied the resources of 92Y and the power of partners like the United Nations Foundation to found the award-winning #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving that engaged more than 10,000 corporate and nonprofit partners in 2013, with a reported 90% increase in charitable donations over the previous year. In 2010, Henry led the team that created the first annual Social Good Summit at 92Y with the United Nations Foundation and Mashable, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joining the partnership in 2012. To extend the reach and impact of the Social Good Summit, 92Y partnered with Wesleyan University to develop a massive open online course (MOOC) called “How to Change the World,” in which 51,000 students participated. Henry is a Practitioner in Residence at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS); a member of the selection committee for the 2015 CECP Excellence Awards; and a U.S. Trustee and Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA), where he serves as chair of the nominating committee for the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin Medal. He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and the U.K., and a descendant of Francis Scott Key.  Henry lives in New York with his wife, Colleen, and their two young children.

About 92Y

92Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y’s extraordinary programs, 92Y enriches lives, creates community and elevates humanity. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y in New York City annually and many more connect through digital and social media, live webcasts of events, and an extensive archive of stage programs and original content produced for the web, all available on 92YOnDemand.org. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit www.92Y.org


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Press Contact

Beverly Greenfield, Director, 92Y Public and Media Relations