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The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has named Frank Fernandez as its new president and CEO. Fernandez is senior vice president at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

Fernandez will start in August. He replaces Alicia Philipp, who has led the foundation for 43 years. Philipp announced her retirement earlier this year. The organization conducted a national search for her replacement, then decided to stay close to home.

“We are thrilled to get a leader of Frank’s caliber to lead the Community Foundation into the future,” Bert Clark, chair of the foundation’s search committee, said in a press release. “In every interview and conversation, Frank demonstrated his experience, wisdom and depth to take the reins of the Community Foundation. He has the vision, passion and energy to unite and inspire the citizens and leaders of our community.”

Fernandez launched and led community revitalization efforts in Atlanta’s Westside on behalf of the Blank Family Foundation. He’s also directed the foundation’s efforts in global giving, youth development and social justice.

“Equity of opportunity is one of the primary social and racial challenges facing our region, and pursuit of greater equity for all has been my personal North Star for the past 20 years,” Fernandez said. “I am humbled and excited to be invited to lead one of the nation’s premier community foundations at such a compelling time in the evolution of the South’s most dynamic metropolis and my adopted home.”

The Community Foundation has $1.2 billion in current assets, is Georgia’s second-largest foundation and serves the 23-county Atlanta region. The foundation oversees the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund.

Fernandez, a graduate of Harvard University, is a Florida native born to Cuban immigrants. He called the Community Foundation an “essential anchor” for the Atlanta community. “I have enormous respect for the reputation, momentum and commitment to excellence already in place,” he said. “Covid-19 and the longstanding and urgent need for racial justice in our region highlight what a special time this is for all of us. I look forward to capitalizing on the opportunities uniquely available to the Community Foundation and our region at this critical moment.”

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