New Executive Director appointed for the Staten Island Foundation


STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Staten Island Foundation Board of Trustees has appointed Laura Jean Watters as Executive Director as the organization continues its mission of service to Staten Island.

Watters was appointed interim executive director of the Foundation following the death of Betsy Dubovsky, the former executive director who died of pancreatic cancer in February this year.

Watters had previously been the Staten Island Foundation’s program manager since 2007 and worked closely with Dubovsky as the foundation adopted results-oriented and collective impact approaches to its giving.

The Staten Island Foundation is an independent private foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life on Staten Island, especially for the less fortunate, with a focus on improving education, health, community and arts services.

Strategies for accomplishing the mission include financial support, leadership for the community, collaboration with beneficiaries, donors and other entities, and capacity building of local organizations to better fulfill their missions.

The Foundation was established in 1997 by the former Staten Island Savings Bank when the Bank converted to a public enterprise.

Initially known as SISB Community Foundation then SI Bank & Trust Foundation, in 2006 it became The Staten Island Foundation.

Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $ 75 million to organizations providing services to benefit the residents of Staten Island.

Speaking of the new appointment, Foundation President Kathryn Rooney said, “Laura Jean came to the Foundation in 2007 and has worked closely with Betsy and the Board of Directors as we adopted a fundamentally driven approach. results and collective impact for our grants. Since then, she has demonstrated her vast knowledge of the many issues facing Staten Island. Her superb performance over the past few difficult months has made it clear to the board that she is absolutely the right person to continue as CEO. We look forward to working closely with Laura Jean for many years to come.

Alice Diamond, founding board member, said: “Laura Jean, in her own words, ‘can’t wait to get down to business every day’. In addition to this eagerness, she brings great expertise, experience and an extraordinary bond with our community. “

And Fred Cerullo, president and CEO of Grand Central Partnership and vice chairman of the board of directors of the Staten Island Foundation, said: community of profit. We have no doubt that the Foundation will remain in expert hands and continue its extraordinary work under his leadership. “

Previously, Watters was the founding executive director of the Council on the Arts & Humanities of Staten Island, now known as Staten Island Arts.

She is a member of numerous community groups and committees including the Human Rights Committee, Eden II School for Autistic Children, the Soroptimist International Chapter of Staten Island, and the St. George Task Force for Natural Cultural Communities. .

She received her JD from Brooklyn Law School in 1990.


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