Philanthropy center appoints executive director

Philanthropy center appoints executive director

Teresa Behrens. Courtesy GVSU

A local college's philanthropy center has named its new leader.

Teresa Behrens began the role last month at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.

She was previously the center’s director of strategy and programs, working to integrate an applied research mission with the needs of the changing nonprofit sector. 

She has also served as the Johnson Center’s director of the Institute for Foundation and Donor Learning.

Behrens is founder and editor-in-chief of The Foundation Review, a peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy published by the Johnson Center since 2009.

“Teri's long-term dedication to the work and the people of the Johnson Center is inspiring,” said Dorothy Johnson, the center's namesake. “Her proven expertise and visionary leadership in the practice of philanthropy put this organization in the best possible position to meet the needs of an evolving and diverse social sector and university community.”

Prior to the Johnson Center, Behrens worked as director of evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, program officer for the Michigan Strategic Fund for the Michigan Department of Commerce and as a consultant for National Science Foundation-supported Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers.

She holds a doctorate degree in psychology from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English from Case Western Reserve University.

She replaced Kyle Caldwell, who is now executive director of the Council of Michigan Foundations.

The Johnson Center will also host an open house and celebration for Behrens at 4 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Johnson Center, at 201 Front Ave. SW in Grand Rapids.

Johnson Center

Established in 1992, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is an academic center within the College of Community and Public Service at GVSU.

The center offers original research and expertise on the latest theories in the philanthropy field in an effort to support effective philanthropy, strengthen nonprofits and guide informed community change.

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