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Executive Office

Lillian A. Kuri

Lillian A. KuriExecutive Office

President & Chief Executive Officer

Executive Assistant: Donna Johnson, 216.615.7168

On Aug. 1, 2023, Lillian Kuri made history by becoming the first female president & CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, the world's oldest and one of the largest community foundations with $3 billion in assets. With over 25 years of executive and civic leadership experience, Lillian is known as an innovator, advocate and coalition builder who develops strategic initiatives with transformational results.

As president & CEO, Lillian is currently leading the Cleveland Foundation’s transformation with a visionary strategic plan to shape the "Community Foundation of the Future." Previously, as executive vice president & chief operating officer, she spearheaded the foundation's historic move to Cleveland’s Midtown/Hough neighborhood.

Since beginning her work with the foundation in 2005, Lillian has designed and led impactful, nationally acclaimed strategies to expand opportunities for Greater Cleveland residents. She developed and led a comprehensive revitalization of Cleveland’s Greater University Circle district, now recognized as a national model for anchor institution development strategies. She also co-founded the Evergreen Cooperatives, an innovative venture fostering community wealth through a network of employee-owned businesses. As vice president, strategic grantmaking, arts & urban design, she championed arts, culture and placemaking –  including the foundation’s arts mastery initiative that brings year-round, rigorous, mastery-based programs in theater, music and visual arts to over 3,000 underserved children annually.

From 2000-2004, Lillian was the executive director of Cleveland Public Art. Prior to that, she managed Cleveland’s citywide plan for Mayor Michael R. White.

Throughout her career, Lillian has been an influential advocate for equitable urban design, planning, and architecture in Cleveland. In 2022, Mayor Justin Bibb appointed Lillian to chair the Cleveland Planning Commission, making her the first woman to serve as chair in the city’s 226-year history.

Lillian has been honored with awards and recognitions for her work, including Cleveland Magazine’s Community Leader of the Year, YWCA Greater Cleveland’s Women of Achievement, Crain’s Cleveland Business' Women of Note, and Western Reserve Academy’s Waring Prize. She has been named among Cleveland Business Journal’s “12 People to Watch in Business,” and was profiled by Cleveland Magazine in the 2020 article “Female Architects Shaping Cleveland.”

Lillian holds a Master of Architecture in urban design from Harvard University as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State University. She is a licensed architect in the state of Ohio and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional.

Donna Johnson

Donna JohnsonExecutive Office

Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

216.615.7168 |

Donna Johnson, who joined the foundation in 2006, is executive assistant to Lillian Kuri. She provides administrative support, oversees department operations, and handles special projects.

Donna has more than 25 years of administrative experience in the nonprofit and community development sectors. Prior to joining the foundation, Donna served as an executive director for a nonprofit community arts organization. She has worked as a consultant for nonprofit arts organizations providing grant writing and project management services. Donna also worked at ShoreBank, Cleveland,  and in the development department of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Donna is a graduate of John Hay High School and attended Bowling Green State University.

Courtney Lehmann

Courtney LehmannExecutive Office

Board Administration Coordinator & Corporate Secretary

216.615.7172 |

Courtney Lehmann joined the Cleveland Foundation in March 2020 as Board Governance & Executive Office Assistant. In her role, Courtney supports the Chief of Staff with the overall management of administrative processes related to the foundation board of directors and board standing committee meetings. In addition, Courtney assists the Senior Executive Assistant by providing administrative support to the executive team of the foundation. Prior to joining the foundation, Courtney served as Office Manager and as the official liaison to the board of directors at Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo).

Courtney holds a Paralegal Certificate from Columbus State Community College and bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in political science from Eastern Michigan University.