Dena Chadwick Named New President & CEO of Philanthropy Southeast

Dena Chadwick headshot

Today, Philanthropy Southeast, following a thorough review by its Board of Trustees, announced the appointment of Dena Chadwick as the organization’s new President & CEO.

Chadwick, who has worked for Philanthropy Southeast for more than a decade, had most recently been the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. For the past four months, she had served as interim President & CEO following the unexpected passing of Janine Lee, a transformative leader who put Philanthropy Southeast on its current path through the adoption of its Equity Framework as well as its current mission, vision and Courageous Leadership Strategy.

“There is no person better than Dena Chadwick to lead Philanthropy Southeast during this time,” said Kristen Keely-Dinger, Chair of the Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees, and President & CEO of The Healing Trust in Nashville. “We continue to grieve the loss of Janine and honor her memory – and we believe the best way to do that is to ensure the work of Philanthropy Southeast moves forward under Dena, who has repeatedly proven herself to be a strong, effective and compassionate leader.”

In recent years, Chadwick has played a leading role in the development of the Equity Framework, the organization’s groundbreaking commitment to inspire and strengthen learning, leadership and actions within Southern philanthropy dedicated to the advancement of equity in the field and region. The Framework, adopted in 2019, has since influenced the development of a new mission and vision. Chadwick is also a key architect of Philanthropy Southeast’s Courageous Leadership Strategy, which calls on the organization to take risks and make leaps that mobilize the people and resources needed to address critical issues facing philanthropy in the South and communities in the South.

“Dena’s experience, work and vision for Philanthropy Southeast are what made her the unanimous choice of our Board to step into this role,” Keely-Dinger said. “She has a clear understanding of our field, our members and the region, and knows that we must serve as a place where philanthropic leaders of all stripes can come together, work together and move our region forward.”

Chadwick, an Atlanta native who joined the Philanthropy Southeast staff in 2009, expressed her appreciation to the Board and to Janine – her mentor and friend.

“I would not be here today were it not for Janine Lee and cannot overstate the impact she had on me as a person and a leader,” Chadwick said. “I am honored and humbled to continue moving Philanthropy Southeast along the path she forged. I am grateful to the Board, and our incredible staff, for their support and for trusting me to lead this outstanding community of leaders.”

Chadwick said she is looking forward to reaching out to Philanthropy Southeast’s members and moving ahead with work that will leave the organization well-positioned for the years ahead.

“Our members, and the work they do in our communities, inspire me every day,” Chadwick said. “I’m excited to connect with them in the weeks ahead, working with them to move our mission forward and realize our vision of an equitable South.”


Connecting with Philanthropy Southeast:
The Philanthropy Southeast staff works remotely – the best way to reach us is by email or by calling (404) 524-0911.

Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)

On Fridays, staff work on a flexible schedule. Members can reach our team via email or by calling (404) 524-0911 between 9:00am and 6:00pm (ET). We will respond to all urgent and time-sensitive matters promptly.

Mailing address:
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Mission: Philanthropy Southeast strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.