Steve Gunderson, chief executive of the Council on Foundations since 2005, said today that he is resigning his position effective September 1.
He announced the decision in a letter on the council’s Web site and in a meeting with staff members.
In an interview, Mr. Gunderson said he was proud of the organization’s accomplishments but that he felt ready to move on.
During his tenure, he tackled challenges like expanding the council’s influence globally and elevating its profile on Capitol Hill.
But he also had to slice the organization’s staff from 105 to 65 because of the bad economy and cope with management troubles, such as the discovery that several former employees had been stealing from the group. “In some ways, I feel like I’ve been doing crisis management for the last six years,” he said.
Mr. Gunderson said he would stay until September to give the association of foundation and corporate donors time to find an interim leader. A former Republican Congressman from Wisconsin, Mr. Gunderson, 60, said he’s not sure what he’ll do next. But he said he’s open to remaining in philanthropy. (See The Chronicle’s profile of Mr. Gunderson.)
The council plans to announce an interim leader by the time of Mr. Gunderson’s departure. Carol Larson, president of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and chair of the council’s board, said the organization had not set a specific time by which it hoped to find a permanent executive.
She said that Mr. Gunderson had been talking with the board for several months about the idea of stepping down.
“Our reaction as a board is gratitude to Steve and commitment to build on his many successes,” she said