Announcing Our New President & CEO

The Community Foundation of Louisville announced Ronald V. Gallo (pictured left) as President and CEO, effective July 20. Gallo is a visionary in nonprofit leadership with more than 30 years of experience in private, corporate, family and community foundations. He succeeds Susan Barry, who stepped down in September after 10 years as President and CEO. Gallo was selected after a nationwide search that began in October, led by Boston search firm Isaacson, Miller.

“We are more rooted than ever in our commitment to social justice, to break barriers and to make equity a cornerstone of everything we do,” says CFL Board Chair Stephanie Smith, “The Community Foundation is focused on promoting a broader awareness of how philanthropy can offer leadership and support to address our city’s critical needs. With Ron’s long history of building community through a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Ron has the essential qualifications and expertise to make the Community Foundation a stronger, more agile organization to create lasting impact.”

“I am excited and humbled by this opportunity to lead the Community Foundation of Louisville, especially during these challenging times,” says Gallo. “Louisville needs CFL to help build a truly inclusive and resilient community. Being at the intersection of ideas and philanthropic capital, CFL is uniquely positioned as a catalyst to do so. It is my fervent desire and responsibility to honor the excellence and integrity of CFL’s past, and continue its first-rate donor relationships and meaningful community partnerships, all while elevating and working to realize the community’s ambition to be the best it can be for all of its residents.”

Gallo comes to CFL from his role as CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation, the largest community foundation on California’s central coast, where assets more than doubled during his 11-year tenure, reaching $550 million. Gallo repositioned the foundation as a civic leader in the areas of health and mental health, food systems and issues facing working families. Before that, Gallo spent 15 years as CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, increasing assets from $150 million to $700 million and focusing largely on affordable housing, an effort that added more than 13,000 units. Prior to that, Gallo worked at the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, where he traveled extensively in the American South, working to build consensus on issues of race, economic opportunity, and rural health care.

Gallo holds a doctorate in education with a concentration in policy studies and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in administration, planning and social policy, both from Harvard University. He also holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in American history and Asian studies from Connecticut College, where he also minored in African-American literature.  A native of the Bronx, New York, Gallo has extended family in Louisville, and is in the process of relocating here with his wife, Andrea.

Gallo was chosen by the CFL Board following a nine-month search committee process involving CFL board members and community leaders Claire Alagia, Valle Jones, Gwen Kelly, Harriet Lair, Stephanie Smith, David Tachau and Deborah Williams, led by David Calzi, Committee Chair.

“It was clear to the committee that Ron’s skill set and experience align very clearly with the Community Foundation’s mission,” Calzi says. “CFL remains dedicated to building on our long history of service to our donors whose philanthropy makes a difference in our community. As we look to the future, we’re confident Ron is the right person to lead us in a collaborative way that will develop clear aspirations for the future, engage directly with our donors and our community, and advance diversity, equity and inclusion.”

That view is supported by James Morouse, former Board Chair at the Santa Barbara Foundation, who says, “Ron is by nature an inclusive person and always seeks to incorporate – in his life and work – the diverse experiences and voices of others.  That is what has made him successful at creating meaningful partnerships, building the foundation’s assets and addressing the difficult issues that confront all communities.”

Matt Bacon will continue as interim CEO, a position he has held since Susan Barry’s departure, until Gallo takes the helm July 20.

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact Jan Walther, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, at or 502.648.0761.