Hugh Hogan, North Star Fund Executive Director since 2003, brings many years of experience in the social justice movement in the U.S. and abroad.
From 1999 - 2003, Hugh directed the Open Space Equity Campaign for the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYCEJA), which supported grassroots organizing efforts on land use and environmental issues that impact low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Previously, he spent nearly a decade in west and southern Africa assisting rural farmers and urban communities to reverse the destructive legacy of colonialism and Apartheid. Hugh is a graduate of Boston College and Clark University, and a two-time Switzer Environmental Leadership fellow.
Hugh began his tenure as executive director during a time of crisis and mourning for the North Star Fund. The foundation's previous executive director, Betty Kapetanakis died suddenly in July of 2002, less than a year before Hugh was hired. Thanks to the determination of its donors, Hugh, the board and staff, North Star Fund recovered from this tragic blow to re-emerge as a leading local grantmaker with national impact.
When Hugh joined North Star, he and the leadership team had their work cut out for them. "The big challenge was that so much had changed around us and we needed to catch up to those changes." One of the first orders of business was updating North Star Fund's activist-led grantmaking program. The foundation made the grant application process simpler, increased grant amounts, and worked harder to get grants out strategically and quickly. During Hugh's tenure, North Star Fund's annual grantmaking budget has increased from $318,550 to more than $1.8 million.
The increase in the size of grants was made possible by his invigorated fundraising. Hugh has worked to engage the next generation of emerging philanthropists with inherited wealth and earned income to support grassroots led social change. Under his leadership, the foundation has also made a commitment to diversifying its donor base by initiating programming and relationship building with professionals of color and LGBT professionals.
The next step is movement building. "We're poised to do the next step of the work, which is working with donors, funders, and activist groups to build the ability of leaders and organizations to work together in an even stronger and welcoming grassroots movement for social change."
Says Hugh, "Working in different parts of the world, I've seen over and over again the importance of investing to build the confidence and ability of people who refuse to be silenced and pushed to the margins. North Star Fund believes deeply in the power of giving to enable all people to have the tools and resources to exercise their self-determination."
In the News
Click here to read "Sandy's Lesson: Today's Relief System Doesn't Work for the Vulnerable" in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Click here to read Hugh's views on climate change and the age of inequality in The Huffington Post.
Click here to read Hugh's "Donor of the Day Profile" in the Wall Street Journal.