Minneapolis Jewish Federation Hires Chief Philanthropy Officer

Following a six-month-long national search, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation has hired Steven Baker as chief philanthropy officer, to start on February 15, 2022.

Steven joins Federation with a strong history of Jewish leadership and philanthropy experience. Most recently he served as Senior Director of Philanthropy at JEWISHColorado, where he provided philanthropic leadership, strategy, and direction of the organization’s planned giving, grantmaking, and major gifts.

Prior to his work there, Steven was the institutional giving manager at the Trust for Public Land and director of grants at Zim Consulting. He has also worked at the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona and was the regional director of BBYO Mountain Region.

“I am delighted to welcome Steven and can’t wait to start working with him,” says James A. Cohen, CEO of Minneapolis Jewish Federation. “His energy is infectious and his knowledge of the overall philanthropic landscape is a boon to us.”

Steven cites his work in the Federation system as transformational and looks forward to continuing his professional career in this space.

“I am honored with this opportunity to lead the philanthropic efforts on behalf of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation,” says Steven. “Each of us has a part in ensuring that the community we were either born into, moved into, or chose to be a part of, will be just as beautiful for those that come after us, and we have the generations before us to thank for that. I am looking forward to getting to know, learning from and accomplishing great things with you all through our community-building work together.”

Steven’s hiring is the culmination of a search process undertaken by a committee consisting of Gabrielle Parish, Mike Fiterman, Hindy Tankenoff, James Cohen, Eilat Harel, and Heather Villars. The committee worked with DRG search firm.

“From the very first interview, I knew we had found a gem in Steve,” says Gabrielle Parish, CPO search committee chair. “He is outgoing and enthusiastic, while also being a calm and keen listener, a vital part of the role and of learning about a new community. An excellent leader who seeks high-quality work, he will undoubtedly bring out the best in our already talented development team. I look forward to welcoming him to our community!”