GMA Foundations appoints Susan Barry as new CEO


GMA Foundations is delighted to announce the appointment of Susan Barry as its new CEO effective February 27, 2023. Susan follows GMA co-founders Newell Flather and Mary Phillips in leading the philanthropic advisory firm, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Recognized as a strategic and visionary leader, Susan has a history of success deepening the impact of philanthropy through partnerships with individual and family donors, foundations, nonprofits, and civic groups.

Board Chair Prentice Zinn notes that Susan Barry is an excellent fit for the role. “We are so pleased to be welcoming Susan to GMA. Her combination of leadership experiences in the public, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors makes her exceptionally well suited to lead us in forging connections in this collaborative field.”

Susan Barry shown wearing a red blazer with wooded backdropAs President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville for 10 years (from 2009-2019), Susan was instrumental in doubling its assets, shifting grantmaking focus to under-resourced communities, and launching the first Give for Good day, which has since become the largest philanthropic day in Kentucky. Previously, Susan served in leadership positions with the York County (Pennsylvania) Community Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation.

“Economic and social disparities continue to obstruct our search for equity and inclusion,” Susan says. “I am honored to lead GMA, to be able to spark transformational conversations and creative partnerships in philanthropy, so that we may all connect more deeply to the world in which we live.”

Susan is an empathetic leader with a highly creative and collaborative approach. Practiced as a certified leadership coach, she is adept at asking questions and helping others find the answers. She holds a B.A. from Marquette University and a J.D. from Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University.

GMA’s outgoing CEO Mary Phillips remains with the firm as Senior Advisor, consulting on matters of governance, strategy, and family giving.

GMA Foundations customizes an array of philanthropic services that help private foundations, philanthropic families, and corporate giving programs achieve greater impact, simplify operations, build strong relationships, and find opportunity in transitions. In 2022, GMA’s grantmaking clients’ combined giving exceeded 80 million dollars, half of which supports New England-based nonprofit organizations.