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Common Future Transitions to Co-Leadership Model with Multi-Racial, All-Women Co-CEOs

Meet the Co-leadership team: Jessica Feingold, Jennifer Njuguna, and Sandhya Nakhasi

Authors: Jessica Feingold, Co-CEO, Jennifer Njuguna, Co-CEO, Sandhya Nakhasi, Co-CEO

The last few years have been defined by change—both globally and locally. Our nation is at an inflection point. While people continue fighting for a just and inclusive economy, we are seeing promises go unfulfilled, rights lost, and a mounting backlash against progress across the country. We risk deepening already entrenched inequalities. Wanting a better world means doing things differently and challenging business as usual within our economy and our organizations.

It is because the stakes are high that the need for transformation, innovation, and solidarity is so important. We deeply believe that in order to build a new economic system, organizations must commit to building power and moving resources to the people and organizations building the economy of the future, and they must also invest in leaders with equitable visions.

It’s with that in mind, that today we are announcing a big change at Common Future: On June 15, 2023, the three of us, Chief Strategy Officer Jess Feingold, Managing Director of Community Credit Lab and Common Future Investments Sandhya Nakhasi, and Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Njuguna will take the helm as co-CEOs and lead the organization.

Friend and former CEO Rodney Foxworth will step down after six years of transformative leadership. Rodney will remain on the Common Future board through 2023, and begin work on his next venture, Worthmore.

“I’m deeply honored to transition leadership of Common Future to Jennifer, Jess, and Sandhya. They are dynamic leaders individually and as a collective leadership team, they will take the organization to new heights. I have experienced first-hand their commitments to racial and economic equity, innovation, and community. I’m excited to watch the impact of their leadership on the field and how they will continue to shift capital and power. Under their shared leadership, Common Future will continue to be a field-defining organization.”—Rodney Foxworth, outgoing CEO

With a multiracial, women-led co-CEO team, we are reimagining leadership—leadership that prioritizes sustainability, demonstrates shared leadership and clarified decision-making, and reflects the communities we serve. We realized in the decades of leading in this space that the expectations of leaders are untenable and exclusionary. By utilizing a shared leadership model, one person doesn’t have to hold the immense pressure and responsibilities that come with being CEO on their own. Instead, we can diffuse ownership, exercising shared power and collective care. With complementary skill sets and perspectives, we’re able to weave together cross-sector solutions to build a more just economy. And, as our nation becomes more diverse, our leadership must reflect this change.

“Common Future’s name says it all. I believe deeply in the economic common future that this organization is building—an economic future where the communities most impacted apply their wisdom to driving solutions… As I take on the role of co-CEO, I recommit myself to continuing to channel attention and investment towards those who are leading the way to a stronger and more inclusive economy. “—Jessica Feingold, Common Future Co-CEO

We’re prepared to meet the moment because of the tenacious leadership of Rodney Foxworth and the legacy he’ll leave behind. When he joined as CEO in 2017, we had a different name and a different focus. Driven both by his experiences growing up in Baltimore and his commitment to Black innovation and economic power, we committed ourselves to BIPOC communities and, from there, strengthened our own power. We reached 200+ organizations, shifted $280M to communities of color, acquired two organizations in just one year, invested in SOCAP, and received the Skoll Award.

The decision to have co-CEOs from within the ranks of Common Future was intentional, demonstrating how stability and resilience are critical for such audacious work, as is a commitment to reimagining the work and pursuing new possibilities. Ultimately, by leveraging the expertise and lived experience of each leader, we will provide a more holistic approach to the internal dynamics of Common Future as much as our outward-facing impact.

“Common Future continues to pilot and support field-defining initiatives that bring about economic justice, and I am proud of how we are helping to set a standard for how organizations can effectively partner with BIPOC communities. As co-CEO, it is my goal to make sure that we are carrying that spirit internally and externally. ”—Jennifer Njuguna, Common Future Co-CEO

Jennifer Njuguna brings expertise in organizational development, operations, and DEIB. Jess Feingold holds institutional knowledge, funder relationships, and overarching revenue strategy. Sandhya Nakhasi has developed community-led investment products bringing insight and relationships in impact investing and capital innovations.

“Common Future has and will continue to build blueprints for investing catalytic capital into community-led solutions that build power and ownership in place. We will also demonstrate what can be gained by working collectively to mobilize resources towards a common vision of our future where all people—no matter race or class—can thrive. The creative modes of organizing our economy that will come from this experimentation and shared learning are waiting for us to uncover—and I’m ready to find out.”—Sandhya Nakhasi, Common Future Co-CEO

Together, they’ll drive a collective vision for Common Future while executing our next chapter through each of their distinct expertise.

As an organization, Common Future will always evolve to meet the moment. In fact, choosing to be different is a core part of our identity. With this, comes uncertainty. But though our path ahead isn’t always clear—and as we normalize and live economic and racial equity, solutions can be even murkier—we are confident in moving forward together because, fortunately, the future is now.

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