Arabella Advisors is excited to announce that Rick Cruz has been appointed as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Rick had already been serving as Arabella’s President, providing day-to-day leadership of the firm’s operations and driving its long-term growth strategy since the firm announced the transition of its prior CEO in January 2022. Effective immediately, Cruz will assume both roles and join Arabella’s board.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Rick leading Arabella as we continue to serve philanthropic donors making system-level change and supporting stressed communities still wrestling with the fallout from the pandemic,” said Jen Steans, Chair of Arabella’s Board of Directors. “Rick is a uniquely gifted leader who has demonstrated deep commitment to Arabella’s staff, its clients—including the nonprofit organizations for which Arabella provides operational support—and the broader philanthropic community. He has a bold vision for continuing to build on Arabella’s decades-long commitment to helping our clients and partners address the social and environmental challenges of the future.”
Cruz brings 25 years of leadership experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, essential experience for leading a certified B-Corporation like Arabella Advisors. Over the last 10 years, he has served in a variety of senior roles at leading social-sector education and youth development enterprises, including College Board, America’s Promise Alliance, FSG, Teach For America, and DC Prep Public Charter Schools.
“The Arabella team is a truly remarkable group of people who go to work every day to make the philanthropic sector more efficient, effective, and equitable,” Cruz said. “The opportunity to lead this team is an amazing privilege and opportunity, and I look forward to advancing the initiatives we’ve recently launched to increase Arabella’s impact, redoubling our commitment to serving our clients, our communities, and our sector.”
Cruz began his career in the professional services sector, working at the Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner), where he assumed successive leadership roles building teams that supported global corporations’ development of their strategic planning, finance, risk management, and governance capabilities.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Cruz cares deeply about advancing equity in education, recently serving as the chair of the DC Public Charter School Board, which provides oversight to 66 nonprofit organizations operating 126 public charter schools in the District of Columbia. He helped guide the organization through the pandemic and frequently speaks about public education and reform efforts. Cruz also holds board positions at several local and national nonprofits, including Instruction Partners, the Washington International School, and Goodwill of Greater Washington. He is a member of the Pahara-Aspen Fellowship and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. A child of immigrants, Cruz earned a BA in philosophy from Yale University and now resides in Washington, DC with his wife Leslie, and their two children.
“Rick has a deep understanding of Arabella, its position in the social sector, and the potential impact of our work. I could not be more proud of his leadership or of the work of the Arabella team, and I look forward to continuing to support them in their journey forward,” said Eric Kessler, Arabella’s founder.