Governor Cuomo has appointed Fran Barrett as his new InterAgency Coordinator for Not-for-Profit Services. The position is a new one, reportedly created to help coordinate efforts to reform the State’s procurement and contracting systems and address challenges nonprofits face in their business relationships with State agencies.
Barrett was formerly Executive Director of Community Resource Exchange, a technical assistance group which she founded in 1979 to assist nonprofit organizations address a wide range of management and governance challenges. Most recently, she served as the director of capacity building at The Atlantic Philanthropies. In 2009, Barrett was the recipient of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management's 2009 Founders Lifetime Achievement Award, given to individuals for contributions to nonprofit capacity building over periods of 25 years or longer.
The nonprofit community had been seeking for creation of a position such as this for some time. In 2010, Connecticut’s newly-elected Governor Dan Malloy created a similar post with cabinet-level status. In February, the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization, a group of 32 key nonprofit leaders from across the state convened by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, included creation of a “Nonprofit Liaison to the Governor” as one of 38 recommendations for addressing challenges facing the nonprofit sector.
“This is good news,” says Michael Stoller, Executive Director of the Human Services Council of New York (HSC). “We have been asking for this, to have one point of contact for the nonprofit sector. And, Fran is great. She is smart, tough in a good way and, as the founder of Community Resource Exchange (CRE), she fully understands the challenges facing the sector.”
“This is a move in the right direction,” said Doug Sauer, CEO of the New York Council of Nonprofits. “The Governor chose someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, who knows nonprofits and knows the government’s funding and contracting systems. It’s great to see that the Governor, the Attorney General and the Comptroller are all taking positive steps towards addressing the prompt contracting and payment issues impacting nonprofits.”
“Fran Barrett is a uniquely qualified veteran with experience in nonprofit management and governance and who knows how to improve the performance of nonprofit organizations,” said Michael Clark, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, on whose board Barrett had been a member.
Nonprofit leaders are looking forward to learning more about the new position, including its responsibilities and focus. No formal announcement regarding Barrett’s appointment has yet to be released by the Governor’s Press Office.