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AFP President & CEO to Retire in March 2011

July 23, 2010

(Arlington, VA) Paulette Maehara, CFRE, CAE, will step down from her position as president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in March 2011 after nearly 13 years leading the organization. A search process will begin immediately with the selection of a search committee and a search firm.

Below is a short video message from Paulette about her retirement. Or click here to see it on YouTube.


During her time as president and CEO, Maehara has led the association through a number of major changes and initiatives, including:

  • A name change from the National Society of Fundraising Executives (NSFRE) to AFP in 2000, as well as a move to new offices in Arlington, Va., in 2007
  • Significant growth in the association, with the number of members increasing by nearly 10,000 and the number of chapters by more than 50
  • Major overhaul in the association's governance structure and processes, leading to greater flexibility in the organization's ability to adapt to new environments and challenges
  • Helped lead the effort to create the International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising, the first universal ethical code for fundraisers
  • Reached out to fundraisers around the world, developing strong ties with fundraising organizations in other countries and instituting events such as AFP's Hemispheric Congress on Fundraising-Latin America.

"Paulette Maehara has changed forever the expectations of what a fundraising association can achieve," said AFP Chair Roberta A. Healey, MBA, NHA, ACFRE. "Under her leadership and guidance, we have made extraordinary strides in all areas of operations-education, research, ethics, government relations, public affairs and diversity, to name just a few. The future of AFP is so bright, and much of our success can be attributed to her vision, work ethic and resourcefulness."

"In the time here, we have grown AFP into the largest and most well-respected fundraising organization in the world," said Maehara. "The strong and vibrant AFP community-of which I am only one part -includes a great board, involved and engaged members and a dedicated staff that will continue to move the organization forward during a leadership transition. Our community, growth and our financial footing, even in the face of the economic crisis that has affected the world, have given me confidence that now is the time to retire and pass the torch on to a new leader."

Ms. Maehara was born in Happy, Texas, holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Hawaii, and is married with two children.  She is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and has been a member of AFP since 1987. Prior to joining AFP, Maehara served as chief executive officer of the Epilepsy Foundation.

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