The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation Names Shawn Escoffery as Executive Director
April 18, 2018 — The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation's Board and staff are pleased to announce Shawn Escoffery as its new Executive Director. A nonprofit leader, social justice advocate, world traveler and professional photographer, Escoffery brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as the Foundation enters its next chapter.
Board of Directors Chairperson, Susan Disney Lord, is excited to begin working with Escoffery to help build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.
"My Board and I are exceptionally proud to have found a new Executive Director who shares our values and adds passion to them, who has lived a life in service to those values, and who brings a strategic and experienced vision so that we can do everything within our power to help the overlooked and underappreciated populations who live among us. We look forward to working closely with Shawn for many years," Lord said in a statement.
For the past seven and half years Escoffery has directed the Strong Local Economics program at the Surdna Foundation - a nationally focused family foundation with over $1 billion in assets. In this role, Escoffery worked to support the development of robust and sustainable economies that include a wide range of businesses, equitable economic policy and access to quality jobs. With an annual budget of $9.2 million, the program aims to create opportunities for upward economic mobility among communities that have experienced historical barriers to opportunity, including low-income people, communities of color, women, and immigrants. As the foundation developed a mission related investing and impact investing portfolio, Escoffery was also responsible for deploying an additional $10 million dollars in (debt and equity) aimed at addressing access to capital challenges facing minority and women-owned businesses.
Prior to entering the world of philanthropy, Escoffery served as the Deputy Director of the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative (NONDC), a community organizing, planning and housing development organization focused on post-Hurricane Katrina neighborhood revitalization. As an urban planner with 15+ years of experience, Escoffery has been responsible for designing workforce development programs serving lower income communities, developing financing strategies for affordable housing developments and coordinating resident engagement efforts. Throughout his career, he has managed projects and people effectively to produce positive outcomes for communities.
"I am truly excited to embark on this journey with the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation as we work to create a more equitable, sustainable and vibrant world" said Escoffery. "It is an honor to partner with a family that is deeply committed to using its resources to address some of the world's pressing issues centered on people, place and the environment."
Escoffery holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English Literature from Rutgers University and a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a concentration in Housing, Community, and Economic Development. He also holds certificates in Communications and International Relations, Urban Redevelopment, and Effective Leadership from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University, respectively.
Escoffery begins his role at RPDFF in June 2018.
About The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation
Established in 1969 by Roy and Edna Disney, the Foundation follows an invitation only process guided by three program areas: Empowerment & Equal Opportunity, Bluer/Greener World, and Vibrant Communities. RPDFF aims to invest in solutions that address underlying conditions that perpetuate inequality. Furthermore, the Board Members believe in listening to grantees needs, by offering flexible funding, general operating support grants, as well as other capacity building investments to amplify their impact and reach. Visit www.rpdff.org to learn more about the organization.