Rachel Garbow Monroe began her term as President and CEO of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in February of 2010 after serving as the Foundation’s first chief operating officer from 2005-2010. The Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States, with approximately $2.3 billion in assets and roughly $100 million in grant distributions each year. The Foundation funds nonprofit organizations that provide high-quality direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families.
During Monroe’s tenure at the Foundation significant changes have taken place, including retention of a team of more than 30 professional staff to execute the work of the Foundation. She has also directed the creation and launch of several new Foundation initiatives: the Biennial Community Gathering, the Israel Mission Alumni Scholars Program, the Biennial Employee Giving Program, and the Small Grants Program. Monroe also helped conceive and launch the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project. This initiative, involving more than 30 business, nonprofit, and government partners, works with Baltimore City Public Schools to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated school libraries where existing public funding can be leveraged. The Foundation is providing $10 million in funding to build as many as 24 new libraries. The first 14 libraries, serving approximately 6,000 children, have already opened, and one more is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.
In early 2018, Monroe led the Weinberg Foundation in partnership with Baltimore’s Mayor Catherine Pugh and City Hall to create the Baltimore City Community Grants Program. With an initial $500,000 commitment by the Weinberg Foundation, this program will provide grants of up to $10,000 per year and a maximum of two years for small nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income individuals and families in Baltimore City.
Monroe’s previous professional roles include serving as the chief operating officer for The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, the worldwide director of marketing for the international architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and as the marketing manager for the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago. For five years, Monroe served as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University where she taught a graduate nonprofit marketing course at the University’s Institute for Policy Studies.
Current volunteer roles for Monroe include Northwestern University, serving on the Board of the Center Club in Baltimore, and holding ex-officio positions with Leading Edge (an unprecedented partnership of Jewish foundations and organizations to build a robust talent pipeline for Jewish organizations) and Baltimore’s Promise (a city-wide collaborative composed of public, business, higher education, nonprofit, community, and philanthropic leaders). Previous volunteer roles included serving on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Ronald McDonald House of Maryland, and Timber Grove Elementary PTA.
Monroe was honored as the 2016 CEO of the year by SmartCEO Magazine. In 2012, she was named to the Forward 50, the news magazine’s list of the 50 Jewish-Americans “who have made a significant impact on the Jewish story in the past year.” She has previously been recognized by The Daily Record as a 2010 Influential Marylander, as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women three times (2011, 2009, and 2007), which placed Rachel in the “Circle of Excellence,” and “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal (2006). Monroe is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Program, the United Jewish Communities Mandel Executive Development Program, and the Leadership Program of the Greater Baltimore Committee.
Monroe earned a B.A. from Northwestern University and a MM (MBA) from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she majored in marketing and nonprofit management. Monroe is married with three children.