Since 2010, Rachel Garbow Monroe has served as the president and CEO of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States with approximately $3 billion in assets. The Foundation distributes roughly $130 million each year in grants to nonprofits that support people experiencing poverty across the US and in Israel in the areas of housing, health, jobs, and education. As of January 2021, the Foundation has also committed a total of $10.5 million in COVID-19 emergency funding within the Foundation’s priority communities.
Monroe joined the Foundation in 2005 as its first COO before being promoted to president and CEO in 2010. Over the past decade and a half, Monroe has been instrumental in the professional growth of the Foundation, from a handful of staff in 2005 to more than 60 employees across offices in Baltimore, Maryland, and Honolulu, Hawaii. At the Foundation, Monroe assembled a 14-person grants team and an internal investment team, and she created an internal real estate management team to manage the Foundation’s large portfolio of real estate holdings primarily in the State of Hawaii. Monroe also managed Board succession efforts, as four of the five Trustees turned over in just the last five years. Today the Board is represented across the US and in Israel by five diverse, exemplary individuals, who are deeply engaged in the Foundation’s work.
During her tenure, Monroe has been a leader and a change agent in noticeable ways. She was instrumental in the creation and launch of more than a dozen major Foundation initiatives, including the $15 million Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project, which by spring of 2021 will have built or renovated 16 libraries and is serving close to 13 percent of all Baltimore City Public School students; Biennial Community Gatherings in Baltimore, Honolulu, and Israel; a $12 million partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp to increase accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities; a major US national Jewish poverty affinity group collaborative; and the signature Employee Giving Program.
Previous professional roles include COO for The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore; the worldwide director of marketing for the international architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and marketing manager for the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago. For five years, Monroe also served as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University where she taught a graduate nonprofit marketing course at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Most recently, Monroe was included in City & State New York’s inaugural Philanthropy Power 50 list. In 2019, she was recognized as one of the Baltimore Business Journal’s Power 10 CEOs, as well as The Daily Record’s Influential Marylanders. In 2017, Monroe received JPRO Network’s Mandelkorn Distinguished Service award, and in 2016, she was honored as SmartCEO Magazine’s “CEO of the Year.” 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.” Previously, Monroe was recognized by The Daily Record as an Influential Marylander (2010) and as a three-time recipient of Maryland’s Top 100 Women (2011, 2009, and 2007), placing her in the “Circle of Excellence.” In 2006, the Baltimore Business Journal named Monroe to its “40 Under 40” list.
Currently, Monroe volunteers for Northwestern University and is on the Board of the Kolker Saxon Hallock Family Foundation. She also holds ex-officio positions with Baltimore’s Promise, a citywide collaborative composed of public, business, higher education, nonprofit, community, and philanthropic leaders, as well as with Leading Edge, an unprecedented partnership of Jewish foundations and organizations whose goal is to build a robust talent pipeline for Jewish organizations. Previously, Monroe served on the boards of the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Ronald McDonald House of Maryland, and Timber Grove Elementary PTA.
Rachel Monroe earned a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.M. (MBA) from its J.L. Kellogg School of Management, where she majored in marketing and nonprofit management. She is also 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 is married with three children.