Philanthropy leader Nadege Souvenir has been named new Chief Executive Officer of the San Antonio Area Foundation

In this role, Souvenir will focus on closing opportunity gaps for those who need it most by increasing resources to the San Antonio community and continuing the Area Foundation’s legacy as the most trusted and impactful philanthropic partner in the region. She will start on April 15, 2024.

Nadege Souvenir

“We’re thrilled with Nadege’s strong credentials, knowledge and skills to lead our organization,” said Alex Perez, Chairman of the Area Foundation Board of Directors. “We have the utmost confidence that Nadege will continue to take our organization to an even higher level of performance, further cementing our philanthropic leadership role not just in our region but nationally as one of the largest community foundations in the country.”

Perez also expressed deep gratitude for Lisa Brunsvold, the Area Foundation’s Vice President for Development and Marketing, who served as Interim CEO for nearly a year while the board conducted its search for a permanent appointment. 

“Lisa is well respected and valued by the Area Foundation, its staff and board as well as by the community at large for her leadership and commitment to our mission,” Perez noted.

Most recently, Souvenir has served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation – Minnesota’s largest community foundation – where she has been responsible for the refinement, design and integration of cross-team systems and processes. 

In that COO position, Souvenir oversees key operational functions – Human Resources, IT, Grants Administration and Learning and Evaluation and she also launched East Metro Pulse, a community perception survey of life across various counties.

In addition to her operational leadership, Souvenir led the foundation’s Facing Race Awards, supported the Art in This Present Moment initiative, focused on racial narrative change efforts and co-hosted the foundation’s podcast, I So Appreciate You! Prior to moving to the philanthropy sector, she was a corporate litigator at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Maslon LLP.

Souvenir regularly speaks and writes on topics centering equity in the workplace and leadership. She served as chair of the Minnesota Opera Board of Directors and a member of the board of OPERA America, the Arts Partnership and the Blandin Foundation. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Fashion Week Minnesota and the Minnesota Compass Governance Committee. 

“I believe in the power of community foundations and the many roles that they serve in a community,” Souvenir said. “It is my privilege to do this work with this dedicated board and lead a strong team to improve the quality of life for San Antonians today and for generations to come. I look forward to calling San Antonio home.”

Souvenir earned bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and liberal studies from Iowa State University. She also holds a master’s degree in arts administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a law degree (JD) from Hamline University School of Law.

The Area Foundation engaged Kittleman & Associates to conduct a search for its new CEO. Kittleman & Associates is a national executive search firm that specializes in the recruitment of CEOs for tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, public charities and philanthropic community foundations.