The Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), the leading supplemental education nonprofit in New York City, today announced the appointment of Ruth Rathblott as chief executive officer. A former senior executive with Big Brothers Big Sisters who played a central role in its expansion, Ms. Rathblott will be responsible for expanding HEAF’s reach and furthering its mission to help low-income students enter and graduate college. HEAF is a model program that helps the city’s underserved middle and high school students become high-achieving college graduates, and has an unmatched track record of success: 100 percent of students graduate high school, nearly 98 percent pursue higher education and nearly 95 percent graduate college.
“HEAF is a model for how to transform urban education not only in Harlem but also across the United States,” said Daniel Rose, HEAF founder and chair emeritus and Rose Associates chairman. “As we selected a new CEO, we wanted a leader who has both experience in growing and developing nonprofits and in understanding the challenges faced by our city’s underserved students, many of whom are African American and Latino. We are confident that Ruth’s leadership will carry HEAF very far as we expand the organization to serve more students.”
Ms. Rathblott, who has been a leader in the nonprofit sector for nearly 20 years most recently as a consultant, joins HEAF after a 15-year stint at Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. There she held a series of progressively responsible positions, ultimately serving as associate executive director where she managed a $10 million annual budget and oversaw six major agency departments and corresponding Board committees ranging from finance to operations.
“I am excited to join such an esteemed and accomplished organization that shares my passion for youth empowerment and look forward to taking HEAF to its next stage of growth and impact,” said Ms. Rathblott. “HEAF possesses a strong and impressive legacy of providing students — from the time they enter middle school to the time they graduate college — with blueprints for academic, personal and professional success. I’m so proud to work for an organization that looks to transform the way young people — especially those who need support and guidance the most — learn and see the world.”
Ms. Rathblott will succeed HEAF interim president and chief executive officer Fern Khan, who has been involved in HEAF for 10 years and will remain on the Board of Directors. “At HEAF, we have built and maintained an impressive track record — producing students who attend the most competitive high schools in this city and the most illustrious colleges in this nation — and I have been so honored to help lead HEAF in a variety of capacities over the years,” said Khan, who served as the dean of continuing education at Bank Street College for 22 years. “I believe that Ruth will extend this track record and ensure that more and more high-potential but low-income students succeed and have a place to call home after school and throughout their lives.”
Ms. Rathblott holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Goucher College and a master of social work degree from Boston University.
For more information about HEAF or to get involved, visit www.heaf.org.