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Kathy Freeman Summers appointed president and CEO, ELCA Foundation, and executive director, Mission Advancement


CHICAGO (Nov. 4, 2019) — Kathy Freeman Summers was appointed to a four-year term as president and CEO of the ELCA Foundation and executive director of the Mission Advancement unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Her term began Oct. 1.

Summers brings to the ELCA more than 30 years of executive leadership in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

In her role as president and CEO of the ELCA Foundation, Summers will work closely with the board of trustees to oversee endowments and investments in the ELCA Foundation’s proprietary Fund A, as well as the development of planned gifts. As executive director for Mission Advancement, she will oversee advancement services, mission funding and strategic communications for the ELCA.

Since 2016, Summers had served as executive director of the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation. City Colleges of Chicago is the largest community-college system in Illinois and one of the largest in the nation, serving more than 80,000 students annually at seven colleges and five satellite sites.

Summers’ responsibilities at City Colleges of Chicago included management of foundation assets, planning and strategy for the board of trustees, donor engagement, regulatory compliance and risk management.

She received a Bachelor of Science in education from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo., and an MBA in marketing and finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Summers is a member of Salem Lutheran Church in Chicago.


About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.5 million members in more than 9,100 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

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