The Fresh Air Fund Announces Lisa Gitelson as New Managing Director


Lisa Gitelson, President and CEO, The Fresh Air Fund

“Our city is stronger when each of our children and their families are stronger,” said Lisa Gitelson, CEO of The Fresh Air Fund.

The Fresh Air Fund Board of Directors and President William P. Lauder announce the appointment of Lisa Gitelson as Chief Executive Officer effective April 18, 2022. The Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit youth development organization, has served The Youth of New York since 1877. Throughout Ms. Gitelson’s more than 25-year career in public service, as a lawyer and child welfare advocate, she has dedicated herself to meet the needs of underserved youth. Prior to joining The Fresh Air Fund, she was Deputy Executive Director/Legal Counsel for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC). She is also an adjunct professor at the Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, CUNY, where she teaches child welfare policy and practice.

“We are delighted to appoint Lisa Gitelson as Chief Executive Officer of the Fund,” said William P. Lauder, Chairman of the Board. “Thousands of Fresh Air children and families will benefit from Lisa’s commitment to the well-being of New York’s children. She is a strong advocate for children’s rights and has a strong background in management, public policy, development, communications and finance, as well as legal expertise.

Lisa has deep roots in the communities we serve, and we welcome her to our Fresh Air family.

As NYSPCC’s Deputy Executive Director/Legal Counsel since February 2021, Ms. Gitelson has managed various aspects of the agency, including operations, research and evaluation, and training. She identified legislation and other public policy issues that impacted the work of the organization and developed an advocacy agenda and action plans to advance public policy efforts.

“Our city is stronger when each of our children and their families are stronger. I am honored and thrilled to lead an organization with a rich history of providing transformative experiences for children that open up worlds of possibilities for them. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff of The Fund and partnering with our families and communities to continue to strengthen the children of our city,” said Lisa Gitelson, CEO of The Fresh Air Fund.

Previously, Ms. Gitelson served as Associate Executive Director, Downstate, at the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA) where she was responsible for bringing together private agencies for foster care, juvenile justice, residential care and prevention services to collaborate, share best practices and coordinate efforts to improve and advocate for child protection and juvenile justice systems. In this role, Ms. Gitelson advocated for COFCCA member agencies in discussions with the Children’s Services Administration, the New York City Council, and the Office of Child and Family Services of the New York State and worked with stakeholders to ensure members best serve New York City. children and families.

Prior to COFCCA, she was Director of Foster Care and Adoption Services at Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services. Ms. Gitelson began her career as an attorney representing foster care agencies before serving in several management and supervisory positions with the New York City Children’s Services Administration, City Court Legal Services family.

Ms Gitelson succeeds Fatima Shama, the Fund’s executive director from 2015 to 2021, who stepped down to join Bloomberg LP board chair Wendy Flanagan, who stepped in as interim executive director. Ms Flanagan said: “Lisa is a fantastic choice for our new Managing Director. We were impressed with the breadth of her experience and her commitment to the children and families of our city. We’re thrilled to have Lisa lead us into our next chapter, as we return to our traditional sleep programs and build on programs developed to serve New York’s youth during the pandemic. I look forward to working with her on a smooth transition and as Chair of the Board. »

Ms. Gitelson is a graduate of Colgate University and holds a JD from the University of Washington School of Law. She lives in Washington Heights with her son, a high school student, and her daughter, a high school student.

Since its founding in 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit youth development organization, has provided free, life-changing outdoor summer experiences to more than 1.8 million children in underserved communities. from New York. At summer camps in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley, visiting volunteer foster homes along the East Coast, and in New York-based programs, children gain new experiences, learn new skills and gain new insights. Fresh Air children also participate in year-round leadership, career exploration and education programs. For more information, visit

Share the article on social networks or by e-mail:


Comments are closed.