October 20 2022

CEO Update October 2022

By The Ian Potter Foundation

Sixteen staff members of the Foundation standing in the Ian Potter Queen's Hall at the State LIbrary of Victoria.
Staff of The Ian Potter Foundation in the Ian Potter Queen's Hall at the State Library of Victoria.

The past few months have seen quite a few changes to staff at the Foundation.

One of our staff members has gone on extended study leave to develop deeper knowledge and skills. We have appointed new staff members to the Arts Program Manager and Research & Evaluation Manager roles and filled three newly created roles.

Plus, I have decided to move on from my role as CEO at the Foundation...



Comings and goings


Louise Arkles, Senior Program Manager – Environment, has taken a year's study leave to complete a Master of Conservation Leadership at Cambridge University. The Ian Potter Foundation is fully supportive and is pleased to be assisting Louise to undertake this exciting professional development opportunity. While Louise is away, Elena Mogilevski, an experienced philanthropic program manager and senior philanthropic consultant, will assist the Foundation in a part-time capacity to manage all current grants in the Environment program area.

We have also welcomed five new staff members since May. These appointments include Caroline Henwood as Research & Evaluation Manager and Louise Joel as Arts Program Manager, replacing recently departed staff members.

Ximena Avalos Mendez (Research & Evaluation Officer) and Paula Cruz Manrique (Program Officer) have also joined the team in two newly created roles to further support the work of managing and evaluating our grantmaking.

Another recent recruit is Rohan Martyres in the new role of Major Grants Development Manager. Rohan will lead the Foundation's efforts to develop new Flagship Grants that will focus on important issues within and across the Foundation's existing funding pillars. Read more about these new Flagship Grants.

Finally, I have recently announced my decision to resign from my position as Chief Executive Officer of The Ian Potter Foundation, The George Alexander Foundation and The Ian Potter Cultural Trust. My tenure will cease on or around 31 January 2023, depending on the timing of the incoming CEO's appointment.

This was a very tough decision for me, motivated by the combination of some personal circumstances that require increased flexibility in my professional work arrangements, but also my belief that after seven years in the role, it is a good time to hand over responsibility for the Foundation to an energised incoming CEO who will continue to strive for the sustained impact of the Foundation's philanthropy. I take comfort in the fact that the well-established team at The Ian Potter Foundation and The George Alexander Foundation is of the highest calibre and capable of continuing to support the Board through this period of transition.

As I expressed to my Chairman, Mr Charles Goode AC, I have enjoyed immensely the opportunity to learn from him and the Foundation's Board members during my time as CEO. I have particularly valued the support I have felt from Charles in his role as Chairman of the Foundation.

Being the Chief Executive Officer of The Ian Potter Foundation has afforded me many opportunities. It introduced me to the world of philanthropy and opened my eyes to the wonderful work of so many individuals and organisations. For that, I will be ever grateful.

I look forward to continuing to engage in conversations within philanthropy in some capacity and hope to remain professionally engaged in this wonderful sector.