The Fairfield County Community Foundation has selected Juanita James, 58, of Stamford as the organization's next president and chief executive officer, replacing Susan M. Ross, .
James most recently served as chief marketing and communications officer for Pitney Bowes in Stamford, where she was responsible not only for marketing and relations with the news media and analysts, but also corporate philanthropy.
She was chosen from a field of 80 applicants in a selection process run by the executive search firm Spencer Stuart. James starts the new job at the Norwalk-based foundation on Oct. 3.
"We wanted a person of recognized accomplishment and with the talent, passion and vision to help us achieve our goals and fulfill our mission, while significantly increasing the foundation's assets and effectively serving our constituents," Barry C. Hawkins, chairman of the foundation's board, said in a news release from the foundation.
James has worked in corporations for 37 years, including stints at Time Warner and Bertelsmann. She sits on the boards of Reading Is Fundamental, Lesley University. In the past, she was on the board of Princeton University.
James said in the news release that she's "excited and honored" to lead the foundation, which she said "has a superb reputation for identifying and addressing some of the region's greatest challenges, and helping its fundholders strengthen our communities through smart philanthropy."
In Stamford, she is on the "leadership council" of Childcare Learning Centers, sits on the board for Curtain Call and has held "leadership roles" at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford Symphony and Ferguson Library, according to the news release. She is also an ordained elder and deacon at the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford.
James received a bachelor's degree in romance languages from Princeton University and a master's degree in business policy from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
James is married to Dudley Williams Jr. They and their son, Dudley Williams III, have lived in Stamford for 22 years.
The foundation helps individuals set up and maintain their own personal foundations and promotes giving to nonprofit groups within the county through it's own programs. Since 1992, these activities have led to a total of $135 million in donations to county nonprofits.
During Ross' 15 years as head of the foundation, from 1996 to this year, the organization's assets grew from $10 million to $150 million, . In 2008, it merged with the Greater Bridgeport Area foundation.
James is "highly regarded for her dedication to the community and the depth and breadth of her experience," Ross said in the news release. "She will open new doors of opportunity for the foundation and our fundholders to benefit the community."