Deva Hirsh, Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director

FOCUS AREAS: Homelessness, affordable housing, poverty

CONTACT: 617-482-5620; dhirsch@ppffound.org

PROFILE: Deva Hirsh joined the Fireman Charitable Foundation in May 2015 after serving as the executive director at the Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation in Atlanta for nearly five years. Her Project Citizenship bio shares:

Deva Hirsch has more than twenty-two years of nonprofit and philanthropic experience working with community, corporate and family foundations.  She assisted in the development of two Atlanta-based family foundations, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation, where she served as co-director and executive director respectively.  Ms. Hirsch oversaw more than $100 million in grant making at the Blank Foundation and $14 million at the Katz Foundation. Ms. Hirsch was the co-founder of two volunteer service organizations, Hands On Atlanta and Hands On Tokyo (while living in Japan.) She has served on numerous nonprofit boards including Refugee Family Services (now New American Pathways), the Foundation Center Southeast, Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers, TechBridge, WINGS for Kids, and Emory University’s Board of Visitors. Deva holds an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Georgia.

A volunteer for Boston’s We Are Boston gala celebrating the contributions of Boston’s immigrants, Deva looks forward to serving on the board of Project Citizenship to assist the organization in community engagement and fund development.

She was a presenter at a Foundation Center “Meet the Grantmakers” event in 2013, and her event bio elaborated to share this information:

Deva Hirsch began her career in philanthropy while obtaining her master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and nonprofit management at Tufts University.  While a master’s student, she began working with the Boston Foundation’s Fund for the Homeless and then as a program officer for the Foundation.  While in Boston, she also served as a strategic consultant to NYNEX’s (now Verizon) New England philanthropy program.

Deva returned to Atlanta in 1995 to work with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.  She directed both a children’s initiative and a citywide Grantmaker’s Forum.  In 1997, she began working as one of the two founding staff members and co-directors of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. In this position, Deva worked with staff to design and launch the Mountain Sky Guest Ranch Fund in Park and Gallatin Counties, Montana.  She also helped redevelop the mission, programs, and advisory board of the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. 

A graduate of Leadership Atlanta, and a 2003 YWCA Woman of Achievement, she has also served on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League, the Foundation Center-Atlanta, Sheltering Arms, TechBridge, and WINGS for Kids.  In 1989, she was one of the eleven co-founders of Hands On Atlanta, one of the three original affiliates of the Hands On Network/Points of Light Foundation. Deva currently serves as the executive director of the Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation where she feels fortunate to learn from grantee organizations and community members every day.