Justin Maxson, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director  

FOCUS AREAS: Economic opportunity, democracy & civic engagement, supportive policies & institutions

CONTACT: 336-748-9222, jmaxson@mrbf.org

PROFILE: Justin Maxson stepped into the role of executive director of Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation in early 2015. A January 2016 announcement of his hiring shared the following information:

The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation is pleased to welcome Justin Maxson as its new Executive Director. Maxson’s leadership experience and dedication to helping communities achieve greater social and economic justice will be profound assets to the Foundation.
Since 2002, Maxson has served as President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Kentucky, where he supported and generated innovative development strategies, including small enterprise lending and technical assistance solutions, energy efficiency support strategies and targeted research and policy efforts aimed at creating benefits for low-to-moderate income people and communities.
Maxson’s work to nurture a more diverse and sustainable economy in Central Appalachia has made him attuned to the complex factors that contribute to poverty in America. It also has brought him in close contact with the Babcock Foundation as a grantee partner. Maxson is eager to support other grantees as they improve conditions in communities across the Southeast.
“I look forward to learning from the Foundation’s many valued strategic partners,” Maxson said. “I am proud to contribute new leadership and thinking to the rich history of work that is the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation. I look forward to translating my experience promoting economic opportunity in Appalachia to the broader Southeastern region.”
The selection was the result of a thorough search and selection process. "Justin has a great track record in economic development, regional philanthropy, and emerging technology,” Board President Dee Davis said. “He has worked to develop assets in hard-hit Appalachian communities, and he has been part of successful nonprofit efforts around the South. He's an exceptional leader, and we are glad to have him on the team."
Before becoming President of MACED, Maxson served as Executive Director of the Progressive Technology Project, an organization that offers technical assistance and grant support to grassroots social change efforts.
Maxson has also been a yearlong fellow at the Sustainability Institute and the Rockwood Leadership Institute. He served at the Kentucky Governor’s request on the Kentucky Climate Action Planning Committee and the planning committee for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, a regional development planning process. He has a master’s degree in anthropology from Boston University.
“The South is such a critical region, one where opportunity and challenge clash. There is real need and demand for the next level of work: helping organizations and communities do the little but important things while supporting long-term systems change work,” Maxson said.
Maxson will take over March 16 from Interim Executive Director Sandra Mikush, who will return to her role as Deputy Director at the Babcock Foundation.

His professional bio shares:

As Executive Director, Justin manages the overall operations of the Foundation, leads staff in developing strategy and initiatives to accomplish the Foundation’s mission and makes recommendations to the Board. Before joining the Foundation, Maxson served for 13 years as president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Kentucky. 

You can also learn about his perspective in this video and this video.

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