WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts today announced Susan K. Urahn as its new president and CEO, effective July 1. Urahn, who currently serves as the organization’s executive vice president and chief program officer, will take the reins from longtime CEO Rebecca W. Rimel, who is retiring after overseeing the organization for 32 years.
“We are incredibly pleased to announce Sue Urahn as Pew’s next president and CEO,” said Robert H. Campbell, chair of Pew’s board of directors. “Sue has been an important part of Pew’s success in state policy, health care, and conservation, and her breadth of experience is unmatched. She is also a strategist and creative thinker who will champion Pew’s core values and protect the organization’s reputation for nonpartisanship, fact-based research and recommendations, and integrity. We look forward to opening a new chapter in innovation and ingenuity with Sue at the helm.”
“I am deeply grateful to the board of directors, as well as to Pew’s talented staff in the United States and around the globe,” Urahn said. “Pew has a long history of advancing pragmatic solutions to challenging problems, and I am honored to have this opportunity to tackle new issues and test novel approaches.”
Urahn joined Pew in 1994 as a key member of its planning and evaluation division, and directed the department from 1997 to 2000. In that role, she helped evaluate all of the institution’s grants and Trusts-initiated projects, including Pew’s early environmental work. After seven years leading Pew’s education and state policy portfolio, Urahn helped launch the Pew Center on the States and served as the center’s director from 2007 to 2012. She became an executive vice president in 2012, leading all of Pew’s work on state policy, economics, and health care, then became chief program officer in 2016.
Before joining Pew, Urahn worked in policy research and evaluation with the Minnesota House of Representatives and at the University of Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in education policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.
Rimel will transition into a temporary senior adviser role on July 1. She has overseen the growth of the organization from its headquarters in Philadelphia as a grant-making organization endowed by members of the Pew family to a global research and advocacy institution with offices and staff working in Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States, the Americas, Europe, and Australia. Rimel joined Pew in 1983 as health program manager, became executive director five years later, and became president and CEO in 1994.
“I have had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Sue Urahn for more than 25 years,” Rimel said. “She is an intellectually curious and strategic leader who has conceptualized and managed a large portfolio of projects that have successfully improved public policy and the lives of the public. Pew strives to create positive change, and it has been my immense privilege to serve with the dedicated and talented people who are committed to Pew’s mission every day.”
Founded in 1948, The Pew Charitable Trusts focuses on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. The Pew Research Center, a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, conducts research about the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world.
In Philadelphia, a range of initiatives provide research and analysis to help the city’s residents and leaders understand and address key issues; support the cultural community, in large part through the efforts of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; and assist some of the most vulnerable local residents.
As a public charity, Pew partners with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share its commitment to data-driven solutions and goal-based investments to improve the public good.
The Pew Memorial Foundation, which later became a trust, was created by four generous and civic-minded siblings—J. Howard Pew, Mary Ethel Pew, Joseph Newton Pew Jr., and Mabel Pew Myrin—to honor their father, Sun Oil Co. founder Joseph Newton Pew Sr., and their mother, Mary Anderson Pew.
Between 1957 and 1979, six other trusts were created, representing the diverse and complementary philanthropic interests of the four founders. Inspired by their interest in research, practical knowledge, and a robust democracy, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ work now includes public opinion and social science research; arts and culture; and conservation, health, state, and consumer policy initiatives.
The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Learn more at pewtrusts.org.