Announcing LIFT’s Next CEO

By LIFT on October 16, 2018

Categories: News

Dear LIFT Community,

I write to you today on behalf of LIFT’s CEO Search Committee to announce that at our quarterly meeting last Thursday, the LIFT Board of Directors unanimously selected Michelle Rhone-Collins to be LIFT’s next Chief Executive Officer.

Over the last six months, with the support of the executive search firm, On-Ramps, we planned for and conducted an extensive and rigorous nationwide search for LIFT’s next CEO. The high level of interest we received following Kirsten Lodal’s announcement in July, from a broad array of candidates, is a powerful testament to the extraordinary organization that she, with the support of this community, has built over the last 20 years.

Michelle rose to the top of a highly competitive pool of candidates due to her impressive 25-year career, deep commitment to LIFT’s work and mission, experience working on a national scale, and ability to inspire others. Many of you know Michelle as a familiar and beloved LIFTer, but in case you haven’t yet had the pleasure of working with her, I’ll offer a little context. After nearly 20 years spent leading youth and family services organizations in New York and Los Angeles, Michelle joined LIFT in 2012 as the Founding LIFT-Los Angeles Executive Director. Under her leadership, LIFT-LA has become the organization’s largest and most financially successful operation. Michelle also seeded many of the program innovations and partnerships that are now core to LIFT’s nationwide program model. In 2017, Michelle was promoted to Chief Cities Officer, overseeing all of LIFT’s regional operations and serving on the national Executive Team. In this capacity, Michelle was instrumental in developing LIFT’s current strategic plan.

Most importantly, anyone who has worked closely with Michelle knows that she is a leader of extraordinary vision, passion, creativity and ambition. She is values-driven and principled to the core, and she is a powerful culture carrier. She is a leader people are inspired to follow. We were tasked with the difficult job of filling Kirsten’s very big shoes, and we are highly confident that Michelle is the right person to lead LIFT into its next stage of impact and growth.

Michelle will officially become LIFT’s CEO in January. At that point, Kirsten will take on the role of Founder and Senior Advisor, ensuring a strong and seamless transition process. We will celebrate LIFT’s 20th anniversary and this momentous passing of the torch from Kirsten to Michelle in Washington, DC, on May 16, 2019 – we hope you will join us! (More details to come.)

In the meantime, please join me in offering heartfelt and much-deserved congratulations to Michelle. I speak for the whole Board of Directors when I say that we could not be more pleased with the outcome of this search.

With great appreciation for your support of LIFT,


Gina del Carmen Coburn
Chair, CEO Search Committee
LIFT Board of Directors

In partnership with:
Steve Rotella
CEO Search Committee
Chair, LIFT Board of Directors

Deanna Singh
CEO Search Committee
LIFT Board of Directors