Placed Leaders

Lorenzo Esters


The Indianapolis Foundation

We partnered with The Indianapolis Foundation & Central Indiana Community Foundation Search Committee to identify and recruit the next President of The Indianapolis Foundation. The President is charged with leading trust-based philanthropy and deepening regional community impact.

CICF and The Indianapolis Foundation, along with Hamilton County Community Foundation, IMPACT Central Indiana and Women’s Fund of Central Indiana, are part of a $1 billion philanthropic collaborative committed to mobilizing people, ideas and investments to make Central Indiana a community where all individuals have equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. Each organization also has its own unique strategic plan to advance this goal within the communities it serves.

The search resulted in the appointment of Dr. Lorenzo Esters who brings over 25 years of experience spanning the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Esters was recruited to succeed a leader who had held the role for 23 years. He is known for bringing deep passion to economic and community development, building effective teams and leading strategies that address the community’s most pressing concerns.

Previously, Esters served as the Chancellor for the Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis service area, where he managed an annual budget of approximately $58 million serving over 28,000 students.

Prior to joining Ivy Tech in July 2021, he served as Vice President for Advancement and Member Engagement with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, a higher education association representing more than 1,200 two- and four-year institutions located in 50 states, the District of Columbia, 3 U.S. Territories and 25 countries.

Esters’ professional experiences have been uniquely centered on generating philanthropic and institutional capacity to support student access, completion, and career readiness efforts, particularly for those from marginalized backgrounds. He previously served as Vice President for Philanthropy at Strada Education Network, a nonprofit corporation located in Indianapolis, IN.

Esters currently serves on the boards of Fifth Third Bank, Visit Indy, and the Executive Committee of The Indianapolis Chamber, and is a member of the Chamber’s Business Equity for Indy Committee.

Esters holds a Master of Arts in English from Jackson State University. He earned his EdD from Morgan State University.