CEO/President/Executive Director/Head of School

Executive Director, M&T Bank Charitable Foundation

  • M&T Bank
  • Buffalo, NY

This position has been filled.

Read and download the position profile here.

About M&T Bank

Founded in 1856, M&T Bank (“M&T” or “the Bank”) is a leading community-focused bank driven by an enduring sense of purpose: to make a difference in people’s lives. Delivering the capabilities of a big bank with the care and empathy of a locally focused one, M&T offers advice, guidance, expertise, and solutions across the entire financial spectrum.

Headquartered in Buffalo, New York, M&T Bank has an international presence, serving customers in 48 corporate offices, 66 sales offices, and soon-to-be more than 1,100 branches throughout New England, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic. With the latest announcement of a large merger with People’s United Financial, Inc., M&T is on track to be the 11th largest bank in the country, with 22,000+ employees and $200 billion in combined bank assets.

In addition to 178 consecutive quarters (more than 42 straight years) of profitability, M&T has the distinction of being singled out by Forbes as having the highest profitability, based on return to shareholders, of any bank in the country. The U.S. Management’s strong ownership interest coupled with an entrepreneurial philosophy has made it possible for the Bank to pursue a course of well-managed growth. It has continuously been successful with its strategy to grow by attaining dominant market share in the markets where it operates.

M&T Bank’s Community Focus & Impact

Throughout its 160-year history, M&T Bank has been dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives, specifically in the communities the Bank serves.

M&T’s services help nurture neighborhoods in myriad ways, such as through small business lending, innovative community development, and providing loans and mortgages to people on low-to-middle incomes, to name a few.

M&T ranked as the fifth largest Small Business Administration (“SBA”) lender nationally – despite operating in only eight states plus the District of Columbia. What’s more, M&T has been in the top ten nationwide SBA lenders for the last 12 years consecutively, illustrating a deep commitment to their local communities. M&T Bank has received the highest possible rating from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for each CRA examination since 1982.

Volunteerism is at the heart of M&T’s mission. The Bank provides employees with opportunities to drive positive change and make a difference on issues that affect their communities, and each employee receives 40 hours of paid time each year for volunteer activities. In 2020, employees volunteered more than 270,000 hours.

M&T Charitable Foundation

Established in 1993, the M&T Charitable Foundation (“the Foundation”) supports thousands of nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life for M&T’s customers, employees, and neighbors in the communities M&T serves. The Foundation offers financial support and other resources to a diverse range of organizations, currently including those that represent civic affairs, human services, education, arts and culture, and health care. Working directly in each community and empowering local teams to make funding decisions helps to ensure grants are tailored to community needs.

In 2020, M&T and the M&T Charitable Foundation together donated $34.9 million to more than 2,800 nonprofit organizations. Over the past decade M&T and the M&T Charitable Foundation together donated $264.3 million to 7,500 nonprofit organizations.

Looking Ahead

Following the merger with People’s United, the Foundation will expand its footprint and impact, with annual support of nonprofits anticipated to exceed $50 million.

The Foundation has also begun work to redesign its operations and grantmaking services. Using a highly transparent and inclusive process, the Foundation hopes to become more responsive to its communities and to align its areas of focus more closely to the Bank’s mission and values.

In 2022, as part of a planned succession to the Charitable Foundation’s current President Shelley Drake, the Foundation will welcome its next leader.

For more information on M&T Bank and the M&T Charitable Foundation, please visit their website here. Read the full 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance Report here.

About the Greater Buffalo Niagara Region

Located on the apex of Lake Erie and the tip Canada with proximity to Niagara Falls, Buffalo is the hidden gem of New York state.

Often touted as a “big, small city,” Buffalo is a city rich in history and culture and one that is experiencing a renaissance, with significant growth and development. Despite its Northeast location, Buffalo is described as a Midwestern city with family-friendly values and a close-knit community feel.

Also known as “the City of Good Neighbors,” Buffalo has a history of welcoming immigrant and migrant communities since the 1800s. This is reflected in the vibrancy of the cultural richness and diversity of the community.

With only 1.1 million people residing in the Buffalo-Niagara region, the city provides all the attractions of a much larger metropolitan area. Given its location on Lake Erie, proximity to Western New York’s outdoor scene, and a reinvigorated waterfront, there are countless opportunities to explore the great outdoors and stay active. The city itself boasts vibrant art centers, restored architectural treasures, a noteworthy food scene, countless historical and cultural attractions, entertainment, live music, flourishing and distinct neighborhoods, family-friendly attractions, outdoor recreation, sports teams, and more.

To discover more about the Buffalo Niagara Region, visit

The Opportunity

M&T Bank is seeking a dynamic, dedicated, and visionary leader to serve as the next Executive Director of the Charitable Foundation.


The Executive Director provides overall leadership and oversees general management for the daily operations of the Foundation including strategic direction, operations, financial management, personnel management, and external/community relations.


Reporting to the Head of Community Markets, the Executive Director will lead a team of approximately 15. The Executive Director will also hold a seat on M&T Bank’s Charitable Foundation Board – comprised of Kevin Pearson, Vice Chairman and Rich Gold, President & Chief Operating Officer – to ensure the Foundation supports the overall strategy of the Bank.


The Executive Director serves as a thought leader for how philanthropy can be used to support communities in and around the Bank’s footprint. They will also ensure that the Foundation’s mission remains inclusive, equitable, and diverse in its community impact.


The Executive Director will also lead the refinement, communication, and implementation of the Foundation’s “Reimagining” initiative with nuance and sensitivity toward the effect of change on its constituents, especially in the nonprofit sector.


Primary responsibilities of the Executive Director include:

  • Lead planning, organization, and direction of Foundation’s operations and strategy.
  • Directly manage central Foundation staff with matrixed oversight to local regional Foundation staff.
  • Work with the Board and Community Markets leadership to define the Foundation’s mission, communicate it effectively, and ensure that it is part of the Bank’s go-to-market strategy.
  • Serve on the Charitable Foundation Board and Community Advisory Board and work with both Boards to encourage appropriate Board functioning and involvement.
  • Maintain strategic partnerships with the Foundation’s key relationships (Ex: Environmental, Social, & Government; Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Community Reinvestment Act; Volunteerism, peer foundations, etc.).
  • Lead change management processes that the support the Foundation’s commitment to remaining current and responsive to communities.
  • Motivate and lead the Foundation’s management team: attract, recruit, and retain staff and provide clear performance objectives and regular feedback.
  • Communicate clearly, compellingly, and consistently the Foundation’s mission and goals.
  • Develop the budget and oversee the prudent financial management of the Foundation’s funds.
  • Exercise usual authority of a manager concerning staffing, performance appraisals, promotions, salary recommendations, performance management, and terminations.
  • Understand and adhere to the Company’s risk and regulatory standards, policies, and controls in accordance with the Company’s Risk Appetite. Identify risk-related issues needing escalation to management.
  • Promote an environment that supports diversity and reflects the M&T Bank values and brand.
  • Understand, communicate, and work well with representatives from grant recipient organizations, corporate partners, and community constituents, where appropriate.
  • Encourage Foundation performance accountability by creating a culture of performance monitoring and transparency.
  • Maintain M&T internal control standards, including timely implementation of internal and external audit points together with any issues raised by external regulators as applicable.
  • Review and approve grants that exceed regional approving authorities across the Bank’s entire community bank footprint.
  • Complete other related duties as assigned.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics.

Leading Through Influence

The Executive Director will:

  • Have an executive and mission-driven presence, with a natural ability to effectively operate in a decentralized structure.
  • Use gravitas and influence to gain buy-in, drive change, and lead the Charitable Foundation to greater heights in its next chapter.
  • Be a thoughtful and empowering leader, embracing decision making at the local levels in order to maximize impact.

Strategic & Visionary Leader

This leader will:

  • Be a ‘big picture thinker’, skilled at leading matrixed organizations through periods of change and growth.
  • Be nimble, with a willingness to make timely decisions and challenge the status quo.
  • Be a strategic thinker, with the ability to provide direction to funding choices and evaluate impact of funding in the communities that M&T serves.
  • Have the confidence to make difficult decisions about priorities, strategies, program, and market alignments.
  • Have an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt and assure the Charitable Foundation’s continued success in a changing world.
  • Stay up to date on trends in philanthropy and best practices amongst peer foundations.

A Relationship Builder & Collaborator

The Executive Director will:

  • Have excellent constituent management and relationship-building skills.
  • Be a naturally collaborative leader, with the ability to partner cross-functionally with the CRA and ESG Teams and beyond.
  • Exhibit poise, knowledge, and persuasion in interactions with external organizations and executive level management across all lines of business to ensure program success of the Foundation’s goals and mission.
  • Have the ability to lead enterprise-wide collaboration and to cultivate effective partnerships internally and externally.

Champion for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

This executive will:

  • Ensure a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion is brought to all work of the Foundation.
  • Be committed to embedding equity into the operational infrastructure, culture, processes, and programs that guide the work of the Foundation.
  • Be guided by a deep personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Among other things, an inclusive leadership style will help assure the personal and professional development and growth of all employees.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead with transparency, respect, and empathy.

Impact Driven & Results-Oriented

The Executive Director will:

  • Bring an unwavering commitment to the communities the Bank serves, with a deep desire to maximize impact.
  • Be an operator with the analytical skills, leveraging metrics to drive decisions and achieve strategic objectives.
  • Fully embracing the values and goals of M&T, this leader will be passionate about fulfilling the Foundation’s mission and have a personal commitment to the communities M&T serves.

Previous foundation/grantmaking experience andknowledge of the nonprofit field is preferred. Knowledge of federal and state laws that relate to Foundation finances would be helpful.


M&T Bank is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages expressions of interest from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Alison Ranney, Cheryl Stevens, Alison Salisbury, and Bryn Siberski are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express interest in this role please email All nominations, inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit



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