Karen Singer, speaking at the dedication of the expanded YWCA facility last October. (Barbara Freeman photo)

After serving nearly two decades, Karen Singer has announced she will retire from YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

She will continue to serve as CEO until her successor is hired. A transition committee composed of board members and advisors has been formed to oversee the search for a new CEO. They anticipate a selection by the end of 2022.  

“I am honored and grateful to have had the privilege of leading the mission-driven work of the YWCA — eliminating racism and empowering women,” Singer said.

“Karen has been a remarkable leader. Her entrepreneurial spirit, laser focus on equity and empowering women, and ability to engage with potential donors and community leaders have served us incredibly well. She has positioned us for a steep growth trajectory under new leadership,” said Jennifer Steans, YWCA E/NS board member. 

The YWCA board says that since Singer joined the organization in 2005 it has doubled the number of participants served, launched its Equity Institute, increased private funding tenfold and completed an $18.5 million expansion that doubled its footprint.

“We are grateful Karen will continue to serve the YWCA Evanston/North Shore until our next leader is in place. Thanks to her leadership, we are a stronger and more resilient organization, perfectly poised to take the next step in deepening our impact,” said Shabnum Sanghvi, chair of the YWCA E/NS board of directors.  

The organization’s transition committee has selected Koya Partners, an executive search firm with an exclusive focus on recruiting CEOs and senior leaders to mission-driven roles, to support this effort. Over the next several weeks, Koya will be developing the position description in partnership with the committee.

Persons wishing to nominate a potential candidate for the CEO role, can contact the Koya team at ywcaensceo@koyapartners.com.  

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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