WASHINGTON (March 23, 2017)—The National Geographic Society today announced the appointment of Leora Hanser to the new role of Senior Vice President, Partnerships. In this capacity, Hanser will be responsible for building alliances with individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to increase and diversify funding for the nonprofit National Geographic Society. She will report to Gary E. Knell, the Society’s president and chief executive officer, and will be a member of the organization’s senior leadership team.
Most recently, Hanser served as chief of staff in the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships for the City of New York. In this capacity, she led and coordinated private sector engagement and philanthropic activities across 75 city agencies and 12 city-affiliated nonprofit organizations in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. She also oversaw and advised city-affiliated nonprofits, driving fundraising and engaging with boards of directors.
In addition, her responsibilities included identifying and crafting partnerships between major corporations, foundations and individual philanthropists for public-private initiatives. By establishing and cultivating key relationships with diverse partners, including Unilever, Inc.; Scholastic, Inc.; the U.S. Soccer Foundation; the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and more, she helped secure tens of millions of dollars in support of a variety of community-based initiatives in New York City.
Prior to joining the de Blasio administration, Hanser was interim chief executive officer for the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) in the United Kingdom. She also worked as director of campaigns and advocacy at Save the Children UK, where she spearheaded global advocacy efforts and mobilized resources to support the organization’s newborn and child survival initiatives. She also served as director of development and external affairs at the Hansard Society, one of the U.K.’s foremost political and research nonprofits.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the National Geographic Society,” said Hanser. “I look forward to supporting the Society’s mission to inspire and educate while working with the senior team to lead National Geographic into a new phase of growth by fostering new alliances and partnerships.”
Hanser began her career in politics and advocacy, working for the office of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, the New York League of Conservation Voters and local political campaigns.
She received an A.B. in political science from Barnard College, Columbia University, and later a M.S. in Social Policy Research from the London School of Economics and Political Science.