The Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego announced Thursday that philanthropy professional Charlene Seidle will become president and CEO of the large grantmaking organization in January.

Seidle succeeds Marjory Kaplan, who is retiring after 20 years in the position. Under Kaplan’s leadership, the foundation came to be regarded as a model for nonprofit governance.

Charlene Seidle, incoming president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

The foundation is the largest grantmaking organization in the San Diego region with over $100 million granted during the last fiscal year and nearly $1 billion since its inception in 1967.

It is the second major San Diego foundation to announce a leadership transition this summer. Last month the San Diego Foundation named Kathlyn Mead its new president.

Seidle, who is currently executive vice president at the Leichtag Foundation in Encinitas, previously worked at the Jewish Community Foundation.

She was recently honored with the prestigious J.J. Greenberg Award, an international prize that recognizes foundation professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the field of Jewish philanthropy

“Charlene is exceptionally qualified to carry on the important work of the Jewish Community Foundation,” said Jane Scher, chair of the foundation’s board. “She reflects the best of our commitment to trust, competence and high quality service to the community.

“Charlene has demonstrated success in so many areas of philanthropy, has a tremendous track record for innovation, and is the ideal person to lead the foundation.”

Seidle was chosen following a nationwide search than began in the spring after Kaplan announced her plans to retire.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.