Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Announces Mendi Blue Paca as Its Next President and CEO

Sep 13, 2022

(Norwalk, CT) Sept. 13, 2022 — Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) today announced the promotion of Mendi Blue Paca to president and CEO.

Blue Paca, currently the Foundation’s chief community impact officer, will begin her new role on Oct. 3 and will advance the Foundation’s important work in partnering with the community to ensure every person in Fairfield County has an equitable opportunity to thrive.

“Mendi is a dynamic and thoughtful leader who is ideally suited to lead the Foundation into its next chapter,” said Edwin L. Ford, chair of the board of directors for the FCCF. “As we searched for the Foundation’s next chief executive, Mendi stood out for her unique combination of experience and passion — as well as her deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our community. We are excited to make this announcement and begin working together to serve Fairfield County.”

Since 2018, Blue Paca has led the Foundation’s grant-making programs, policy advocacy and major community leadership initiatives to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County. She has earned a reputation as a strong partner who works closely with nonprofits, funder partners, external constituent groups and local elected officials on important community issues.

During her time with the Foundation, she has overseen its Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Fund for Women & Girls, Immigrant Success Fund and Thrive by 25 initiatives, and she has worked closely with retiring President and CEO Juanita T. James, the Foundation’s staff and its board to refine FCCF’s strategy and prepare to carry its work into a new era.

“It’s an immense honor to lead the Foundation during an important and evolutionary time in our history,” Blue Paca said. “I am proud of and humbled by the role the Foundation serves in our community today and energized by the prospect of being an even greater catalyst for equity moving forward. I am excited to continue to strengthen our community partnerships as we support those who are working every day to create a region where every individual has opportunity and access.”

Blue Paca’s work with the FCCF builds on her rich experience working in business, government and philanthropy. She began her career as a registered broker and compliance officer at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York. She also served in public-sector and other philanthropic leadership positions, where she secured more than $15 million in competitive funding. She has served as a strategic consultant to dozens of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Blue Paca holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College, a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. She is board chair of Partners for Educational Leadership and a board member of Harvard Business School Community Partners of CT.

Blue Paca will succeed James, who in March announced that she would retire from her role after leading the foundation for the past 11 years.

During that time, the Community Foundation has granted $204 million and formed an array of powerful partnerships, collaborations and initiatives, including the Fairfield County Community Wellbeing index and the Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity.

“I am thrilled by the board’s choice to lead our foundation as it carries forward our important work,” James said. “Mendi is a true community champion who will build on our nearly 30 years of serving Fairfield County by working closely with nonprofits, grassroots organizations, partners and donors.”

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is partnering with our community to create a county where every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive. We work closely with community organizations, nonprofits, businesses and philanthropists to address challenges and identify opportunities to create a stronger, more vibrant community. Informed by three decades of partnering with and serving our community, we have awarded more than $365 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond.