Flinn Foundation names Tammy McLeod new President and CEO

August 16, 2017

By Matt Ellsworth

Tammy McLeod

Following a national search, the Flinn Foundation board of directors has chosen one of Arizona’s most broadly accomplished executives and community leaders as its new president and chief executive officer.

Tammy McLeod, currently the vice president for energy resource management at Arizona Public Service, will succeed retiring President and CEO Jack B. Jewett. McLeod will begin her new position in October.

Over nearly 23 years at Arizona’s largest public utility, McLeod has held several positions with rapidly increasing operational responsibility, culminating in a role where she oversees three company divisions: Energy Marketing and Trading Operations, 20-Year Energy Resource Planning, and Utility-Owned Solar.

Meanwhile, McLeod is engaged in leadership across Arizona’s nonprofit community, presently serving on the boards of directors for such organizations as the Arizona Community Foundation; the Desert Botanical Garden (vice president); Expect More Arizona (chair); Greater Phoenix Economic Council (vice chair); and in an advisory capacity at the Kyl Center for Water Policy at the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University. Since 2013, she has also been a member of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, launched in 2002 by the Flinn Foundation to unite Arizona leaders in advancing the state’s bioscience sector.

“Robert and Irene Flinn established the Flinn Foundation from the conviction that it was not enough to exercise leadership in one’s narrow professional domain,” said Dr. David J. Gullen, chair of the foundation’s board of directors. “They felt called to serve Arizona in a deeper and longer-lasting way. One glance at Tammy’s distinguished record in corporate and nonprofit settings illustrates that she is supremely suited to extend Dr. and Mrs. Flinn’s legacy.”

Through mentorship to budding entrepreneurs, frequent public speaking and advocacy, and service on innumerable project leadership teams, McLeod has made the formation and strengthening of community a centerpiece of her professional and civic life. Earlier in her years at APS, she served as the company’s first chief customer officer, earning national accolades for new strategies to engage with customers and match company initiatives with economic-development needs in regions APS served, especially around entrepreneurship. She also refocused the APS Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, on customer and community needs.

Such priorities were forecast in McLeod’s MBA studies at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she concentrated on the creation of entrepreneurial ecosystems and placemaking. That emphasis aligns with the Flinn Foundation’s mission: improving the quality of life in Arizona, to benefit future generations.

“The Flinn Foundation’s four program areas embody a pragmatic but deeply optimistic strategic vision,” McLeod said. “A dynamic and globally competitive bioscience sector, a community rich in arts and culture, public universities with hubs of world-class undergraduate talent, a growing pool of effective state-level civic leaders—these are cornerstones of the Arizona that should be and can be.”

McLeod will assume leadership of the Flinn Foundation after a period of significant programmatic growth. During Jewett’s eight-year tenure as president and CEO, the foundation broadened its focus with the creation of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, renewed its commitment to the biosciences with new grant initiatives and an update of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, launched a grant program to support the financial and creative health of Arizona’s largest arts-and-culture organizations, and expanded the opportunities available through the Flinn Scholarship.

“The Flinn Foundation in the Jack Jewett years has demonstrated how carefully targeted philanthropy can have an outsized positive impact on the life of a state,” McLeod said. “I am honored to sustain this work, and, in partnership with the board, explore how we can become an even greater force for good.”

The foundation began the search for its new leader last winter, soon after Jewett publicly announced his plans to retire. An international executive search firm was retained and worked closely with a search committee comprised of members of the foundation’s board of directors, chaired by Gullen.

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment. It was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. The philanthropy supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, the Flinn Scholars Program, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.