Rahsaan Harris
Rahsaan Harris
President and CEO
Emma L. Bowen Foundation

Session: Ask Me Anything: Lunch with an Executive
Dr. Rahsaan Harris is the President and CEO of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the nation’s leader in creating career opportunities for people of color within the media industry. The Emma Bowen Foundation, together with its 41 corporate sponsors from leading media outlets around the world, develop and manage programs that focus on scholastic

achievement, direct work experience and professional development for students of color students. Approximately 700 students have completed the Emma Bowen’s programs and many have pursued careers in the media industry.

Dr. Harris has more than 15 years of direct experience working in philanthropy and nonprofits. Dr. Harris received his doctorate in Public and Urban Policy from the New School, where his dissertation was on understanding how socio-economic diversity in the African-American community affects their philanthropic interests. He also holds master’s degrees in Management and High School Science Education from New York University and Columbia, respectively, and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.

Rahsaan Harris, Ph.D. has over 15 years of experience working in philanthropy and nonprofits. His experience also includes teaching high school and serving as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. Dr. Harris’ expertise is in organizational assessment, diversity and teaching. He has strong facilitation, grant- making, and fund-raising skills and is fluent in Spanish.

Dr. Rahsaan Harris is the President and CEO of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the nation’s leader in creating career opportunities for people of color within the media industry. The Emma Bowen Foundation, together with its 41 corporate sponsors from leading media outlets around the world, develop and manage programs that focus on scholastic achievement, direct work experience and professional development for students of color students. Approximately 700 students have completed the Emma Bowen’s programs and many have pursued careers in the media industry.

Most recently, Dr. Harris was the Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), a national network of foundation professionals and other change makers who strive for excellence in the practice of philanthropy. He led an inclusive group of over 700 highly skilled and effective change makers committed to working together to build a just, equitable, and sustainable society. The Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are among EPIP’s over 40 member institutions.

From 2003 until December 2010, Dr. Harris worked as a fellow and Program Executive at The Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation with assets over $3 billion. At Atlantic, he led diversity and racial equity initiatives and worked across Atlantic’s Aging, Children & Youth and Reconciliation & Human Rights programs in the U.S., with an explicit focus on integrating social justice principles into grant-making. He managed such initiatives as the foundation’s philanthropic response to the Haitian Earthquake and oversaw annual grants of $2 million to promote social justice outcomes for youth and older adults in Bermuda.

Before joining Atlantic, Dr. Harris served as the Executive Director of Playing2Win, one of the country’s first public access technology learning centers to be established in an inner-city, low-income area. During his career, he has worked as an educator, helping both youth and adults develop skills that allow them to create better opportunities for themselves. Prior to Playing2Win, Dr. Harris received a fellowship from the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation to work with HarlemLive (www.harlemlive.org), a web-based publication run by Harlem teens. The focus of his fellowship was to create and implement a plan for the organization’s growth and sustainability. Before HarlemLive, he taught science in New York City public schools between 1997 and 2000 and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uruguay from 1995 to 1997.

Dr. Harris received his doctorate in Public and Urban Policy from the New School, where his dissertation was on understanding how socio-economic diversity in the African-American community affects their philanthropic interests. He also holds master’s degrees in Management and High School Science Education from New York University and Columbia, respectively, and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.

He is also an active volunteer in his community. He is Board Chair Emeritus of FC Harlem, Home of Harlem Youth Soccer, and is a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor. He is a class agent for Princeton University’s Annual Giving campaign.