WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.–()–The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation today announced Shaheen Kassim-Lakha’s appointment as director of strategic partnerships, effective July 1, 2019. She will report to Marshall Stowell, vice president for communications.

Kassim-Lakha will lead the development and implementation of external engagements, including collaborations with peer funders and national and international partners to unlock resources and shift policies that enable the Hilton Foundation to multiply its impact. This is a new role within the organization and one that puts a priority on operationalizing its philanthropic approach to create strategies and relationships that help advance its goals.

“Shaheen is an ideal leader for this work given her depth of knowledge, networks, skills and experience,” said Marshall Stowell. “She is a highly strategic thinker and an extremely thoughtful practitioner. Shaheen has a remarkable ability to build partnerships and forge beneficial alliances with a cross-section of entities, including other foundations, corporations, think tanks, development and global philanthropic organizations. Anchored internally with the communications team and partnered with the program team, Shaheen will play a pivotal role in advancing the foundation’s influence agenda toward collective impact globally.”

A significant part of Kassim-Lakha’s role will be working to leverage the Hilton Foundation’s resources, flexibility, solutions focus and abilities in partnership with other organizations and entities to address large-scale problems. One immediate area of focus for Kassim-Lakha is using the foundation’s power of convening, starting first with humanitarian issues and action in Los Angeles. Branching out from the Foundation’s home city, Kassim-Lakha will look to curate, share and transfer knowledge, find opportunities to leverage knowledge, skills and efforts, and work in partnership toward shared goals.

“After many years of deep work in the international arena, I am eager to put what I have learned about how to advance our philanthropic efforts to new use,” said Kassim-Lakha. “There are so many learnings that come from within the community and expanding outward. Whether working across other organizations and regions, as well as within our own, I see great power for sharing and transferring knowledge, for making space so community need and voice can be communicated, and for braiding resources and people with the end goal of positive systemic outcomes. This is a wonderful opportunity to work at a new angle for people whose lives I care about deeply.”

Kassim-Lakha joined the Hilton Foundation in 2007. She developed and led the Foundation’s international portfolio focused on safe water access, disaster relief and recovery, avoidable blindness, and children affected by HIV and AIDS. Her previous positions include senior program officer at UniHealth Foundation, manager for community benefit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Environmental Epidemiologist at the City of Toronto. Kassim-Lakha completed the doctoral program in health services at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health, where her research focused on measuring results and developing an evaluation approach for healthcare philanthropy. Following her Master of Public Health from UCLA she pursued a career in international development and environmental epidemiology, developing and promoting community-based health initiatives. She has served as a consultant to foundations and donor organizations, civil society organizations, regional health systems development, program evaluation, and health policy research.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help individuals throughout the world living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage. The Foundation invests in 11 program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.7 billion in grants, distributing $112.5 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2018. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.8 billion. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.


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