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Lee Pelton, Emerson president, will be Boston Foundation’s next CEO

“It’s not a job. It’s a calling.”

David L. Ryan
Lee Pelton has led Emerson College since 2011. –David L. Ryan/ Globe Staff

The Boston Foundation announced Tuesday that Lee Pelton, currently president of Emerson College, will take the reins as its president and chief executive officer in June, becoming the leader of the philanthropic powerhouse at a time when a pandemic, recession, and movement for social justice have exposed tremendous need across the region.

The foundation’s search for a new chief executive began earlier this year, after outgoing president and CEO Paul Grogan said he would be stepping down after leading the organization for nearly 20 years.

A scholar and civic leader lauded in Boston and beyond, Pelton is energized by the work ahead: “It’s not a job. It’s a calling,” he said in an interview. “I am both grateful and humbled to lead a remarkable institution like The Boston Foundation. This is a remarkable culminating opportunity to bring together the elements of work I have done throughout my career.”

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