ACT names new president and CEO

ACT names new president and CEO
Heather Peeler. (Courtesy photo)

Local nonprofit ACT for Alexandria has named its new leader.

Heather Peeler, who has a long track record in the nonprofit world, succeeds John Porter, who announced his retirement in October. Peeler will begin the new position on Feb. 5.

Peeler now acts as vice president of member and partner engagement at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, a D.C.-based organization that supports philanthropy and nonprofits. Through her position, she used a national network of more than 5,000 grantmakers in adopting practices to make the greatest impact on nonprofit performance, according to a news release from ACT. 

Peeler previously served as chief strategy officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service and as managing director of Community Wealth Partners. 

She also serves as board chair of Fair Chance, an organization that works to expand the capacity of grassroots organizations that serve youth populations, and as a commissioner on the D.C.-based Commission on Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes. 

Peeler is a graduate of Wellesley College and The Anderson School at UCLA in Los Angeles, where she earned an MBA. 

ACT Board Chair Lauren Stack said Peeler will be an effective leader and will build on the foundation that Porter created over his years in the position. 

“The ACT Board of Directors unanimously reached this decision following an extensive search process. We are fortunate to have such a strategic thinker and recognized leader in philanthropy stepping up to succeed John Porter as head of our organization. We look forward to working with her as we continue to build on the strong foundation John built during his tenure and to make our city an even kinder place to live, learn, work and play,” Stack said in a statement.

Peeler praised Porter’s leadership and said she looks forward to working with community leaders to strengthen ACT and Alexandria. 

“The work of an organization like ACT has never been more important in terms of bringing people together to address our community’s most critical needs. I am inspired by the example of John Porter’s leadership, which allowed ACT to grow from an idea into the catalytic organization it is today,” Peeler said in a statement. “I look forward to building on that reputation and to working with donors, civic leaders and community partners to further strengthen ACT’s impact and to ensure Alexandria is a strong, vibrant partner for all.”