Central Indiana Community Foundation Expands Leadership Team

Foundation Welcomes Jeff Bennett as the Chief Innovation Officer

Jeff Bennett at CICF

Jeff Bennett

Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) announced today that Jeff Bennett has been named the chief innovation officer for the organization. He will lead and drive innovative strategies within the CICF philanthropic collaborative.

Bennett will be pivotal in identifying and implementing innovative solutions, fostering collaborations and leveraging emerging technologies to enhance the organization’s impact and effectiveness. He will focus on developing new partnerships and expanding the current role and regional impact of CICF to a national leader in philanthropy.

“Jeff’s leadership will be an invaluable asset to the organization and our mission,” said Jennifer Bartenbach, CEO of CICF. “With his guidance and expertise, CICF is set to deepen our understanding of how to better foster community-driven change through our centers of innovation and excellence.”

Bennett most recently served as the senior policy advisor to Mayor Joe Hogsett and deputy mayor for community development. Prior to that he spent three years as director of real estate services for IFF, two terms as a Warren Township Trustee and six years serving Mayor Bart Peterson in various roles. He began his career with Indiana Landmarks.

Collaboration and innovation have been common threads throughout Bennett’s 25-year career in civic, not-for-profit, community development and government leadership roles. Much of his work has centered on the people, issues and organizations that intersect with CICF’s mission to provide equitable opportunity for all to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity. He has served as the City of Indianapolis’ leader in areas including neighborhood development, affordable housing, homelessness and human services. In 2006, he directed the successful effort to revise state law and created Indiana’s first municipal land bank. This work laid a foundation for the Indianapolis Community Land Trust. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he rallied partners to devise, launch and operate the Indianapolis rental assistance program. Three years later, IndyRent has provided nearly $200 million in assistance and could be the template for a permanent program.

“For more than 25 years, CICF has had a profound impact on our community, strengthening the civic, corporate and philanthropic collaboration that makes the Central Indiana region unique,” said Bennett. “I’m honored and humbled to join an organization I’ve long admired, to deepen the relationships built throughout my career and move forward our critical work to build a more equitable, inclusive community.”

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