Most of you know how much CIVIC Leadership Institute means to me.  In fact, it’s the first organization I worked for when I moved to the United States.  I’ve served in many different capacities at CIVIC and I’m incredibly proud to have played a role in the growth and development of this wonderful organization.  Thus, it’s with mixed emotions that I’m writing today to share that this week I let our board know I will be leaving CIVIC in February to take on a new role, as Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships with Old Dominion University.

This decision wasn’t made lightly and although I’m incredibly excited about this new opportunity, I’m leaving an organization (and its meaningful work) that I love.  I’ve had the privilege to work with an innovative and supportive Board of Directors, and I’m inspired every day by CIVIC’s talented team.  I’m also sincerely motivated by you—our region’s leadership.  The dedicated work and commitment that each of you make to our community is inspiring.  Hampton Roads’ “secret sauce” is its leadership – leaders like you – ready and willing to drive change and advance our region.  That’s been the secret to CIVIC’s success as well.  You engaged yourselves in our work.  You dedicated your talents and expertise to help us fulfill our mission.  You stepped up to serve our region on projects such as the Recovery and Resilience Action Framework.  Our organization is perfectly positioned to contribute to the economic success of the region by providing an intentionally built talent pipeline of thought leadership. 

As for me, please know I’m not going far and will always be a part of this organization.  Our Board of Directors is in the process of identifying an interim President and CEO and will soon launch a search for the future President & CEO.  I’m committed to helping with that search as well as ensuring a smooth transition.  Thank you sincerely for your continued support, partnership, and friendship.  I look forward to working with many of you in my new role, and I’m excited to remain engaged with CIVIC as a donor and a volunteer.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for CIVIC and this amazing region that we call home.


Sarah Jane Kirkland

President & CEO

CIVIC Leadership Institute