Thomasina “Tomi” Hiers Named Vice President for Civic Sites and Community Change

Posted January 10, 2019
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Thomasina "Tomi" Hiers

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion today announced that Thomasi­na Tomi” Hiers, a vet­er­an gov­ern­ment, non­prof­it and phil­an­thropic leader, has been named vice pres­i­dent of its Cen­ter for Civic Sites and Com­mu­ni­ty Change effec­tive Jan. 14.

The cen­ter advances com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment strate­gies to improve the lives of chil­dren and fam­i­lies in Bal­ti­more, where Casey is based; in Atlanta, where the Foun­da­tion also has an office; and in oth­er cities across the country.

Hiers has been the direc­tor of the nation­al Foundation’s work since 2016. Under her lead­er­ship, Casey launched a major ini­tia­tive to cre­ate more oppor­tu­ni­ties for the city’s youth and young adults, devel­oped in response to the unrest in Bal­ti­more that fol­lowed the death of Fred­die Gray, which high­light­ed the con­sid­er­able obsta­cles to suc­cess that young peo­ple face. This has includ­ed direct­ing invest­ments to recon­nect youth with school and pos­i­tive, car­ing rela­tion­ships with adults; work­ing with the Mayor’s Office of Employ­ment Devel­op­ment to bet­ter serve young peo­ple; and build­ing stronger rela­tion­ships with employ­ers to allow for more sec­tor-spe­cif­ic pro­grams and on-the-job learn­ing opportunities.

The efforts of Hiers and her team also con­tributed to near­ly dou­bling the num­ber of sum­mer jobs avail­able for young peo­ple through the city’s Youth­Works pro­gram and to launch­ing Grads2Careers, a city project to help high school grad­u­ates secure jobs and build careers and to strength­en con­nec­tions between gov­ern­ment work­force and edu­ca­tion agencies.

Tomi Hiers is a proven leader, and I am con­fi­dent that the insight, sound judg­ment and thought­ful, results-focused lead­er­ship she has demon­strat­ed through our work in Bal­ti­more will car­ry over into her new role — and take our com­mu­ni­ty strate­gies and invest­ments to new lev­els,” said Casey Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent and CEO Lisa Hamil­ton.

Hiers brings exten­sive exper­tise in human ser­vices, employ­ment and train­ing, crim­i­nal jus­tice and com­mu­ni­ty-based pro­grams and ser­vices. She pre­vi­ous­ly served as exec­u­tive direc­tor of Baltimore’s Promise, a mul­ti­sec­tor effort focused on city youth; as deputy sec­re­tary of pro­grams at the Mary­land Depart­ment of Human Resources; and as deputy chief of staff and direc­tor of the Office of Human Ser­vices for for­mer Bal­ti­more May­or Stephanie Rawl­ings-Blake. Hiers also held var­i­ous lead­er­ship posi­tions at the Mary­land Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safe­ty and Cor­rec­tion­al Services.

We must ensure young people’s des­tinies are not pre­de­ter­mined or defined by where they live or by their race or eth­nic­i­ty,” Hiers said. It is urgent work, and I look for­ward to lead­ing the Foundation’s invest­ments in Bal­ti­more, Atlanta and cities nationwide.”

Hiers grew up in East Bal­ti­more and serves on numer­ous boards in the city as well as the Com­mu­ni­ty Invest­ment Coun­cil of the Fed­er­al Reserve Bank of Rich­mond, whose dis­trict includes Bal­ti­more. She replaces Ryan Chao, who is leav­ing the Foun­da­tion Jan. 11 to become pres­i­dent of the Rails-to-Trails Con­ser­van­cy, a Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based nonprofit.

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