President and CEO, New York Urban League
Since April of 2009, Arva R. Rice has served as the President and CEO of the New York Urban League (NYUL), the 91-year-old civil rights organization devoted to surmounting the educational and economic obstacles faced by African-Americans and other under-served populations in the city.
With more than 15 years of nonprofit experience -- from helping entrepreneurs secure micro-loans to mentoring youth, she brings a wide range of expertise to the league in coalition building, strategic planning, fundraising and marketing.
Since joining NYUL, she has made significant strides in furthering the organization's mission -- that of enabling the league's constituents to gain first-class education, economic self-reliance and civil rights protection through programs, services and advocacy.
Rice has aligned an impressive string of successes in a relatively short period of time, including forging a partnership with music titan Mary J. Blige's Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN) that resulted in establishing the inaugural Girls Empowerment Day and a 4-year $50,000 scholarship for an outstanding college-bound young woman.
Under her leadership, the NYUL has also allied with Jordan Fundamentals, the nonprofit organization run by basketball great Michael Jordan, giving deserving students the opportunity to be trained as Team Jordan athletes through a 10-week sportsmanship program.
Rice is keenly aware of the legacy of the NYUL and has vowed to advocate on behalf of New Yorkers on issues of equality specifically related to education and employment. To guide her in her advocacy efforts, she has brought together senior executives from leading Fortune 500 companies such as the New York Daily News, AT&T New York, Morgan Stanley and Macy's.
Prior to joining the league, she served as Executive Director of Project Enterprise, a local nonprofit organization providing business loans, technical assistance and peer support to New York City entrepreneurs who lack adequate access to business lending. During her tenure, the agency, which is based upon the renowned Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, doubled its revolving loan fund as a result of increased funding from board giving, the development of an individual giving campaign and the addition of high-impact funders such as the Robin Hood, Tiger and eBay foundations.
Previously, she served as the founding Executive Director of Public Allies New York, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of nonprofit leaders. There she built a diverse base of foundation, government and individual funders to support the program.
Prior to Public Allies, Rice was Program Director of Economic Literacy for Girls Incorporated, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring girls to become strong, smart and bold. While at the organization, she forged a strategic alliance with American Express that brought about the publication of Money Matters: An Economic Literacy Action Kit for Girls.
A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and current resident of Harlem, Rice currently serves on the Advisory Board for FFAWN, outgoing Gov. David Paterson's Police-on-Police Shootings Task Force and as a Commissioner for the NYC Equal Employment Practices Commission.
A frequent speaker and published author, Rice is a recipient of The Network Journal's "Forty under 40" Black Achiever's Award, NV Magazine's Community Award and the National Urban League's Centennial Newcomer CEO of the Year Award.