Former Councilman Wood tapped to run Providence Foundation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence City Councilman Cliff Wood has been hired as the new executive director of the Providence Foundation, the foundation announced Thursday.

Wood, a Democrat who served one term representing Ward 2 on the council between 2006 and 20010, will replace Dan Baudouin, who is retiring after a long tenure leading the foundation. The foundation’s executive committee selected Wood following a national search.

“We are excited about Cliff’s appointment as executive director and enthusiastic about his ability to lead this important organization forward into the next chapter,” Ned Handy, the chairman of the foundation, said in a statement. “Cliff’s varied experience in building strong and vibrant communities, his vision for Providence and his ability to drive big ideas to the finish line will serve the foundation well.”

Wood is well-respected by city officials and downtown business owners. He earned his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York – Albany and a master’s degree from Clark University. He served as a deputy chief of policy under former Mayor David Cicilline and as the city’s first director of the Office of Arts, Culture and Tourism prior to being elected to the City Council.

“I am thankful to the search committee for this opportunity and eager to begin as the executive director for an organization that has a legacy of building partnerships to accomplish positive and measurable change for Providence and the downtown,” Wood said in a statement. “Creating a strong core for our capital city by building an attractive place both for business and community, readies Providence for growth and economic opportunity.”

Founded in 1974, the Providence Foundation mission is to act as a “catalyst for public and private development in downtown,” according to its incorporation filings with the R.I. secretary of state’s office. The 501(c)3 nonprofit reported $946,000 in revenue and $1.1 million in expenses in 2014, according to its IRS Form 990.

Records show Baudouin earned a salary of $169,590 and $17,973 in other compensation in 2014. Wood, who led the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy that functions as an arm of the foundation, earned a salary of $104,877 and $14,006 in other compensation.

Baudouin will remain with the foundation through the end of July as Wood transitions to the director’s position.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan