Brad Whitehead is President of the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of philanthropy in working to transform Northeast Ohio’s economy. Since its inception in 2004, the Fund has raised and deployed more than $70 million in grants. With more than 100 members, the Fund partners with leaders of the public, private, academic, and civic sectors in the areas of business growth & attraction, talent development, racial & economic inclusion, and government collaboration.
Whitehead oversees the Fund’s grant making, research and civic engagement. He was named the Fund’s first president in the fall of 2006. He led the start-up of the Fund while also working for The Cleveland Foundation. In July 2007, he assumed full-time responsibilities with the Fund and transitioned it into its own independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2010. Brad joined the Foundation in 2002 and was Program Director for Economic Development.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Brad was a Director (Senior Partner) at the international management consulting firm of McKinsey and Company, where he worked for 20 years. At McKinsey, Brad’s client work spanned a broad range of corporate strategy, operations, and organizational issues, but his major area of focus was in growth and new business building. Brad was a global leader of the firm’s Business Building Practice and prior to that he founded the firm’s Environment Practice. His clients included large corporations, smaller entrepreneurial firms and private equity and venture capital clients.
Brad led the start-up for several regional economic development intermediaries including BioEnterprise, JumpStart, Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO), the Minority Business Accelerator, and the Northeast Ohio Capital Fund (a regional philanthropic companion to the Ohio Capital Fund). He currently serves as a member of the Ohio Venture Capital Authority. He is the advisory board chair of CMSD Rows, a co-educational rowing club located that empowers young people in Cleveland Municipal District high schools to build strength, gain confidence, and pursue excellence through the unique sport of rowing.
A native of downstate Illinois, Brad graduated cum laude from Harvard College with an A.B. in Economics and he was a Harvard Scholar and a Hearst Foundation Scholar. Brad has a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In addition to McKinsey, Brad has worked for the National Westminster Bank, the National Science Foundation, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the Harvard Institute for International Development. While at the Kennedy School, Brad served as staff to Project 88, a bi-partisan federal initiative to introduce market-based instruments into environmental policy.
Brad has been a resident of Northeast Ohio since 1982, with interludes in Spain, Boston, Zaire, and Brazil. He and his wife Amy have four children. An avid rower, he is often found at dawn plying the Cuyahoga River. He is the current U.S. Rowing national champion sculler in his age category.