Cleveland Public Library welcomes new development director


The new director will drive strategic growth
and lead fundraising endeavors

Cleveland Public Library is pleased to announce Shirley A. Leonard as the new Sr. Director of Development at Cleveland Public Library.

“Cleveland Public Library is thrilled to welcome Shirley A. Leonard to the team,” said Dr. Shenise Johnson-Thomas, Chief of External Relations and Development at Cleveland Public Library. “Shirley’s extensive experience and deep understanding of philanthropy will be invaluable as we strive to enhance and expand our services to meet the evolving needs of our community.”

In this newly created position, Leonard will be responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive fundraising strategies including the creation of a major gifts campaign that will support the Library’s strategic plan.

The investment in building the fundraising capacity for the Cleveland Public Library Foundation was made possible by a generous gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.

Leonard has proven success in development, nonprofit leadership, and donor relations. Her accomplishments include a case for support for two initiatives worth millions of dollars at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), where she served as Associate Dean of Development and External Relations at the Weatherhead School of Management. Prior to CWRU, she was Senior Director of Development at Cleveland State University for the Monte Ahuja School of Business and Levin School of Urban Affairs, where she was instrumental in helping the University surpass the goal of $100 million in its first comprehensive funding campaign.

“Cleveland Public Library contains a wealth of knowledge and stories, and I look forward to mobilizing resources to empower this storied institution in its efforts to connect with the hearts and minds of Clevelanders for generations to come,” expressed Shirley A. Leonard, Sr. Director of Development at Cleveland Public Library.

The Highland Heights native earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Business Administration from Cleveland State University.

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