Geoffrey Canada, the chief executive officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone, an education-focused anti-poverty program in New York City, announced last week that he would be stepping down later this year.
Anne Williams-Isom, currently the chief operating officer, will take over the job July 1. Ms. Williams-Isom has been the chief operating officer since 2009.
Mr. Canada announced his resignation from the top spot after 31 years at the organization, addressing a group gathered in a school gym in Harlem.
“This is the only person who I have found in 10 years that I actually think could do this job better than me,” said Mr. Canada, in a video released by the Harlem Children’s Zone. The pair’s working partnership will continue, though, as Mr. Canada said that he would stay on as president of the board.
Harlem Children’s Zone was founded in 1970. Mr. Canada, 62, has served as its CEO since 1990. He spearheaded the launch of an initiative called the Harlem Children’s Zone Project in 1997, in which he focused on 97 blocks in Harlem to try to work with the entire community to provide support to people of all ages, through pregnancy and parenting classes, academic support, after-school programs, and college counseling.
The Harlem Children’s Zone also reached a national stage when President Barack Obama modeled his national Promise Neighborhoods program after the project.
A version of this article appeared in the February 19, 2014 edition of Education Week as Geoffrey Canada Stepping Down as Harlem Children’s Zone CEO