Press Release: YA Board Chair Tanuja Dehne is Appointed the New President & CEO of The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation


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Denyce Mylson

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Young Audiences Arts for Learning Board Chair Tanuja Dehne is Appointed the New

President & CEO of The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Princeton, NJ August 7, 2019;—Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ and Eastern PA (YA), the premire arts education organization in the region, is proud to announce that YA Board Chair Tanuja Dehne has been appointed the new President & CEO of The Geraldine R. Dodge Foudantion in Morristown, NJ. The Dodge Foundation, a private foundation established in 1974, supports arts, education, environment, informed communities, and poetry to connect communities and influence social change to achieve an equitable New Jersey.

Tanuja Dehne, Former YA Board Chair and the New President & CEO of The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

As Tanuja takes on her new role at the Dodge Foundation, she will step down from the YA Board where she served since 2011. Steve Runk, current YA Board of Trustees Vice Chair and Director of Communications at Princeton University’s Lewis Center, will step into the the role as Board Chair during this leadership transition.

“The Dodge Foundation made an excellent choice in selecting Tanuja as their new president–now all of New Jersey will benefit from Tanuja’s skilled leadership and vision that we saw firsthand at Young Audiences,” shared Steve Runk. “While YA will miss her greatly, I am honored to step into Tanuja’s role of Board Chair for Young Audiences. Tanuja’s leadership through our recent strategic planning process has set the stage for Young Audiences to consider our impact on children’s learning and on school communities in new and robust ways. Her vision and support around YA’s work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access have been transformative. We’re at an exciting point in our evolution as an organization, and we thank Tanuja for the role she played in getting YA to where we are today.”

Tanuja joined the YA Board in 2011 while serving as a C-level executive at NRG Energy, Inc., a Fortune 250 power company.During her time at YA, she played a key role in connecting YA with NRG Energy, Inc., especially with the creation of the NRG Creatively Green Festivals supporting NJ and Eastern PA schools, and then expanding nationally to other YA affiliates across the country.

In 2013 Tanuja was elected as a YA Board Vice Chair, a role she held for 5 years. During this time, she led the Development Committee and oversaw the launch of the 45th Anniversary

Campaign that raised over $450,000. As Board Chair, Tanuja lead the organization through significant initiatives including the creation of a refreshed logo, the development of a 3-year action plan around the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the development of the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.

“It has been a joy and an honor serving on the Board of Trustees of Young Audiences,” Tanuja Dehne shared.  “I have learned so much about what a productive, open-minded and collegial organization can accomplish when working towards a shared mission and vision. It was through my board service at Young Audiences that I was introduced to the Dodge Foundation, and I am thrilled to be embarking on this new adventure to advance Dodge’s vision of an equitable New Jersey.”

Michele Russo, YA President & CEO expressed, “I couldn’t be more thrilled at the Dodge Foundation’s selection of Tanuja as their next President and CEO. As a longtime grantee of Dodge, Young Audiences has seen firsthand the incredible impact of their grantmaking and work in arts education.  Tanuja’s leadership holds promise for greater impact and a strong path forward as Dodge embraces their new strategic vision.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to have Tanuja as Young Audiences’ Board Chair-we are very grateful for her service.  I look forward to working with Steve Runk in his new role as Board Chair. Steve’s deep understanding of the arts environment gained during his years at the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and his passionate commitment to education are valuable assets for Young Audiences.”


About Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA is the premier arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey and the 7 easternmost counties of Pennsylvania. Young Audiences’ extensive professional artist roster represents all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language and visual arts. Since its founding, the organization has reached over 15 million children with essential arts education experiences.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. YA’s programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.

Young Audiences is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @YAAFLORG.