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CFT Names Robert Kent as New Chief Philanthropy Officer

CFT Names Robert Kent as New Chief Philanthropy Officer

Successful Parks Advocate Joins CFT to Further Expand Community Impact

After an extensive four-month search, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation, is pleased to announce the selection of Robert Kent as Chief Philanthropy Officer and executive leadership team member. Kent will join CFT on June 17 and will lead CFT’s Philanthropy Department of grantmaking experts, providing strategic vision in aligning CFT’s mission with responsive outcomes that positively impact the community.

“Robert Kent is a strong advocate for North Texas and has extensive community knowledge and advocacy experience,” said Communities Foundation of Texas President and CEO Wayne White. “Robert’s experience locally, regionally, and across the state in collaborating with stakeholders, donors, and elected leaders, as well as his deep understanding of issues facing neighborhoods made him an exceptional candidate for this role.”

Kent expressed excitement for the new opportunity to improve the quality of life for residents across Dallas and Texas through this leadership role.

“Communities Foundation of Texas is an exceptional organization with a strong track record for helping Texas become a more healthy, equitable, and livable state where all communities can thrive,” said Kent. “I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to put my skills and experience into service for the organization and the communities it serves.”

Kent spent the last decade of his career with Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit with its Texas headquarters here in Dallas that works to make the health, climate, equity, and community benefits of parks and nature accessible to all. He most recently served as Associate Vice President and Texas State Director, a position he’s held since 2019. During that time, he led the organization’s work to acquire over 400 acres of land for new parks in Dallas, help pass two bond packages providing over $655 million for parks and trails, develop an open space plan for City of Fort Worth, transform vacant lots and public schoolyards for use as neighborhood parks, and connect community members, stakeholders, and donors to realize a shared vision for parks and public spaces that benefit all.

CFT has a long history of supporting TPL, with the most recent grants being for the development of the 1.8-acre South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park and Trail near South Oak Cliff High School, and the creation of the 40-acre Judge Charles Rose, Sr. Park near Paul Quinn College. These two projects align with CFT’s vision of a thriving community, as access to green space can improve quality of life.

During the past decade at TPL under Kent’s leadership, the percentage of Dallas residents served by a park within a 10-minute walk of home increased from 54 to 73 percent. TPL enjoyed numerous successes in the conservation space, including the preservation of the 300-acre Big Cedar Wilderness in southwest Dallas, leading the effort of the Dallas Greening Initiative, and executing on a plan to finally realize the 80-year-old vision of the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt, a network of 17 miles of new trails connecting three signature parks in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood.

Prior to working for TPL, Kent served as the Policy Director for the North Texas Commission. Robert received his BA from Baylor University, where he studied economics and environmental science, and his MSc. from the University of Glasgow, where he studied international economic development. Born and raised in Dallas, he and his family live in Dallas near their favorite park, Arapaho Park.

“Robert has the right experience to lead CFT during an exciting time for our organization as we seek to further leverage our philanthropic convening power and expand our community impact,” said White.

Robert Kent will be the fourth executive to join CFT’s expanded executive leadership team under president/CEO Wayne White’s tenure. Recent additions since Wayne joined CFT in July 2023 include the hiring of Calvert Collins-Bratton as Chief Relationships Officer, the promotion of Carolyn Newham as General Counsel, and the promotion of Nadine Dechausay as Chief Strategy & Insights Officer.

Wayne White
Wayne White
President & CEO

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