BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Brian Payne, former president and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation and The Indianapolis Foundation, will join the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs as executive in residence.
Payne is a visionary leader in the field of community development and philanthropy. With a remarkable track record of transformative initiatives and a deep commitment to making a positive impact, Payne has dedicated his career to fostering social innovation, urban revitalization, and inclusive growth.
“Brian brings a wealth of experience and expertise to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders in public administration and environmental affairs,” said Siân Mooney, dean of the O’Neill School. “By sharing his insights, lessons learned, and innovative approaches to community engagement, he will undoubtedly contribute to shaping the future of public service and urban policy. He is an invaluable addition to the O'Neill School and an inspiration to aspiring changemakers.”
Since joining CICF in 2000, the foundation’s annual grantmaking has more than quadrupled to more than $95 million. Under Payne’s leadership, CICF has become a driving force in creating positive change in Central Indiana. The foundation actively works to address the region's most pressing issues by providing grants, support, and resources to nonprofit organizations and community initiatives.
Payne also is the founder and founding artistic director of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. The acclaimed urban bike and pedestrian path stands as a testament to Payne’s ability to envision and execute transformative projects. This trail has not only connected neighborhoods, cultural districts, and public spaces, but it has also stimulated economic development, promoted healthy living, and enhanced the overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
Payne is the founding board chair of The District Theatre, which is committed to helping incubate a Black professional resident theatre company for Indianapolis. He is the chair of the IUPUI Advisory Board and serves on the boards of Visit Indy, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. He recently concluded a two-year term as board chair of Forward Cities, a national organization committed to helping cities build inclusive economic growth.
The California native retired from the top spot at CICF June 30. He came to Indiana in 1993 as managing director of the Indiana Repertory Theater where he increased its endowment from $1 million to $11 million by 2000. He was named an Indiana Living Legend in 2016 by the Indiana Historical Society.