Aspen Institute Philanthropy Program Names Thomas J. Billitteri as Communications Director

April 27, 2007  • Institute Contributor

Aspen Institute Philanthropy Program Names Thomas J. Billitteri as Communications Director

WASHINGTON— Thomas J. Billitteri, a veteran journalist and former news editor for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, has been named to the new position of director of communications for the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program.

Billitteri will direct the program’s strategic communications, oversee expansion of its online and published resources, and help lead the Program’s outreach to nonprofit professionals, scholars, media representatives, and policy makers.

“We are thrilled to have Tom Billitteri join our staff,” said Alan J. Abramson, director of the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program.  “With Tom on board, we will be able to expand our outreach to policymakers, journalists, and other leaders at a time when they are paying much greater attention to nonprofit issues.”

Billitteri has more than 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and independent journalist. He covered business and economics for the Dallas Times Herald and Florida Trend, the nation’s oldest regional business magazine, where he also served as managing editor. In addition, he wrote on the intersection of religion with policy and culture for the St. Petersburg Times and served as news editor and managing editor of Religion News Service, owned by Newhouse News Service in Washington.

As a staff member of The Chronicle of Philanthropy between 1997 and 2004, Billitteri covered a wide range of issues affecting the nonprofit world. As a senior reporter he wrote on tax, legal, and financial matters, including donor-advised funds, the estate tax, endowments, and venture philanthropy. As co-news editor Billitteri helped to direct the work of Chronicle reporters and edited the work of opinion-page columnists.

In 2005 the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector Research Fund commissioned Billitteri to research and write a working paper on the history, theory, policy and practice of private-foundation payout. The paper, “Money, Mission, and the Payout Rule: In Search of a Strategic Approach to Founding Spending,” is available at Billitteri also has written on corporate pay practices and other policy issues for the Congressional Quarterly Researcher, and he is the author of two books for the young-adult market, on juvenile rights and alternative medicine.

Billitteri holds a master’s degree in journalism and bachelor’s degree in English, both from Indiana University in Bloomington.

The Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program seeks to improve the operation of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy through research and dialogue focused on public policy, management, and other important issues affecting the nonprofit sector.
The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership programs in Africa, Central America and India.

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