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Leslie Mead named CDF Executive Director

Washington, DC (February 25, 2014) – The Cooperative Development Foundation’s (CDF) board of directors today named Leslie S. Mead executive director of the foundation.

Mead has 30 year of experience with cooperative organizations, most recently serving as president of The Cooperative Foundation, a private foundation based in St. Paul, MN.  Through her leadership, The Cooperative Foundation was an early supporter in the emerging worker cooperative field.  The Cooperative Foundation is also the primary funder of the National Cooperative Education Inventory and Needs Assessment being conducted by Southern New Hampshire University.

“Leslie’s experience with foundations, nonprofit boards and the cooperative community is a perfect match for the needs of the Cooperative Development Foundation,” said CDF Board Chair Gap Kovach. “We are very fortunate to have someone with her experience and skill set to lead the work of CDF.”

Mead began her career with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, raising from assistant general counsel to the positions of vice president for legal, tax and accounting policy and vice president for education.  She also served as the executive administrator of the Association of Cooperative Educators, an international organization of cooperative educators and developers.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Drake University in Des Moines, IA and a Juris Doctor degree from Indiana University School of Law — Bloomington.  She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two sons.

The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation headquartered in Washington, DC.  CDF’s mission is to promote community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprises.  (

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