Eileen Ellsworth
2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree – Eileen Ellsworth

Each year, the Volunteer Fairfax Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who, over the course of at least 15 years, has made significant contributions to Fairfax County through extraordinary service to the community. This year, the Volunteer Service Awards Selection Committee has selected Eileen Ellsworth for her community impact and Regional leadership as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (CFNOVA).

For 18 years, Eileen led CFNOVA and took the organization to new heights before retiring at the end of 2023. CFNOVA is known for advancing social and economic mobility, racial justice and equity, inclusive systems of economic growth, and community resilience. While at the helm, Eileen created the following new programs and initiatives:

  • Permanent Fund for Northern Virginia;
  • Shape of Region, an annual conference that the Community Foundation hosts in partnership with numerous local anchor institutions that discusses some of the mega shifts and trends across Northern Virginia;
  • Count the Region – an initiative to get out the count for the 2020 Decennial Census;
  • Insight Region – the Community Foundation’s Center for Research;
  • Launched many Discretionary Grantmaking Funds, including the Community Investment Funds (2006), Health Kids Grants (2011), Loudoun Impact Fund and Business Women’s Giving Circle (2014), the Innovation Fund (2013);
  • Launched the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia (2020); and
  • Launched Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund for Northern Virginia (2021)

During Eileen’s term, CFNOVA awarded over $90MM in grants and scholarships to needy organizations and individuals in NOVA. Due to Eileen’s leadership, CFNOVA is now known for engaging in most of the important social and civic ventures in the region.