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Independent Sector losing chief

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Sara Melendez has resigned as president of Independent Sector after leading the membership and advocacy group for nonprofits for eight years.

Melendez, who will serve through the end of the year, will become a professor of nonprofit management at the School of Business and Pulbic Management at George Washington University.

She also will conduct research on strengthening governance and resource development operations of nonprofit groups, focusing initially on Boricua College and the National Puerto Rican Forum in New York City.

Independent Sector will form a search committee by mid-August, says John Seffrin, who chairs the group’s board and is CEO of the American Cancer Society.

Seffrin says Melendez:

* Significantly increased the number of  regional and international forums in which Independent Sector played a key role.

* Helped lead efforts to block efforts to Congress to silence nonprofits’ advocacy role.

* Pushed for new legislation giving the Internal Revenue Service the power to sanction individuals using their ties with nonprofits to enrich themselves, and oversaw efforts to create tools to help nonprofits operate ethically and be more accountable to donors, clients and the public.

* Helped bring new voices and perspectives to Independent Sector.

* Put more emphasis on Independent Sector’s leadership role on policy issues and research.

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