Nonprofit leader and current Chief Philanthropy Officer Susan McIsaac appointed as new CEO

Right To Play’s CEO, Kevin Frey, will leave the organization at the end of December after a five-year tenure that saw the INGO significantly increase its scale and impact in the areas of child protection and quality education.

Dr. Frey is leaving to become CEO of Generation Unlimited, a multi-sectoral partnership established in 2018 and hosted by UNICEF, with members including the UN Secretary-General, heads of state and other private and public sector leaders. Generation Unlimited’s mission is to meet the urgent need for expanded education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities for the 1.8 billion youth around the world.

Dr. Frey joined Right To Play in 2015, assuming leadership from founder Johann Olav Koss, who had helmed Right To Play since its start in 2000. Under Dr. Frey’s leadership, Right To Play has grown to protect, educate, and empower 2.35 million children annually with proven programs that use the power of play to empower the world’s most vulnerable children to protect themselves from disease, claim their rights, pursue their education, and make their voices heard.

Kevin Frey - with children

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone at Right To Play, I’d like to extend my deep thanks to Kevin for his inspirational vision and commitment over the past five years,” said Dag Skattum, Chair of Right To Play’s International Board of Directors. “Right To Play’s impact, organizational effectiveness, and global alignment has grown by leaps and bounds under his leadership, and he leaves the organization at a time of great strength and potential. While we will miss his drive and dedication, we are glad to know that he will be continuing the important work of creating opportunities for youth to thrive and succeed, and we wish him the best of luck in his new role.”

“The past five years at Right To Play have been transformative,” said Dr. Frey. “I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know so many extraordinary colleagues around the world, and to have worked with them to support children to rise above incredible adversity and fight for a brighter future.”

After careful consideration, Right To Play’s International Board of Directors has appointed Susan McIsaac, current Chief Philanthropy Officer, as the new CEO of the organization. Ms. McIsaac will move into the role on January 1, 2021.

Susan McIsaac - Lebanon

Ms. McIsaac is an accomplished and respected leader with more than 25 years’ experience in the charitable sector, notably as President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Toronto, one of Canada’s largest charities. In that role, she and her team mobilized people and resources to address many of the region’s most pressing challenges, including income inequality, housing, precarious employment, and youth success.

Ms. McIsaac joined Right To Play as Chief Philanthropy Officer in June 2019, and played an important role in the development of the organization’s 2021-25 strategic plan, which will be launched later this year. In her new role, she will drive forward Right To Play’s ambitious new strategic vision, and ensure that the organization can continue to protect, educate, and empower millions of children each year in Africa, Asia, North America, and the Middle East.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have within our organization a world-class CEO with a proven track record and real passion for what we do,” said Skattum. “Susan’s commitment to Right To Play’s mission, vision, and staff, and her deep engagement with the strategic direction of the organization perfectly position her to guide Right To Play through these difficult times, and to launch our ambitious strategic plan and ensure the organization can keep up the incredible momentum it has built.”

“We are thrilled that Susan has accepted our appointment,” added founder and board member Johann Olav Koss. “The Board of Directors deeply respects and values Susan’s extensive experience in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors. We have the utmost confidence that the organization will continue to thrive under her leadership.”

“I am deeply honoured to be able to serve Right To Play and the millions of children we reach each year as Right To Play’s new CEO,” said Ms. McIsaac. “As we continue to navigate through these difficult and destabilizing times, the work we do to protect, educate, and empower children is more important than ever. I am absolutely committed to ensuring that Right To Play can continue that work, and seek out opportunities to expand our reach to support even more children in the years to come.”