Valerie Russo is the Executive Director of Park Avenue Synagogue. She joins us after a decades-long successful career in the non-profit sector and in government, and she brings to PAS her proven leadership and her operational and administrative excellence. Valerie, her husband Marc Freud, and their two teenage children live on the Upper East Side. They are longtime members of Temple Israel just a few blocks away and are looking forward to also becoming part of the PAS community.
Previously, Valerie was the Chief Operating Officer of The New York Foundling, a 150-year-old, $180 million non-profit providing services to support children, families, and adults. In her time there, she led many of the administrative departments, including human resources; communications; facilities; finance; information technology; and quality, performance, and compliance. Before that, she was Vice President of Strategy and Excellence at Children’s Aid Society, overseeing a team of 40 professionals in the talent management, performance management, public policy, public funding, and compliance fields. Previously in her career, she served as Chief of Staff and then as a Deputy Commissioner for New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.
Valerie is the current Chair of the Board of The Town School, having previously served as Chair of the Audit Committee and Co-Chair of the Search Committee for the Head of School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
We welcome Valerie to the PAS community, knowing that her expertise, coupled with her passion for Jewish life, will raise Park Avenue Synagogue to reach even greater heights. As we embark on a new leadership chapter, Hazak hazak v’nitzhazek – “Let us be strong, be strong and let us strengthen one another!”