Catherine Brown, LLB, BA, GradDip BusAdmin, FAICD

Chief Executive Officer, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

Catherine leads the largest and oldest community foundation in Australia. The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation tackles the tough issues facing Melbourne. Priority areas currently include affordable housing, sustainable Melbourne, the health impacts of climate change, social cohesion and youth unemployment. Catherine is a lawyer with a commitment to community philanthropy.

After several years in commercial law, she worked in legal and management roles with the MS Society, Wesley Mission and the Brain Foundation Victoria, where she was CEO,  and then as an advisor within the not for profit and philanthropic sectors. She joined the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation in 2011.

Catherine is the author of Great Foundations: a 360° guide to building resilient and effective not-for-profit organisations (ACER Press, 2010). She has commenced a PhD by practice related research related to philanthropic foundations and innovation at Swinburne University (Centre for Social Impact and Faculty of Business and Law).

Catherine has held Victorian Government Board appointments as Chair or Deputy Chair of organisations in health, women’s affairs and cemetery management.

She believes that foundations can be the catalyst for positive lasting social change using a combination of grants, undertaking research and policy work, convening, impact investment and strategic communications.