Brian Payne

President & CEO, Central Indiana Community Foundation

Brian Payne is the president and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and The Indianapolis Foundation. Since he joined CICF in November 2000, the foundation’s annual grantmaking has more than doubled to over $50 million. CICF’s mission is to mobilize people, ideas and investments to create a community where all individuals have an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity.

Brian is the founder/artistic director of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. The national consulting firm, Project for Public Spaces, chose the Indianapolis Cultural Trail as the best North American example of a big, bold, transformative project that is changing the way we think of cities and city life. The US Department of Transportation awarded the Cultural Trail a $20.5 million TIGER I grant, one of only 51 grants awarded out of 1,400 proposals submitted in a merit-based competitive process.

Under Brian’s leadership, CICF has made dismantling systemic racism in central Indiana a multi-generational commitment. CICF has been recognized locally and nationally for the boldness of its commitment and the progress of its early actions. 

Brian presently serves on the boards of the Indy Chamber, Visit Indy, and TeenWorks. Locally, he serves as the Board Chair of The District Theatre and the Vice-Chair of the IUPUI Advisory Board. Nationally, he is the board chair of Forward Cities, an organization committed to helping cities build inclusive economic growth.

Brian is a much sought-after speaker nationally and internationally. His themes include equity in opportunity and dismantling systemic racism, neighborhood empowerment, placemaking and gentrification, multi-modal transportation, trails, livability and the power of connectivity. He has been the keynote speaker for the Centre City Congress in Calgary, the City Club of Cleveland, the Texas Trails Active Transportation Conference, Trailnet and Great Rivers Greenways, both in St. Louis, Sportsbackers in Richmond, VA, the Akron/Cleveland Association of Realtors and numerous leadership conferences. He has also spoken at national conferences of the American Planning Association, CEOs for Cities, Forward Cities, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Council of Foundations and the United Way. He has consulted with dozens of cities in the US and Canada on urban trail projects.

Brian is the recipient of the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Michael A. Carroll Leadership Award, Visit Indy’s prestigious Bill McGowan Leadership Award and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s John L. Krauss Award for Innovation in Public Policy. He has also been honored as a Civil Rights Champion by the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, the Indiana Citizen Planner of the Year, and has been recognized as one of the world's most powerful Hoosiers. In 2016, Brian was recognized as an Indiana Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society. 

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