Dirk was named executive director of the Gifford Foundation in 2011 after serving as the associate director since 2009. For 15 years he was an adjunct instructor with the Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management. He has served as a board member of several Central New York philanthropic organizations including Red House Arts Center, Near Westside Initiative, Manlius Pebble Hill School and the Syracuse Symphony.

“I grew up in an environment in Albany, New York where both my mom and my dad were very involved in the community. I knew that one of the things that I was destined for was to be giving back to the community. I have fond memories of being on the selection and review committee for the Marsellus Sabbatical. To see the impact of a six-week sabbatical on the leaders of some not-for-profit organizations in the community literally brought each of us to tears. It demonstrated how much that break from the day-to-day routine and intensity of their jobs had changed their lives. It was a relatively small amount of money, but a significant commitment and recognition; it was very profound.”

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