C. Marie Taylor is stepping down as CEO of the nonprofit Leadership Montgomery effective Sept. 30 Credit: File photo

C. Marie Taylor, the CEO of the nonprofit Leadership Montgomery, is stepping down from the position after five years, the organization stated in a press release Monday afternoon.

Taylor graduated with Leadership Montgomery’s 2012 class and became the organization’s CEO in 2015, replacing founder Esther Newman.

Leadership Montgomery, founded in 1989, is a nonprofit that provides training, education and other programming for political, economic and community leaders in Montgomery County. The organization’s website states that more than 2,500 people have graduated from the program.

Taylor said in the press release that she was proud of expanding the organization’s programming in racial equity and inclusion. Her last day is Sept. 30, and she plans to launch a “boutique consulting firm” that will help companies and organizations incorporate racial equity into their work.

Taylor told Bethesda Beat on Monday that the consulting firm she is launching is called Equity Through Action, and is currently in the “soft launch” phase. She said she has been doing racial equity work “for years” on a freelance basis, prior to her time with Leadership Montgomery.

“As time permitted and people asked me to do a workshop, a presentation and I had time, I would do that work,” she said.


Taylor said she thinks now is a good time to take on the full-time racial equity consulting job due to the ongoing national conversation about race.

“I think it’s really important that with the time that we have we spend it on what we’re most passionate about. And I love the work Leadership Montgomery does and have been grateful about the racial equity work we’ve been able to do there. However, [the race equity work] is not the full breadth of an organization …. And my job as CEO is to represent the full breadth of the work,” she said.

Taylor served as the executive director of the Community Foundation in Montgomery County from 2013 to 2015, and of Interfaith Works, a Rockville nonprofit that works to alleviate poverty and homelessness, from 2011 to 2013.


The press release stated that among Taylor’s accomplishments at Leadership Montgomery were doubling the organization’s revenue and leadership programming, growing membership and adding more events and training opportunities.

Dana Pauley, Leadership Montgomery’s vice president of philanthropic investments, will take over as interim executive director when Taylor steps down, the press release stated. The organization will search for a permanent CEO. Pauley has been with Leadership Montgomery since July 2018.

Taylor said she hopes that there will be opportunities for her company to work with Leadership Montgomery in the future.


“I will still support it in any way that I can,” she said.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdda-remix.newspackstaging.com