Helmsley Charitable Trust Names Sarah Paul as Next CEO

Published Mon, Oct. 25, 2021

New York, October 25, 2021The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced today that Sarah Paul will be Helmsley’s next Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Paul will assume the role on November 1, 2021, succeeding Stephanie Cuskley who has led the organization since 2015.

For nearly seven years, Ms. Paul has served as Helmsley’s General Counsel. Before joining Helmsley in 2015, she was Of Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Skadden), where she served as Deputy Head of the Exempt Organizations Practice. While at Skadden, Ms. Paul was also an outside counsel for Helmsley and was active in its grantmaking initiatives before officially becoming a full-time member of the staff. Earlier in her career, Ms. Paul was a partner at several large law firms and Deputy Counsel at the New York Public Library. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

“Sarah has been an incredible asset to the Helmsley team since we began working together more than a decade ago, and we look forward to having her lead our organization,” said the Trustees of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, Sandor Frankel, David Panzirer, and Walter Panzirer. “She is deeply committed to Helmsley’s mission and her familiarity with the organization and our steadfast program priorities will make this a smooth transition. We are confident that her unmatched leadership skills, sense of urgency, and innovative thinking will allow her to successfully guide Helmsley in the coming years.”

As Helmsley’s General Counsel, Ms. Paul oversees all aspects of grants management, human resources, and legal. Her close involvement in Helmsley’s grantmaking efforts and its program areas will allow Ms. Paul to seamlessly transition into her new role.

“I am excited and honored to assume the role of CEO for Helmsley,” Ms. Paul said. “We have an incredible and committed team at Helmsley and I am confident that together we will continue to deliver the highest possible impact by staying focused on our six programs to carry out the Trustees’ vision for creating stronger, healthier futures for communities across the world.”

Ms. Cuskley joined Helmsley in 2015 and successfully led the organization through an intense period of growth and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. She focused on increasing employee engagement and modernizing grant processes, all with an eye to excellence. Ms. Cuskley’s leadership fostered an ethos of “One Helmsley,” and increasing impact.

“We thank Stephanie for her service and dedication to Helmsley over the last six years,” said the Trustees. “As Helmsley’s second-ever CEO, Stephanie helped us move forward as a cohesive unit, especially during the pandemic. She was deeply committed to our employees, to Helmsley’s grantees, and the communities we serve. We thank Stephanie for her dedication to our mission and to Helmsley overall.”

“It has been a great honor to serve as the CEO of Helmsley,” said Ms. Cuskley. “It has been the opportunity of a lifetime to lead an institution through a period of growth yet with increased focus on impact. I’ve worked closely with Sarah throughout my tenure and know that she is the perfect choice to guide Helmsley through its next era.”