Sesame Workshop Names Hillary Strong Chief Development Officer

(June 9, 2021 – New York, NY) – Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, has named Hillary Strong Chief Development Officer. Strong will lead the expansion of Sesame Workshop’s philanthropic development efforts and help deepen the organization’s impact. Working closely with the CEO, President, and Board of Trustees, Strong will be responsible for growing sustainable revenue streams and fostering a culture of philanthropy and stewardship within the organization. Strong will report to Sherrie Westin, President of Sesame Workshop.

“We are delighted to welcome Hillary to Sesame Workshop to lead our efforts to sustain our nonprofit mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder,” said Westin. “Her deep expertise in philanthropic development will be invaluable to the growth of Sesame Workshop’s social impact work to meet the needs of children around the world.”

Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Strong served as Chief Development Officer at New York Public Radio (NYPR), the parent organization for New York City public radio stations, WNYC and WQXR, and digital local news publication Gothamist. At NYPR, Strong rebuilt the individual giving function—creating a new Major Gifts program which led to significant revenue increases during her tenure and developed plans for continued growth over the next three years. She also oversaw the doubling of Planned Giving revenue and significantly increased foundation support. In partnership with the CEO and her teams, she secured multiple large, transformative grants from individuals and foundations, including a $10 million gift from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and a $2.5 million gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

“I am thrilled to be joining such an iconic and beloved organization, one that has given important life skills, critical early learning, and joy to children everywhere for over 50 years,” said Strong. “The impact Sesame Workshop has on children and families around the world is immeasurable, and I am honored to have a role in shaping the current and future growth of the organization.”

Throughout her career, Strong has spearheaded large fundraising campaigns for major arts institutions including The Whitney Museum, where she served as Director of Institutional Advancement for over 10 years. In this role, she managed a growing team that raised $90 million in capital funding, transforming the institution as it moved to a new location in Lower Manhattan. She was responsible for Corporate, Foundation, Family Foundation, and Government Support and established endowments for educational and research programs.

In the past, Strong also held leadership positions at several nonprofit organizations and cultural institutions, including The Guggenheim Museum, Dress for Success, and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History. Strong received a B.S. in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology from Grand Valley State University. She also studied at Kingston University in London where she earned a certificate in Sociology.

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit


Vanessa Hsia

Hallie Ruvin