Our Team

James Gaddy, Executive Director

James Gaddy joined the Russell J. Efros Foundation as its inaugural Executive Director in early 2021. In this role, Gaddy is responsible for working to fulfill the organization’s mission and vision, serves as the chief fundraiser, and manages day-to-day operations of the Foundation.

Over the course of a distinguished career in cultural and higher education sectors, Gaddy has extensive experience in leadership, fundraising, and transforming the mission of the Foundation to directly impact the lives of creative individuals. Gaddy is passionate about arts and culture and was drawn to the Foundation because of the need that exists within the creative community. 

Gaddy served as the Deputy Director and Chief of Staff for the museums at Stanford University, building off nearly a decade at the art school and museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). At PAFA Gaddy served as executive vice president of human resources and administration. Before joining PAFA, Gaddy held multiple roles at the Vanguard Group. 

Gaddy holds a bachelor’s degree in human performance development and a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. 

He and his partner, Matt, live in Sparta, NJ with their eight-year-old twin sons, Fox and Foster.

Contact James at jamesgaddy@rjefoundation.org

Emily Cavanagh, Director of Artist & Community Engagement

Emily Cavanagh is a Singer/Songwriter originally from Chicago and based in NYC. With a Bachelor’s degree in Music from a conservatory in the midwest and a Masters degree from NYU in Social Work & Psychology (with an emphasis in Music Therapy), she has spent the past decade at the intersection of service and the arts–gigging, touring & writing, while also developing music & arts programming in arts non-profits for marginalized communities all throughout Brooklyn & the Bronx.

As a Songwriter, her 3 records to date reflect the throwback sounds of the 30s, 40s, & 50s while maintaining a great folk & pop sensibility. This body of work has generated a great deal of work for Emily as a performer in New York venues of note such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, The Blue Note, The Bitter End, City Winery, Highline Ballroom, & Pete’s Candy Store, along with regular tours to cities like Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Los Angeles, & Dublin (where her songs play on Irish radio). The instrumental of Emily’s song “Treehouse” was featured in the 2017 trailer for Woody Harrelson’s film “Wilson.” She is a featured lyricist for the band Neeskens in Paris and all her music can be found on major streaming sites.

In addition to music, Emily works tirelessly as an activist for causes close to her heart, bringing music into the shelter system for homeless, refugee, and immigrant communities, as well as to seniors with alzheimers & dementia. In response to the Covid 19 pandemic, Emily launched a music initiative “A Song for You” sending songs to patients and families hit hardest by the pandemic, primarily those at the end of life. Emily is the most excited to join the RJE team and remains passionate about using her voice to help others use their own.

Contact Emily at emilycavanagh@rjefoundation.org