Leadership Team

J. Warren Steen, President

Warren Steen is known and respected across North Carolina as a leader in the field of philanthropy. He is often introduced as someone who “connects great people with great projects.”

J. Warren Steen

Active in civic affairs, Steen served as the founding chairman of the Parents Council at the UNC School of Medicine. He is a past President of Reynolda Rotary Club, and a past member of the Board of Directors at Wake Forest University’s Deacon Club.

In 2001, Steen mobilized and organized a group of philanthropists to launch a new foundation. The founders decided that their names would not be part of the title. Instead, they made the decision to let the name reflect the charity’s three priorities – Religion, Youth, and Education. The Rye Foundation was officially chartered on March 2, 2001.

Since that inaugural day, Steen has served as President of the Rye Foundation. Under his leadership, the Foundation has made significant charitable gifts throughout North Carolina. The foundation’s faith-based philanthropy has provided major funding for camps operated by Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Baptists. Other noteworthy gifts have helped to build chapels and playgrounds, and to provide Bibles, musical instruments, sports equipment, and scholarships. At Camp Caraway, a 4,872 square foot facility has been named the Rye Foundation Staff Lodge, in recognition of the foundation’s leadership gift.