Above: Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and director of Generation Next , talked with his guests before he announced its plan to tackle the achievement gap during a presentation to community leaders at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Monday, August 18, 2014 in Minneapolis, MN. (ELIZABETH FLORES/STAR TRIBUNE)

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is taking the reins of one of the region's most prominent philanthropies, the Minneapolis Foundation.

The move to CEO of the foundation, announced Monday morning, comes about two-and-a-half years after Rybak began work at Generation Next, a non-profit aimed at closing the area's education acheivement gap.

Rybak's post-mayorship tenure had been largely under the radar until recently, when he began promoting his new book "Pothole Confidential."

At the Minneapolis Foundation, Rybak will replace former Hennepin County Administrator Sandy Vargas -- who announced her retirement last year.

The foundation recently celebrated its centennial and distributed $80 million in grants last year.

“It is a tremendous honor to be joining a true institution that has spent a century doing great things for my hometown,” Rybak said in a statement.

Rybak, who currently serves on the foundation's board, will take over as the seventh CEO and President on July 1.