We choose our research interests based on what’s going on in the world today.

While our commitment to research is unwavering, we recognize that the most pressing challenges confronting young people change over time. As independent grantmakers, we have the flexibility to adjust our areas of focus. Currently, the Foundation funds research that increases our understanding of: (1) the programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and (2) how policymakers and practitioners acquire, interpret, and use research evidence.

We begin with a set of questions, not preconceptions.

This means asking big questions and being open to unexpected answers. Our grantees produce high-quality studies, reports on timely issues, and syntheses of research evidence. Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers alike value our approach because we support impartial research that can inform their decisions to improve child and youth outcomes.

We favor an interdisciplinary approach to research.

From sociologists and community psychologists to anthropologists, political scientists, and economists, our grantees bring a range of methods and ideas to address persistent social problems. We seek to accumulate a broad body of knowledge that will contribute to improved outcomes for our nation’s children and youth. Only by working together can we confront the most intractable challenges facing young people in America today and in the future.

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Staff

Margarita Alegría

Senior Program Associate

Margarita is the Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Margarita has published over 200 papers, editorials, intervention training manuals, and several book chapters, on topics such as improvement of health care services delivery for diverse racial and ethnic populations, conceptual and methodological issues with multicultural populations, and ways to involve communities into the design and implementation of health services.

Among her awards are the Health Disparities Innovation Award from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (2008) and the Cynthia Lucero Latino Mental Health Award from William James College (2016). In 2011, she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine in acknowledgement of her scientific contributions. Margarita was selected as El Planeta’s (Massachusetts’s largest circulating Spanish-language newspaper) 2013’s Powermeter 100 most influential people for the Hispanic community in Massachusetts.

Margarita earned her B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University in 1978 and her Ph.D. from Temple University in 1989.

Rosanna Aybar

Vice President, Finance and Administration

raybar@wtgrantfdn.org

Rosanna is the Foundation’s chief financial and administrative officer. She regularly interacts with Board members and investment managers to preserve and grow our endowment and meet all regulatory and tax requirements. She also is responsible for coordinating infrastructure processes as diverse as budgeting, accounting, investments, human resources, facilities, and information technology.

Rosanna brings to the Foundation more than two decades of experience in the nonprofit field. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2017, she was the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer of the Posse Foundation, where she managed the financial and administrative side of a nationwide expansion which brought dramatic growth of the organization. Previously, she served as Accountant & Assistant to Chief Investment Officer and VP of Finance at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. Rosanna currently serves on the Boards of Philanthropy New York and Ithaca College.

Rosanna earned both an M.B.A. and a Bachelor of Science in business administration and finance from Manhattan College. She has also served as Adjunct Faculty of Strategic Business Management at Manhattan College.

Sharon Brewster

Grants Administrator

sbrewster@wtgrantfdn.org

Sharon coordinates the Foundation’s Officers’ discretionary fund awards, which involves guiding and improving the Youth Service Improvement Grants program. She also coordinates review, award, and reporting for our President’s special initiative and capacity-building and communications grants programs. Sharon has more than 20 years of experience in Philanthropy and supports the Vice President, Program.

Tricia Denton

Director, Grantmaking Operations

Tricia manages and improves the Foundation’s grants operations. She leads the grants management team in fostering greater coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of grants administration and processes. She is the program department lead in the design and implementation of grants systems. Tricia holds a Bachelor’s degree in social work from Molloy College.

Fabienne Doucet

Program Officer

fdoucet@wtgrantfdn.org

Fabienne is currently on leave from her position as Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Urban Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She was also an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Institute for Human Development and Social Change, and the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.

Fabienne’s research focuses on African American, Caribbean immigrant, and Latinx students within our country’s urban education systems. A critical ethnographer, Fabienne has studied how beliefs, practices, and values in the U.S. educational system position linguistically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse children and families at a disadvantage. Her research further seeks active solutions for meeting their educational needs. In addition to her extensive scholarly publications, she is finalizing a book to guide practitioners in developing strong relationships

Fabienne has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC-Greensboro, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.

Kimberly DuMont

Senior Program Officer

kdumont@wtgrantfdn.org

Kimberly manages the Foundation’s Institutional Challenge Grant program and our focus area of improving the use of research evidence. She also supports grantees in their work and leads efforts to better understand the use of research by policymakers and practitioners in child welfare. She is a key member of the senior program team, which sets our research agenda and annual priorities.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2011, Kimberly worked as a research scientist with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, where she directed an evaluation of the Healthy Families New York intervention, a home visitation service for children at risk for abuse and neglect. In that capacity, she bridged research—in this case, a rigorous evaluation—with the needs of practitioners and policymakers working to improve the health and well-being of at-risk youth. Her research from this work and earlier studies investigated links between neighborhoods, families, community-based interventions, and youth development.

Kimberly earned her Ph.D. in community psychology from New York University and her B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University.

Cristina Fernandez

Research Assistant

cfernandez@wtgrantfdn.org

Cristina coordinates the review of letters of inquiry for research grantees and supports applicants and grantees. She provides research support to the senior program staff and supports the alignment of program and communication efforts. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, Cristina held positions related to research and education in several nonprofit and higher-education settings, including Touro College, American University, the International Disability and Development Consortium, and the 92nd Street Y. Cristina holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the School of International Service at American University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Queens College.

Joseph Ferra

Senior Accountant

jferra@wtgrantfdn.org

Joseph ensures that all accounting tasks are performed in a timely and efficient manner. He maintains the accounting record systems and assists in all aspects of our audit, budget, tax, and investment procedures. He is the primary liaison with our auditors and custodial bank. Joseph joined the Foundation 2001, and has over two decades of experience in the nonprofit sector.

Adam Gamoran

President

Adam provides leadership for the William T. Grant Foundation’s strategic direction, shapes its agenda and tactics, and partners with the Board of Trustees to advance its mission and objectives. Since joining the Foundation, he launched a new initiative to support research on reducing inequality in youth outcomes, and has continued the Foundation’s ongoing work to improve the use of research evidence in policy and practice decisions that affect young people.

From 1984 to 2013, Adam served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he held the John D. MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Educational Policy Studies. From 2001-2004, he chaired the Department of Sociology, and from 2004-2013 he directed the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

Adam’s research focused on educational inequality and school reform. Recent publications include “Does racial isolation in school lead to long-term disadvantages? Labor-market consequences of high school racial composition” (American Journal of Sociology, 2016) and “Effects of school segregation and school resources in a changing policy context” (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 2016). Earlier, he edited Standards-based reform and the poverty gap: Lessons for No Child Left Behind (Brookings Institution Press, 2007) and co-edited Stratification in higher education: A comparative study (Stanford University Press, 2007) and Methodological advances in cross-national surveys of educational achievement (National Academy Press, 2002). His research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, as well as by the Spencer and William T. Grant Foundations.

Adam is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and was twice appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Board for Education Sciences. He also chairs the Board on Science Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In 2013, he received the Spencer Foundation Award for contributions to research on education policy from the Association for Public Policy and Management, and in 2014 he was honored with the award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education from the American Educational Research Association.

Adam earned his Ph.D. in education from the University of Chicago in 1984.

Billy Hunter

Content Editor

Billy edits the Foundation’s communications and oversees the Foundation’s website. He helps staff, grantees, and other contributors communicate more effectively, as well as developing and overseeing the Foundation’s editorial and identity standards.

Jenny Irons

Associate Program Officer

jirons@wtgrantfdn.org

Jenny serves as a key member of the Foundation’s senior program team, which sets our research agenda and annual priorities, and helps to manage the Foundation’s funding programs on reducing inequality.

Jenny brings experience from higher education and evaluation research to the Foundation. From 2003 to 2013, she was Associate Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College. Her research and teaching focused on race, gender, and social movements, and she published peer-reviewed articles, essays, and a book, Reconstituting Whiteness: The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission. Later, Jenny directed qualitative evaluation research as a senior research analyst at The Policy & Research Group in New Orleans. As a research consultant, she conducted a summative evaluation for the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) of their post-Hurricane Katrina Community Revitalization Fund, a $23-million affordable housing initiative created by GNOF in partnership with local and national foundations. She has also worked in academic administration at centers for women’s leadership at Tulane University and Rutgers University. Jenny earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Arizona and her B.A. in sociology-anthropology from Millsaps College.

Zanella Jarvis

Accounting and Office Assistant

zjarvis@wtgrantfdn.org

Zanella supports accounting functions and assists the Vice President, Finance and Administration in running, maintaining, and improving day-to-day office operations. She also works closely with the Senior Accountant on an ongoing basis. Zanella brings seven years of bookkeeping experience to the Foundation. Zanella has a B.A. in Media and Communications from SUNY College at Old Westbury.

James Lui

Coordinator, Human Resources and Administration

jlui@wtgrantfdn.org

James coordinates human resources and administration activities. He advises on current and potential human resources policies, benefits, and practices to strengthen staff and operations. He also organizes all facets of personnel management, including recruiting, orientation, training, and performance. James’s purview also includes a variety of duties related to facilities and finance.

Vicente Malavé

Manager, Information Technology

vmalave@wtgrantfdn.org

Vicente Malavé is responsible for managing all in-house technology for the foundation. He implements solutions, methods and procedures to help the foundation fulfill its strategic goals.

Vicente is certified in ITIL IT Service Management and has over 17 years experience in Infrastructure, networking, systems administration and IT project management. Prior to joining the foundation, he managed a diverse team of IT professionals providing 24/7 IT operations support to e-commerce facilities throughout New York City and the Northeast.

Vicente holds an MBA in information systems from Fordham University and a BA in design from University of Pennsylvania.

Richard Murnane

Senior Program Associate

Richard is the Thompson Research Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Over the last 40 years, he has studied relationships between the U.S. economy and the U.S. educational system. His numerous books include The Impact of School Resources on the Learning of Inner City Children (Ballinger, 1975), Who Will Teach? (Harvard University Press, 1991), Teaching the New Basic Skills (Free Press), The New Division of Labor (Princeton University Press, 2004), and Methods Matter (Oxford U. Press, 2011). Most recently, Richard and economist Greg Duncan, a William T. Grant Foundation Trustee, co-led a large research project examining the respects in which growth in family income inequality in the U.S. has affected educational opportunities for children from low-income families and the effectiveness of alternative strategies for improving life chances for these children. Products of this project included the 2011 edited volume, Whither Opportunity (Russell Sage), and the 2014 book, Restoring Opportunity (Harvard Education Press and Russell Sage). Richard is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education and is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists.

Lenore Neier

Manager, Communications

lneier@wtgrantfdn.org

Lenore is responsible for developing communication strategies that help advance our efforts to share research ideas and practices with a wide audience. She oversees the coordination of publications, partnerships with outside organizations, website development and social media activity, and media outreach. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2014, Lenore worked as a communications director and consultant for a range of nonprofit organizations. Lenore earned her Master’s degree in social work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

Ruth G. Nolan

Assistant to the President and Board of Trustees

rnolan@wtgrantfdn.org

Ruth is the lead support to the President and Board of Trustees on all administrative matters. She is responsible for the management and daily operations of the executive office and the coordination and support of the President’s activities. As the key contact to the Board of Trustees, she interacts with all members to coordinate the logistics of all board meetings and other sensitive correspondence.

Sandy Owen

Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

sowen@wtgrantfdn.org

Sandy performs a variety of duties to support the entire office. She schedules meetings, maintains an inventory of supplies, updates memberships to professional organizations and subscriptions to scholarly publications. She also is the link between our staff and our visitors and callers. Programmatically, she maintains grantee materials and files, and generates regular correspondence. In a prior career, Sandy was a senior development officer for several local and national non-profit organizations.

Nancy Rivera-Torres

Grants Administrator

nrivera@wtgrantfdn.org

Nancy coordinates our research grants (major grants and Officers’ research grants) and Institutional Challenge Grant programs. She administers the grant lifecycle from request to award to reporting. Nancy has been involved in all aspects of grants management during her more than twenty years of experience in the philanthropic community. Nancy also is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy and Grants Managers Network. She received her M.P.A. from Baruch College.

Vivian Tseng

Senior Vice President, Program

vtseng@wtgrantfdn.org

Vivian leads the Foundation’s grantmaking programs and its initiatives to connect research, policy, and practice to improve child and youth outcomes. In 2009, she launched the Foundation’s initiative on the use of research evidence in policy and practice. That program has generated over 50 funded studies and informed the grantmaking programs of private and public funders across the country. She has been instrumental in the growing field of research-practice partnerships, including supporting the creation of field-defining resources and the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships.

Vivian has longstanding interests in racial equity in higher education and philanthropy. Under her leadership, the Foundation has strengthened its internal diversity, equity, and inclusion work, increased its grantmaking and capacity support to underrepresented researchers, and developed a program to support stronger mentoring relationships for graduate students of color.

Vivian regularly writes and speaks to international and domestic audiences on evidence-informed policy and practice. Her studies of racial, cultural, and immigration influences on child development have been published in Child Development and her research on improving social settings and promoting social change have appeared in the American Journal of Community Psychology. She received her Ph.D. from NYU and her B.A. from UCLA. She serves on the Boards of the Forum for Youth Investment, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. She was previously on the faculty in Psychology and Asian American studies at CSUN.

Irene A. Williams

Grants Administrator

iwilliams@wtgrantfdn.org

Irene coordinates the William T. Grant Scholars Program, from pre-application inquiries to applicant screening to selection committee meetings and selection of awardees. She also provides post-award support and coordinates the Scholars’ annual retreat and the Foundation’s mentoring and career development workshop. Irene has over a decade of experience in the philanthropic sector and holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and African and Puerto Rican/Latino studies from Hunter College.

Board of Trustees

Andrés is Visiting Professor of Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where he co-chairs the Public Education Leadership Project, a partnership between HGSE and Harvard Business School. Previously, he was Professor of Practice at HGSE, where he taught on education reform and the leadership of learning, and helped lead the Education Doctorate in Leadership Degree (EDLD) program. Andrés served as CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools and also as Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning in New York City, after teaching students with disabilities and English Language Learners in Newark, N.J. for twelve years. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Margaret is a senior scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. She serves on the editorial boards for Child Development and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Margaret earned her doctorate in quantitative psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Prudence is Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of two books and co-editor of a widely received volume on education and opportunity gaps. She received her PhD in sociology from Columbia University.
Greg is Distinguished Professor, School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. His recent work has focused on estimating the role of school-entry skills and behaviors on later school achievement and attainment and the effects of increasing income inequality on schools and children’s life chances.
Scott is the former Deputy Comptroller for Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer for the City of New York Pension Systems. In prior assignments, he has served as President of Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer for TIAA-CREF. He has served as a member of the investment committee of Tufts University, as an external advisor to the Dutch Pension Fund, ABP., Trustee of Barnard College, member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Chair of the Finance Committee of the Rockefeller Family Fund. Scott earned his M.B.A. from Northwestern University.
Adam joined the William T. Grant Foundation as President in 2013. Previously, he was the John D. MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his doctorate in education from the University of Chicago.
Kenji is the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education (Emeritus) at Stanford University. He is a psycholinguist who has worked extensively in the education of second language learners and bilingualism.
Mary is the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of two award-winning books that explore the topics of youth, families, politics, housing, crime, and education in African American neighborhoods in Chicago. Mary received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Russell is a senior advisor to Brittany Capital Group, Inc. a broker-dealer based in New York. He was previously the president of Benedetto, Gartland & Co., Inc. Russell received an A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Judson is the president of Sire Management Corporation, which manages several multi-manager investment partnerships. He is an active supporter of several private primary and secondary schools, a trustee at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and a trustee at the Pomfret School. Judson was a visiting professor at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia from 1987 through 2008. He earned his M.B.A. at Harvard Business School.
Estelle has held key roles at the local, state, and federal levels in a public-service career spanning over thirty years. After serving as managing director for the City of Philadelphia, she served for seven years as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, before serving as chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the administration of President Barack Obama. In prior roles, Estelle was Philadelphia’s commissioner of public health and deputy commissioner for mental health, mental retardation, and substance abuse services. She holds a Master’s degree from Cleveland State University as well as honorary doctorates from Alvernia University and Drexel University.
Mark is the Executive Director of the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) in Washington, DC. Prior to founding CCLP in 2006, he was the Senior Staff Attorney, Executive Director, and then President of the Youth Law Center. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School.
Noah leads Investor Growth Capital’s technology investment effort in North America and prior to 2003 was a partner at Morgan Stanley’s Venture Capital group. Noah has been active in venture capital since 1994 and prior to that worked for McKinsey & Company. He holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and earned M.A. and B.A. degrees from Oxford University.