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

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 earned both an MBA 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 Coordinator

sbrewster@wtgrantfdn.org

Sharon is the Grants Coordinator for our Officers’ Discretionary Fund Awards, which includes guiding and improving the Youth Service Improvement Grants program. She also coordinates review, award, and reporting for our 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.

Gabrielle Diharce

Office Administrator

gdiharce@wtgrantfdn.org

Gabrielle coordinates office-wide administrative tasks to keep the office running smoothly. Among her responsibilities are event planning, tracking institutional archives and offsite records, and contracting with select vendors. When she joined the Foundation in 2004, Gaby brought with her management experience from work at several international banks.

Gabrielle earned an associate’s degree in business management from LaGuardia Community College, and is currently enrolled in Baruch College.

Kimberly DuMont

Senior Program Officer

kdumont@wtgrantfdn.org

Kimberly manages the Foundation’s Distinguished Fellows and Use of Research Evidence grants programs. 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 non-profit 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 already had 9 years of experience in the nonprofit sector when he joined the Foundation in 2001.

Adam Gamoran

President

Adam Gamoran provides leadership for the William T. Grant Foundation’s strategic direction and shapes its agenda and tactics as President. He partners with the Board of Trustees to advance its mission and objectives. Since arriving at 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, Gamoran 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.

Gamoran’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.

He 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

bhunter@wtgrantfdn.org

Billy collaborates with staff, grantees, and external contributors to develop and produce our print and digital communications. He is the chief editor of the Foundation’s publications, and manages all of our writing, design, and web development projects.

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. His purview includes a variety of duties related to facilities and finance.

Vivian Louie

Program Officer

vlouie@wtgrantfdn.org

Vivian joined the Foundation as a Program Officer in June of 2014. She serves as a key member of the Foundation’s Senior Program Team, which sets our research agenda and annual priorities, and manages the Foundation’s funding programs on reducing inequality. Vivian also serves as an external spokesperson for our grantmaking.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the Thomas Tam Visiting Professor at the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning of Hunter College and on the faculty in Education and Sociology at Harvard. Her research has focused on understanding the factors that shape success along the educational pipeline among immigrants and the children of immigrants. She is the author of two books, Compelled to Excel: Immigration, Education and Opportunity among Chinese Americans and Keeping the Immigrant Bargain: The Costs and Rewards of Success in America, and co-editor of and contributor to Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue. Vivian was recently appointed to the New York State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She has been elected to the Committee on Committees and appointed to the Dissertation Awards Selection Committee for the American Sociological Association. Vivian received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the Yale University Department of Sociology, M.A. from the Stanford University Department of Communication, and A.B. from Harvard University. In addition to her work in higher education, she has previously worked as a newspaper journalist, journalism teacher, and youth magazine editor.

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 Coordinator, Major Grants

nrivera@wtgrantfdn.org

Nancy is the Grants Coordinator for our research grants (major grants and officers’ research grants) and William T. Grant Distinguished Fellows 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 Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College.

Linda Rosano

Director of Information Technology

lrosano@wtgrantfdn.org

Linda is responsible for researching, developing, and managing all aspects of information technology to ensure that our systems meet the needs of staff and constituents. She maintains network operations and security, and ensures that all hardware and software are performing at an optimal level. Linda has over 20 years of experience in IT and is an active member of the Technology Affinity Group, which supports the use of technology in philanthropy.

Timothy M. Smeeding

Senior Program Associate

Timothy M. (Tim) Smeeding is the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and former Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). He was the founding director of the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) from 1983-2006. Professor Smeeding’s recent work has been on social and economic mobility across generations, inequality of income, consumption and wealth, and poverty in both national and cross-national contexts.

His books include: SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well Being (Stanford University Press, 2015); Monitoring Social Mobility in the 21st Century (Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2015); From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage (Russell Sage Foundation, 2012); Persistence, Privilege and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011); The Handbook of Economic Inequality (Oxford University Press,2009); Poor Kids in a Rich Country: America’s Children in Comparative Perspective (Russell Sage Foundation, 2003); and The American Welfare State: Laggard or Leader? (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Carola Suarez-Orozco

Senior Program Associate

csuarez-orozco@wtgrantfdn.org

In addition to her position as senior program associate for the Foundation, Carola Suárez-Orozco is a professor of human development and psychology at UCLA. Her primary areas of research have involved the experiences of immigrant origin youth, including educational achievement, family separations, the effects of unauthorized status on the developing youth, and gendered experiences of immigrant youth. She has been awarded an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation for her contributions to the understanding of cultural psychology of immigration and has served as chair of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration. Dr. Suárez-Orozco is the editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research.

Vivian Tseng

Senior Vice President, Program

vtseng@wtgrantfdn.org

Vivian Tseng is the Senior Vice President, Programs at the William T. Grant Foundation. She 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 40 WTGF-funded studies and informed grantmaking programs at the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Institute of Justice. She also designed the Foundation’s support for research-practice partnerships, including an array of field-defining resources and a learning community of research-practice partnerships across the country, which is now sustained through the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships supported by five private foundations.

Tseng has longstanding interests in strengthening the career pipeline for scholars of color. Under her leadership, the Foundation has deepened its support for scholars of color, including increased grantmaking and capacity support to underrepresented researchers and a grants program to promote stronger mentoring for students of color.

She regularly writes and speaks to international and domestic audiences on evidence-informed policy and research-practice partnerships. 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 the international journal Evidence and Policy. She was previously on the faculty in Psychology and Asian American studies at CSUN.

Irene A. Williams

Grants Coordinator, William T. Grant Scholars

iwilliams@wtgrantfdn.org

Irene is the grants coordinator for our William T. Grant Scholars Program. She administers the 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 more than ten years in philanthropy and she holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and African and Puerto Rican/Latino studies from Hunter College.

Julie Wong

Director, Grantmaking Operations

jwong@wtgrantfdn.org

Julie manages and improves the Foundation’s grants operations. She leads the grants management team in its efforts to foster greater coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of grants administration and processes. She is the Program lead in the design and implementation of grants systems. In addition, Julie oversees the production of materials for Board and Program Committee meetings. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Smith College.

Board of Trustees

Andrés A. Alonso is Professor of Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he teaches education reform in urban districts and schools, and co-chairs the Public Education Leadership Project. Dr. Alonso 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 R. Burchinal 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. Dr. Burchinal earned her doctorate in quantitative psychology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Prudence L. Carter 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 Duncan is Distinguished Professor, School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Duncan’s 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 Evans is Deputy Comptroller for Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer for the City of New York Pension Systems. He currently serves as a member of the investment committee of Tufts University and as an external advisor to the Dutch Pension Fund, ABP. In prior assignments, he has served as President of Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer for TIAA-CREF, 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. He earned his M.B.A. from Northwestern University.
Adam Gamoran 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 Hakuta 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 Pattillo 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. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Russell Pennoyer 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. He received an A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Judson Reis 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. Mr. Reis 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.
In more than 30 years of public service, Estelle B. Richman has held key roles at the local, state, and federal levels. 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, Ms. Richman 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 Soler 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 Walley 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.