News

Maria Cancian, Novisi Nirschl, and William Hite Join the William T. Grant Foundation Board of Trustees

The Foundation is pleased to announce three new appointments to the Board of Trustees: Novisi Nirschl and William Hite, effective December 2023, and Maria Cancian, effective October 2024. Andrés Alonso and Noah Walley rotated off the board in October 2023 due to term limits after nine years of dedicated service.

Maria Cancian is Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Her research considers the relationship between public policies and family well-being.

Prior to joining Georgetown University she was a Kellett Professor and served as Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Fiscal Initiatives and as Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for the HHS Administration for Children and Families in the Obama Administration. Cancian has been a Casey Family Programs Senior Fellow, a William T. Grant Foundation Distinguished Fellow in residence at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a Visiting Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Novisi Nirschl is a managing director of investments within the investments office of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). She is a member of the senior investment team that manages MSK’s long-term assets, which includes its endowment and pension. She was previously a vice president at Fortress Investment Group.

Ms. Nirschl currently serves on the Board of Sarah Lawrence College, as chair of the Investment Committee. In 2019 she was selected as one of 30 NextGens by Chief Investment Officer Magazine, and in 2021 was recognized in Institutional Investor’s “Allocator Voices: Women in Investment Management.” She received her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and BA from Harvard College.

William R. Hite is the president and CEO of KnowledgeWorks, a nonprofit that partners with learning communities to advance evidence-based approaches to personalized, competency-based learning. He is also the superintendent in residence in the Broad Center at the Yale School of Management.

Prior to his current roles, Hite served as superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, the largest public school system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was named the 2020 Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association and was the recipient of WHYY’s 2019 Lifelong Learner Award. Earlier, he served as superintendent of the Prince George’s County, MD, schools. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Virginia, and a doctorate in education specializing in educational leadership from Virginia Tech.

“I am delighted to welcome Bill, Maria, and Novisi to the Board. Bill’s experience in the education system and Maria’s research and policy acumen with regard to children and families complement each other and align well with the Foundation’s interests,” said Adam Gamoran, President of the Foundation. “And the Finance and Investment committee of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees will benefit tremendously from Novisi’s investment experience.”

Related content