Welcoming Two New Staff Members to the Foundation

The Foundation is pleased to welcome two new staff members to our team: Dwayne Linville, Director, Grantmaking Operations, and Melissa Wooten, Program Officer.

Linville will lead the Grants Management Team. One of his primary responsibilities will be to ensure that the grants management system meets the needs of the Foundation’s applicants, grantees, and staff. He will coordinate with the Senior Program Team and other Foundation departments to create and maintain efficient operations and systems in support of the Foundation’s strategic goals. Linville was the Director of Operations at the Shine Campaign, which supports clean, distributed energy solutions, where he had responsibilities related to administration, budget, communications, and strategic planning, in addition to grantmaking responsibilities. Prior to this, he held positions with increasing responsibility in grants management and operations at the Ford Foundation.

Wooten will direct the William T. Grant Scholars and Mentoring grants programs. Beyond these responsibilities, her role as a Program Officer will include reviewing letters of inquiry and full proposals for major research grants, enhancing the Foundation’s existing research initiatives, and representing the Foundation with applicants, grantees, and other funders. Wooten has served as the Senior Director of Educational Equity and later the Associate Vice President for Academic Equity within the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement at Rutgers University, where she has worked to increase institutional supports for historically excluded students, faculty, and staff populations. Prior to those roles, she was an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where her scholarship brought the tools of organizational sociology to examine how colleges and universities provide supportive, challenging, and resource-rich environments for Black students.

“We are very fortunate to have attracted the high caliber of experience and expertise that both of our new teammates bring to their roles,” said Senior Vice President of Program, Vivian Tseng. “Dwayne’s broad and deep skills in grants administration, budgeting, strategic planning, and grants management systems will enable us to deliver high quality, effective, and efficient grantmaking. Melissa’s rich experience in research and university administration to address educational inequality and her proven leadership in promoting equity for historically excluded students provides an excellent background for leading our two career development grant programs. I have no doubt that the program department and the Foundation will benefit greatly from their contributions.”

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