Kristen Whelan, Yawkey Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Many major philanthropic foundations are now outsourcing their senior program officer positions to third-party advisory teams. Boston baseball legacy the Yawkey Foundation relies upon the services of an advisory team known as The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) to evaluate grant applications and decide which worthy non-profit organizations to support. More specifically, Yawkey depends upon Senior Program Officer Kristen Whelan to dole out the foundation's education money. Her TPI bio shares: 

Kristen Whelan researches various topics and issues of interest to clients to assist them in developing funding strategies and grants programs. Kristen also assists corporations, individual donors, and family foundations with design and implementation of their initiatives. Specific efforts include creation of a grants program to improve reading skills; development and management of a youth-focused initiative for a family foundation resulting in multi-year grants to after-school and mentoring programs in Boston; and design of a contemporary music fund to promote the proliferation and awareness of classical music composed within the 20 years. 

For the past 10 years, she has worked closely with a family foundation serving as program officer and working closely with its trustees to structure and evaluate grantmaking partnerships. She has created and manages scholarship programs for corporations and foundations to meet their specific objectives and has worked with corporations to design, manage and train employees involved in corporate giving and volunteering programs.

Kristen has a Master's degree from the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University, where she wrote her thesis on the benefits of strategic and integrated corporate giving programs. Prior to joining TPI in 1998 she worked in a number of nonprofit organizations, including Planned Parenthood Clinic of Greater Boston, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Oxfam America. Kristen received her Bachelor of Arts in politics and psychology at Bennington College.