Deborah Thompson Velazquez, Altman Foundation

TITLE: Associate Director

FUNDING AREAS: Strengthening communities and youth development in New York City

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PROFILE: The Altman Foundation's Deborah Thompson Velazquez has made a name for herself giving advice about philanthropy just about as much as working in philanthropy. In recent years, this senior program officer has spoken at many conferences, participated in targeted panel discussions, and offered a gold mine of advice to grantseeking non-profit organizations. An announcement about her promotion in Philanthropy New York shared: 

The Altman Foundation is pleased to announce that Deborah T. Velazquez has been appointed Associate Director of the Foundation.  Ms. Velazquez joined the Foundation in 2008 as Senior Program Officer.  

Ms. Velazquez’s core responsibilities include oversight of the Strengthening Communities area—which includes economic self-sufficiency, affordable housing, and parks and open space—and a number of investments that link youth development and the arts.  She also advances critical capacity building and systems change grants across multiple program areas and provides leadership in donor collaborative funds, including the NYC Workforce Development Fund; the Change Capital Fund; the New York Merger, Acquisition, and Collaborative Fund; and the New York Pooled PRI (program-related investment) Fund.  In her cross-cutting role as Senior Program Officer and now Associate Director, she also helps to facilitate the efforts of other program staff working in areas of the Arts, Education, and Health, and fosters the development of internal systems that improve the experience of Altman grantees and staff.  Executive Director Karen Rosa noted, “Deborah Velazquez is a strong leader whose calm and steady style is undergirded by a brilliant and dynamic mind that is also creative, warm, and completely committed to the issues at the heart of the Foundation.  We celebrate this well-deserved promotion.”

Prior to joining Altman, Ms. Velazquez served as a philanthropic consultant and held management roles within the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, MDRC, and Bridge Street Development Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Master of Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.