The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation – the family foundation of late construction pioneer Jim Clark – announced the appointment of three senior programmatic and operations leaders.
The Foundation team has been expanded to include: Ryan Palmer, Director of DC Community Initiatives; Natalie Grandison, Director of Engineering Initiatives; and Jennifer Houston, Operations and Grants Manager.
Over the course of his long and successful career, Clark constructed some of Washington’s most iconic buildings. Yet his philanthropy has been, and continues to be, as impactful as the structures he built. Under the leadership of their daughter, Courtney Clark Pastrick, Mr. and Mrs. Clark quietly and generously supported Washington-area organizations, hospitals, schools, cultural institutions and veterans groups for the past 30 years through the Clark Charitable Foundation.
In 2017, Courtney Clark Pastrick – now Chair of the Board of Directors – unveiled the Foundation’s new name, the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, with the appointment of Joe Del Guercio as President and CEO. The Foundation established four priority investment areas – DC Community, DC Education, Engineering and Veterans Support – and appointed directors for education and veterans’ initiatives, as well as a program officer responsible for monitoring and evaluation.
“Mr. Clark’s vision was to give back to his community,” Del Guercio said. “The team at the Clark Foundation is humbled and excited to help realize his philanthropic legacy in the next decade and beyond. To that end, I am very proud to announce our newest team members – Ryan, Natalie, and Jennifer – who will bolster our efforts to help others achieve their greatest ambitions.”
The new hires bring expertise in community engagement, philanthropy, university relations and grants management.
Ryan Palmer, Director of DC Community Initiatives – A native Washingtonian, Palmer has dedicated her career to serving and advocating for the most vulnerable populations. Most recently, she served as Chief External Relations Officer for Martha’s Table. Palmer brings extensive experience working across the nonprofit, philanthropic, business, and government sectors. In her new role, she is committed to building and leveraging partnerships with an array of Washington-area leaders and community champions to achieve the Foundation’s mission.
Natalie Grandison, Director of Engineering Initiatives – Grandison will oversee the Foundation’s engineering portfolio. Previously, she was the Director of External Relations in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering. At the University of Maryland, she fostered business-university partnerships and oversaw student and departmental programs. In her new position, she will manage the Foundation’s signature academic program, the A. James Clark Scholars program, which has now been established at 10 campuses nationwide. She will also manage the Foundation’s multi-year investment of nearly $220 million to the University of Maryland.
Jennifer Houston, Operations and Grants Manager – Houston will spearhead the Foundation’s grant and operations infrastructure, overseeing systems to streamline grant management and support the success of the Foundation’s grantees. Having previously served as Vice President of Special Projects and Events at the consulting firm Innovative Philanthropy, Jennifer brings strong experience working with high-profile nonprofit clients in capacities that include grantmaking, foundation management, and event execution.