Woodard to leverage equity, cultural diversity and social justice experience to redouble focus on advancing economic and leadership opportunities for Texas women and girls
DALLAS, January 27, 2022 – Texas Women’s Foundation (TXWF), one of the largest women’s funds in the world, today announced its selection of 25-year business and social-impact veteran Michelynn “Miki” Woodard as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 1, 2022. Woodard’s vast equity, cultural diversity and social justice experience will be vital to helping TXWF advance policies and programs that improve economic security and leadership opportunities for Texas women and girls.
Woodard’s appointment comes after a rigorous multi-month national CEO search with Russell Reynolds Associates, led by a CEO search committee chaired by TXWF board members Cheryl Alston and Cynt Marshall with chair Hilda Galvan, current and former board members. Woodard replaces Roslyn Dawson Thompson who retires January 31, 2022, after more than 10 years in the role.
“We selected Miki based on her proven success working with large global enterprises, high-profile celebrities and influencers to catalyze transformational social change through sustainable philanthropy, impact investments and programs,” said Galvan. “Miki’s leadership skills, respected national voice and powerful relationships in Texas and beyond – not to mention her lifelong passion for advancing cultural diversity and social justice – make her the ideal person to lead TXWF well into the future.”
Championing equity, cultural diversity and social justice
Prior to joining TXWF, Woodard worked across industries and geographies leading multimillion-dollar equity, cultural diversity and social justice impact investments, philanthropic programs and advocacy initiatives. Most recently, she served as president of social impact, diversity, inclusion and culture for Bad Robot Productions, Inc., and senior advisor of the Katie McGrath and J.J. Abrams Family Foundation. Previously, Woodard established one of the first 100% women-led social impact agencies, partnering with high-profile celebrities and influencers to execute sustainable social impact strategies and social change initiatives.
Among her other experience, Woodard was CEO for the multimillion-dollar non-profit charitable foundations of two high-profile television celebrities, where she led national programs and advocacy efforts benefitting children and families. She also managed JCPenney’s $30 million global corporate giving portfolio as vice president of philanthropy for the company, as well as worked as managing director for Be the Change, Inc., organizing coalitions of non-profits, social entrepreneurs, policymakers, private sector leaders, academics and citizens to address national issues.
Woodard is an active philanthropist and volunteer, serving as board member for The Papa John’s Foundation and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, as well as board chair for Community Coalition in Los Angeles, California. She is also a member of The Trust for Public Land California advisory board.
“I am honored to join one of the world’s largest women’s funds and a trusted leader in advocating for and advancing economic security and leadership opportunities for Texas women and girls,” said Woodard. “Following the global health, economic and social crises of the past two years, Texas Women’s Foundation’s work is more vital than ever. I look forward to working with the talented Board, volunteers, partners and staff, as well as with devoted and generous donors, to continue the rich legacy of propelling social and economic change, empowering women and girls to build stronger, more equitable communities throughout Texas.”
Woodard was selected unanimously after a thorough, multi-month search reflecting TXWF’s abiding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and including input from a broad range of TXWF constituencies. “Throughout the search process, candidates were evaluated against a number of essential competencies, from proven managerial and operational know-how to strategic leadership and fundraising expertise to communications and relationship-building savvy,” said Galvan. “We also sought someone who shared our passion for gender and racial equity, and who aligned with our organization’s values of integrity, intentionality and inclusivity. Miki captures everything we were hoping to find in Texas Women’s Foundation’s next leader.”
Enduring focus on building an equitable society where women and girls are full participants
Woodard inherits a deep bench of talented TXWF leaders at all levels who will work with her to continue and extend the Foundation’s enduring focus on its mission to raise funds for statewide research, advocacy and grantmaking to unlock economic and leadership opportunities for Texas women and girls. Since its founding 37 years ago, the organization has awarded $57 million in grants and programs – including $43 million since 2011. As one of the largest women’s funds in the world, TXWF has a solid balance sheet, including assets of over $40 million invested in the Foundation’s innovative 100% mission-aligned gendered portfolio providing both financial returns and social benefits to women and girls.
Woodard replaces Roslyn Dawson Thompson who retires January 31, 2022, after more than 10 years as CEO and active volunteer involvement in TXWF since its founding. Dawson Thompson is credited with leading TXWF through the most transformative decade in its history, creating a shared understanding and common language for the importance of women’s economic security to all Texans, and raising over $80 million to support Texas women and girls during her tenure. Today TXWF is one of the largest and most respected women’s foundations in the world – in assets, impact, diversity and size.
Dawson Thompson will serve as an ongoing resource for Woodard as she transitions into her new role as CEO. “I could not be more excited for the future of Texas Women’s Foundation under Miki’s leadership. She brings the skills, the expertise and the passion to truly catapult TXWF into a new era of leading significant social change and creating systemic impact,” Dawson Thompson said.
About Texas Women’s Foundation
Texas Women’s Foundation is Transforming Texas for Women and Girls, empowering them to build stronger, more equitable communities. One of the world’s largest women’s foundations, the Foundation raises funding from a broad base of donors, including individuals, foundations and corporations. These resources support more than $7 million in investments that advance economic security and leadership for Texas women and girls through groundbreaking research, advocacy, grants and programs. Since inception in 1985, the Foundation has invested $57 million in women and girls, including $43 million since 2011. The Foundation’s statewide research on issues affecting women and girls provides decision-makers and lawmakers with critical data to inform policies, practices and programs in the state. Its advocacy, grantmaking and innovative programs support solutions that help Texas women and girls thrive. In addition, Texas Women’s Foundation is an acknowledged leader and advocate in the gender lens investing movement and has deployed 100 percent of its assets – endowments, operating investments and donor-advised funds – in a gendered impact portfolio that yields strong financial returns and social benefits to women and girls. For more information, visit www.txwf.org, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram or donate now.