By: Taylor Tompkins
Roslyn Dawson Thompson is ending her decade as president and CEO of the Texas Women’s Foundation when she retires at the end of the year.
Dawson Thompson took the reins in 2011 after years of volunteer work with the organization. The Texas Women’s Foundation was founded in 1985 and works to help women and girls become more economically stable through research, advocacy, grants and programs.
According to a report the organization released last year, the average Texas woman is working to support her family. More than one out of every three Texas families depend on women’s income to make ends meet and women make $22.64 less than their male counterparts in median hourly wages.
Over the lifetime of the foundation, it has made $57 million in investments in Texas’ women— more than two-thirds of which were during Dawson Thompson’s tenure, according to information from the organization. Grantmaking grew nearly two-fold and assets grew by more than 40 percent during her time at the helm.
When she joined the nonprofit in 2011, it was known as the Dallas Women’s Foundation. In 2018, she shepherded the rebrand of the company in conjunction with the culmination of a five-year campaign that raised $50 million. The broadening of the brand helped further the foundation’s goal of ensuring economic opportunities across the state for women and girls in every sector, she said at the time.
Dawson Thompson is also credited with being heavily involved in diversifying the board and staff during her time as CEO. Half of the 46-member board is now women of color or a member of the LGBTQ community, more than double what it was at the time Dawson was named CEO. More than half of the 17 staff members are women of color or LGBTQ.
Texas Women’s Foundation has begun a nationwide search for Thompson’s successor, who will remain active with the organization until her replacement is hired.