Meyer Foundation Board Elects New Executive Committee
The board of directors of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation is pleased to announce its new executive committee, effective June 4: Dr. Charlene M. Dukes takes the helm as chair; Obiora “Bo” Menkiti as vice chair; Tori O’Neal-McElrath as secretary; and Tram Nguyen as treasurer. Each member of our new executive committee has deep relationships and experience in the region and a strong personal commitment to the Foundation’s fundamental aim to advance racial equity. The Foundation looks forward to their leadership as they apply their expertise, perspectives, and skills to help us address some of our region’s most complex issues.
Dr. Dukes succeeds former Board Chair Jim Sandman, president of the Legal Services Corporation. Both Sandman and Immediate Past Board Chair Debby Ratner Salzberg, DC Region Chairman for Brookfield Properties, rolled off the board after 12 years of dedicated service and leadership, during which they guided the Foundation on its evolving strategic path.
A closer look at our recently elected executive committee:
Dr. Charlene M. Dukes is the first woman president of Prince George’s Community College, which serves 40,000 students with more than 200 degree, workforce development, and continuing education programs.
She has served in numerous leadership positions in government, business, and the nonprofit sector, and on the boards of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce; the Harlem Renaissance Foundation; and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (now the Greater Washington Community Foundation).
Dr. Dukes has been recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of the most powerful women in the DC region and was one of their 2016 Washingtonians of the Year. She was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013, and was included in the Washington Business Journal‘s Power 100 in 2014.
Obiora “Bo” Menkiti is the founder and CEO of The Menkiti Group, a company dedicated to transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate. He also serves as chair and founding partner of Keller Williams Capital Properties, a residential real estate brokerage managed by The Menkiti Group.
He has been recognized by numerous outlets and associations for his real estate and entrepreneurial achievements. He is a trustee of the Federal City Council and serves on the boards of City First Bank, The District of Columbia Building Industry Association, and NFL linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation.
Tori O’Neal-McElrath most recently served as vice president of external affairs at Demos, a public policy organization focused on equity in our democracy and economy, where she oversaw the communications and development teams.
O’Neal-McElrath has been an instructor and guest lecturer on major gifts fundraising, grantsmanship, annual fund campaigns, and nonprofit management as faculty of the University of California Los Angeles Extension, and at professional development conferences and presentations at American University. She authored Winning Grants: Step by Step, Fourth Edition, and co-authored Nonprofit 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals and Winning Grants: Step by Step, Third Edition.
Tram Nguyen is the co-executive director of New Virginia Majority, a catalytic force for the progressive transformation of Virginia through mass organizing, leadership development, and strategic communications. She has long been an organizer and supporter of communities and groups of workers.
As a project coordinator for Mount Sinai Medical Center, she helped fight for federal funding for a health treatment program to address the unmet physical and mental needs of rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero following the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. As an emergency preparedness/response director for Boat People SOS, she organized more than 30,000 Vietnamese immigrants whose lives had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. She also directed a recovery program that assisted over 3,000 families by providing cultural and language-appropriate services, and advocated for the sustainable redevelopment of immigrant communities and businesses in New Orleans, La., Biloxi, Miss., and Bayou La Batre, Ala.
“The Foundation is thrilled to have the leadership of such a dynamic and well-rounded executive committee,” says Meyer Foundation President and CEO Nicky Goren. “Jim and Debby helped set the Foundation on a clearer pathway toward advancing equity, and now I believe we are poised to move even more confidently toward our vision of a just, connected, and inclusive region.”
Established in 1944 by Eugene Meyer, an owner and publisher of The Washington Post, and his wife, the author and social activist Agnes E. Meyer, the Meyer Foundation is one of the Washington area’s oldest and largest locally-focused philanthropies. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue and invest in solutions that build an equitable Greater Washington community in which economically disadvantaged people thrive.