Boston Foundation announces new staff, changes in Program Department organization

New ‘portfolio’ structure designed to increase impact

March 7, 2008

Boston – The Boston Foundation has announced a realignment of its Program Department, which oversees competitive grantmaking and tracks the Foundation’s initiatives. As part of the changes, two new senior staff members have joined the department, and several members of the current staff have had their roles redefined. The changes create a collaborative structure to create greater opportunities for strategic grantmaking. Program Officers with expertise in a specific sector will continue to oversee grants made in that sector, but they will work more closely with their colleagues to increase the Foundation’s overall grantmaking in terms of total impact.

The result is three “portfolios.” One includes Education, Youth Development and Out-of-School Time and Arts and Culture. The second includes Housing, Community Development, Civic and Community Engagement and the Non-Profit Sector. The third includes Workforce Development, Health and Human Services, and the Urban Environment.

The first of these three portfolio teams will be led by Richard Ward, a long-term Foundation staff member, most recently serving as Director of Grantmaking. The second grouping will be overseen by Geeta Pradhan, also a long-term staff member. The third grouping will be overseen by , who is new to the Boston Foundation.

“This change preserves relationships between Foundation staff and the grantee community, while it makes us more effective behind the scenes,” said Robert Lewis Jr., Vice President for Program at the Foundation. “We know, for example, that Education, After School Programs, and Arts and Culture connect in important ways. This new set of groupings means that grants in each sector will be developed and discussed with a full understanding of what is being planned in related programs.”

New staff members at the Foundation
Joining the Foundation as part of this reorganization, Jill Lacey Griffin comes from the City of Boston, where she was Assistant Director for Economic Initiatives with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. She is a former Special Assistant to Mayor Thomas Menino.  In addition,  Jeff Paquette joins the Foundation as Assistant Vice President for Program.  In his role, Paquette will be responsible for grantmaking and operational strategies and systems. His role will be to implement the new organization, increase coordination, and improve the process.

Paquette comes to the Boston Foundation from the Massachusetts 2020 Foundation, where he served as Vice President for Strategic Growth and Development. Prior to that, Paquette served with City Year in a number of roles, including, most recently, Chief Operating Officer and Interim Executive Director for City Year South Africa, based in Johannesburg.

Also joining the Program department is Marta Rivera, who will serve as Senior Program Officer for Civic Health and Civic Engagement. Rivera comes from city government, where she was Director of Capacity Building and Community Partnerships with the Boston Centers for Youth and Families.

Also changing roles as part of the reorganization is Andrea Martinez, formerly a Program Coordinator, who will take on the role of Special Assistant to the Vice President for Program.

“This new design invites us to be more strategic about the way we make discretionary grants, building connections between areas of interest, and strengthening our ability to tackle the most important challenges that face the region,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This new configuration will allow our grantmaking to better align with the Foundation’s work as a civic leader. This organization continues to evolve to create maximum impact, using all the assets we have, including money for grants and the deep expertise held by members of the Foundation staff. This new way of organizing staff raises the bar for us—and it frees up members of the staff to be more engaged and more visible in the community we serve.”


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of over $964 million.  In 2007, the Foundation and its donors made more than $92 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $155 million.  The Foundation is made up of some 850 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes.  The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges.  For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.