Kristen McDonald steps down as Skillman Foundation vice president to lead Greater Midland Community Center

Kristen McDonald 2016 Square

Kristen McDonald, vice president, program & policy

The Skillman Foundation’s Vice President of Program and Policy Kristen McDonald is exiting her role at the Foundation to serve as president and CEO of the Greater Midland Community Center. The Foundation is tremendously grateful for Kristen’s leadership and wishes her continued success as she applies her talents to help improve the lives of children and families in her home community of greater Midland.

Kristen joined the Foundation in 2007 as a senior program officer. During her nine years at the Foundation, she was promoted to program director and later to her current role as vice president of program and policy. Assuming the role of president and CEO at the Greater Midland Community Center, Kristen continues on her career path as a proven strategist and leader. 

"Kristen's imprint on the Foundation's trajectory is big, bold and lasting," said Tonya Allen, president & CEO of the Skillman Foundation. "It’s been a gift to be her colleague and friend; to see both her career and her family grow over the years. This opportunity is a terrific match for her, both professionally and personally.” 

Kristen's contributions to the Foundation over the past nine years have been significant, including: 

  • Executing the Foundation’s most recent strategic plan, a neighborhood-level strategy focused on the areas of education, youth development, safety and community leadership   
  • Helping the Foundation move to a results-driven framework to increase high school graduation rates, youth development opportunities, and safety within neighborhoods 
  • Implementing strategies to improve education in Detroit, from early childhood through high school 

Kristen has made it her mission to improve outcomes for children. Prior to her work at the Foundation, she served as the chief of staff to State Superintendent of Schools Mike Flanagan. She has worked extensively in the policy field of early childhood education and was one of the chief architects of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) and Great Start, Michigan’s system of education and care for children from birth to kindergarten. Her accomplishments in leading change for children were recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which selected Kristen as a Children and Family Fellow for the class of 2016-2017. 

Through smart strategic planning and tireless championing for children’s well-being, Kristen has made a lasting impact on the Foundation. We will carry forward her tenacious spirit and her work, and are pleased to see her extend her reach to Midland families.