Kristen McDonald to lead education team

DETROIT - Kristen McDonald has joined the Foundation as senior program officer, and will manage the Foundation's education and early childhood work. She brings to the Foundation 15 years of public policy experience, and was one of the architects of Michigan's early childhood system, Great Start. McDonald most recently served as chief of staff for the Michigan Department of Education. Before that she was a policy advisor and federal legislative liaison for the Michigan Department of Human Services.

"Kristen is a talented individual who is committed to help us move forward the Foundation's education agenda," said Skillman Foundation President & CEO Carol Goss. "Her education policy experience in Lansing will help us push forward our belief that all kids deserve good schools."

McDonald has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University.

"Strong communities are built upon strong schools, and I am proud to join the inspiring tradition here at The Skillman Foundation," McDonald said. "I commit myself to working with other dedicated leaders and give every child the hope, the drive, and the education they need to live strong and meaningful lives."

Created in 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy whose chief aim is to help develop good schools and good neighborhoods for children. Though grants are made throughout Southeast Michigan, most grants are directed at six Detroit neighborhoods - Southwest Detroit (Vernor and Chadsey-Condon), Brightmoor, Osborn, Central and Cody-Rouge - and toward innovative and successful schools throughout the city of Detroit.