The Wallace Foundation Announces Promotions of Five Staff Members to Senior Program Officer
Here are highlights of contributions by our new senior officers and their current responsibilities.
Claudia joined Wallace in September 2012, bringing to our work her deep field experience and dedication to benefiting disadvantaged children. Immediately prior to Wallace, Claudia was Director of Education at City Parks Foundation, where during her 10-year tenure her accomplishments included the strategic redesign of programs; establishing relationships with key partners in government, schools, and non-profit agencies; and conceptualizing and implementing evidence-based evaluations to track progress, capture promising practices, and strengthen efforts. Her earlier experience spanned a number of education, youth development and out-of-school time programs as a service provider and as a technical assistance provider at the national level.
At Wallace, Claudia’s grants management responsibilities have included working with national youth-serving providers in both “expanded learning” and summer learning, managing the learning community for these providers and several other out-of-school time grants. Claudia has been instrumental in contributing to the design of Wallace's new cross sector social and emotional learning initiative, Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning. She now manages two of the grantee communities, and is the lead on the work with PSELI’s national thought partners and central TA support for the learning community.
Claudia holds a BA in sociology and Latin American Studies from Hampshire College, and an MA in Urban Education from the Graduate School at the City University of New York.
Rochelle joined Wallace in July 2014, following completion of her doctoral program and attainment of her Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Rochelle’s experience also includes designing and implementing a turnaround strategy as Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Holyoke (MA) Public Schools, serving as a Cluster Leader for the National Center on Education and the Economy, as well as working as a consultant to school superintendents and small business owners.
At Wallace, Rochelle has grants management responsibility in all education leadership initiatives: The Principal Pipeline Initiative, The Principal Supervisor Initiative and the University Principal Preparation Initiative. Rochelle manages the initiative-wide technical and leads several professional learning communities (PLC).
Rochelle holds a BA in Psychology from Spelman College, and Masters degrees from NYU (Applied Psychology), Teachers College/Columbia University (Instructional Technology), and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Social Policy and Planning: Urban Superintendents Program).
Nicholas Pelzer joined The Wallace Foundation in 2014. As a senior program officer in the Education Leadership unit, Pelzer works with school districts, universities, technical assistance providers and stakeholders across the country to strengthen their efforts to attract, train, evaluate and support school leaders in urban areas.
Before joining Wallace, he served as director of public service leadership and strategic initiatives at National Urban Fellows. His work there included directing a national collaborative network working to enhance the resiliency and sustainability of cities through community-based programming, policy research, and leadership development. Prior to that, Nicholas worked as both a Project Director and Project Officer on several initiatives at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where coordinated the launch and expansion of several multi-million dollar grantmaking programs focusing on critical areas in nursing. He also managed national efforts to create a more highly educated healthcare workforce, introduce new and diverse researchers to the field, and improve access to high-quality healthcare for underserved communities.
Nicholas holds a BS in Communications from James Madison University and an MPA from Baruch College where he was a National Urban Fellow. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in education at Teachers College/Columbia University.
This promotion continues Polly’s career trajectory which started as an Administrative Assistant in 2002 and reflects her deep commitment to our mission, continuous learning, and professional growth.
During Polly’s 15-year tenure at Wallace, she has been involved in a range of projects dedicated to building Wallace’s capacity, the capacity of our grantees and the OST field. Projects have included initiative program and research design, dissemination strategies, website design and grants administration. Polly sits on the Learning & Enrichment team that oversees the program area’s initiative strategy development and implementation. Polly manages a number grantees including networks and youth-serving organizations across our Afterschool Systems Building initiative and Expanded Learning Opportunities portfolio. She is a member of the Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning initiative implementation team and manages two grantee communities. Polly managed the Strengthening Financial Management initiative: oversight of 24 OST grantees in Chicago receiving financial management training, and led the project to develop strongnonprofits.org, where the tools and resources are among the Top 10 downloads from Wallace’s website every month.
Polly holds a BA in Spanish from Hamilton College, and an MPA from Baruch, earned while working full-time at Wallace.
Christine joined Wallace in November 2013 to help design and launch Wallace’s arts initiative, Building Audiences for Sustainability (BAS). Today, Christine is responsible for directly managing five of the 25 grant recipients in BAS, as well as coordinating and supporting the management of outsourced grants managers and market research advisors.
Christine joined Wallace from American Express Philanthropy, where she supported two grant-making areas (Leadership and Historic Preservation); developed and launched the American Express Leadership Academy; and co-convened the first White House Forum on Nonprofit Leadership. She previously held roles on the business side of American Express.
Christine holds a BS in Economics with a dual concentration in marketing and public policy management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She has a MA in Performing Arts Administration from the Steinhardt School at NYU, and was selected for the 21st cohort of Coro New York’s Leadership New York program.
Please join us in congratulating Claudia, Rochelle, Nicholas, Polly and Christine on their promotions.