Skip to main content

Donna Lawrence Appointed Director of the Disadvantaged Children & Youth Program of The Atlantic Philanthropies

Resource type: News

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

New York, November 6, 2008 Donna Lawrence, an accomplished foundation director, advocate and government official, has been appointed Director of the Disadvantaged Children & Youth (DCY) program of The Atlantic Philanthropies effective November 24, 2008, Vice President Marcia A. Smith announced today. Lawrence will shape and oversee grantmaking that seeks to help young people and families succeed and overcome barriers related to poverty, inadequate educational opportunities and lack of healthcare. Atlantic’s DCY program is active in the United States, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Bermuda, and made 50 grants totaling $107 million in 2007. Currently Executive Director of the Riggio Foundation, Lawrence has extensive experience in advocacy and policy development in support of low-income children, youth and families in the United States. She spent many years at the Children’s Defense Fund, serving as both Director of the advocacy organization’s New York State office, as well as its Vice President of National Field Operations. Lawrence also worked as Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Children and Families under Mayor David Dinkins, and was Dinkins’ Senior Policy Advisor on Children and Youth when Dinkins served as Manhattan Borough President. We are fortunate to have Donna join Atlantic in this important leadership position. Donna has a long history of advocating for and improving the lives of children, youth and families who face daunting challenges related to income, race, health and immigration status, Smith said. Her accomplishments in the philanthropic, government and nonprofit sectors and her proven skills as a leader, manager, policy maker and advocate will be a tremendous asset to Atlantic, as we seek to advance our social justice agenda for children and youth. As Executive Director of the Riggio Foundation, Lawrence developed the foundation’s strategic social justice agenda and managed a $20 million grant to build 100 homes for low-income families in New Orleans who lost their homes as a consequence of Hurricane Katrina. Prior to joining the Riggio Foundation, Lawrence served in many other leadership and managerial positions, including that of Executive Director of the New York office of the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. “I am honored to join The Atlantic Philanthropies and its international team of dedicated professionals, who are working to advance a mission which could not be more important or more timely, Lawrence said. With the effects of the world financial crisis revealing themselves on a daily basis, we need to re-double our efforts to support and advocate for the children and young people who need us the most.”

Related Resources


Children & Youth

Global Impact:

United States


Donna Lawrence