Karris M. Jackson Named Chief Operating Officer Of POISE Foundation

Friday, July 6, 2018

The POISE Foundation has announced that Karris M. Jackson has been appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer of POISE, effective July 1, 2018.

In this position, Ms. Jackson will assume leadership of the internal operations of the Foundation including human resource management, planning and day to day operations. She will continue to oversee the programmatic functions of the Foundation.

“Over the last nine years since joining the Foundation, Karris has played a critical leadership role in expanding the Foundation’s grantmaking and scholarship programs” said Mark Lewis, President and CEO. “She was a principal architect of the Foundation’s Strengthening Black Families strategy and implementation. Her previous experience leading nonprofit organizations in our community makes her a natural fit to help manage POISE Foundation’s growth over the next several years. Ms. Jackson is well-respected among both the foundation and nonprofit communities and pushes the boundaries of philanthropy to be more inclusive and effective at addressing issues impacting the Black community.”

Ms. Jackson previously served as Vice President of Programs at POISE, where she was responsible for managing the Foundation’s grant making portfolio, convening community stakeholders and advancing the foundation’s mission through public policy, leadership and advocacy. Prior to joining the POISE, Jackson was executive director of Urban Youth Action, Inc. Before working at Urban Youth Action, Jackson was CAO of a charter school located in Harrisburg, Pa.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, she is a graduate of Wilkinsburg Senior High School. Ms. Jackson holds a BA in English from Allegheny College, a MS in Secondary School Administration from Duquesne University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Harvard University.

Ms. Jackson serves as a board member of Neighborhood Allies and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXV. She is a founding member of the Sankofa Fund Giving Circle, the African American Funders Group of Southwestern PA and the 2012-2013 ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellows Class. Ms. Jackson has received numerous awards including the 2014 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award from the Association of Black Foundation Executives, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Excellence and the Pittsburgh Pirates Community Champion Award. She is a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Coraopolis, PA where she serves as a Trustee and Sunday School Teacher.  

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