Mayor Nutter Announces Departure of Chief Grants Officer

Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the departure of Maari Porter, Chief Grants Officer, who will become the Executive Director for Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia. Ms. Porter’s last day of city employment will be in early February 2015.

“As the Chief Grants Officer for the Mayor’s Office of Grants and the Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia, Maari Porter has played a key role in securing the resources Philadelphia needs to provide high-quality services for its citizens,” said Mayor Nutter. “From youth violence prevention and job training initiatives to affordable housing and the designation of the Promise Zone in West Philadelphia, Maari has facilitated our city’s partnerships with the federal government – allowing our vision for a safer, smarter, and more prosperous Philadelphia to emerge. I am proud of what she has accomplished and I am confident she will have continued success in her future endeavors.”

In July 2012, Mayor Nutter appointed Ms. Porter as Chief Grants Officer of the Mayor’s Office of Grants via Executive Order to better position the City to be more competitive in attracting federal, state and philanthropic funds, in a new era of severely constrained resources. The Mayor’s Office of Grants is an important and successful innovation for Philadelphia, and since July 2012 the office has worked with multiple City agencies to attract $48M in highly nationally competitive grants, which include:

  • $30M U.S Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant attracting $125M in public and private leverage for North Central Philadelphia in 2014.
  • Promise Zone designation for West Philadelphia announced by President Obama at the White House, January 2014.
  • S Department of Justice’s Youth Violence Prevention “National Forum” City, $750,000 Second Chance Act Demonstration Grant and $600,000 School Diversion Program grant;
  • $1M Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge Competition winner, one of only five cities awarded in a field of more than 300 cities nationwide, and a $3M Bloomberg Philanthropies Financial Empowerment Centers grant in 2013.
  • $859,180 Corporation of National and Community Services and U.S Department of Justice funding to create PowerCorpsPHL providing young people with a pathway to service and jobs.
  • Selection as US2020 STEM City Competition winner, announced by President Obama at the White House Science Fair in 2014, and secured further funding for the initiative from St. Gobain and the Philadelphia Youth Network; and
  • $5.9M Equitable Bike Share grant from the JBP Foundation in New York.

“The successes of the Mayor’s Office of Grants and Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia are a result of the leadership of Mayor Nutter, the City’s greatest fundraiser. Thanks to his strong reputation nationally, alongside the strong partnerships built across multiple City agencies and our partners – philanthropy, universities, non-profit and corporate sectors – the City of Philadelphia has had tremendous success securing federal support for local programs and initiatives,” said Ms. Porter. “It has been a privilege working for the Nutter Administration and serving alongside so many smart, strategic, and dedicated officials committed to making Philadelphia a truly great city to live and a place I am proud to call home. While I am sad to leave the City, I am excited and honored to be leading the Philanthropy Network and will continue to build and strengthen partnerships with regional and national philanthropy to improve the quality of life in Philadelphia and the region.”

Ms. Porter joined the City in 2010 to lead a new Recovery Office during the Great Recession, overseeing the attraction and management of $350M in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009 “stimulus” funds. In this role she managed the spending of federal stimulus funds at a scale and pace that was unprecedented due to the severity of the Great Recession, while ensuring public dollars were leveraged to create thousands of jobs and generate economic activity.   Ms. Porter also ensured all funds were spent ethically working in partnership with the Inspector General and Chief Integrity Officer for the City.

As the Executive Director for the Philanthropy Network, Ms. Porter will lead the organization and its 150+ members in improving the quality of life in the region and educating and inspiring members to do their best giving. Philanthropy Network is the region’s membership association for organizations and individuals active in philanthropy serving primarily, Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties, and adjacent areas. Philanthropy Network fosters connections and collaborations to enhance the impact of local philanthropy and brings funders together with civic leaders, government and community organizations to address areas of mutual interest.

Prior to joining the Nutter Administration in February 2010, Ms. Porter held policy positions in the United Kingdom’s national and local governments, focused on reform and improving performance of public services. Ms. Porter has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s of City Planning from the University of Auckland.

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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