Mellon Foundation Names Carter Stewart Executive Vice President for Programs

individual wearing jacket smiling at left in front of soft background Carter Stewart

NEW YORK, NY, July 21, 2021 –  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation today announced the appointment of Carter Stewart, currently managing director of the venture philanthropy Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK) to the role of Executive Vice President for Programs at the Mellon Foundation. Working closely with Mellon President Elizabeth Alexander, the role serves to shape future funding priorities, ensuring that the Foundation’s support continues to address some of the most difficult challenges facing society today.

“Carter Stewart is a deeply engaged and strategic thinker, and his leadership and richly varied experience have been marked by meticulous inquiry, creative partnership, and interpersonal grace,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “His cross-cutting acumen is a crucial asset in our effort to better understand the impact of our grantmaking. We are delighted to have him join the senior leadership team at the Foundation.”

“Our country faces a series of crises that require bold leadership and innovation to solve. Elizabeth Alexander and the Mellon team embody those essential traits and so much more,” said Carter Stewart. “As the next Executive Vice President for Programs, I am honored and thrilled to work to advance the Foundation’s interest in the arts and humanities broadly conceived, conceptualizing, sharpening, refining, and reshaping grantmaking strategies and processes, and supporting programs that give a voice to the underserved.”

As a managing director at DRK, Stewart played a lead role in sourcing new investments and grantees—primarily small, justice-oriented organizations—and then working hand in glove with those organizations on strategy, organizational capacity building, and leadership development. As a member of the senior leadership team, he also helped execute DRK’s strategy and goals through thought leadership and external outreach.

In 2021, Stewart was the lead investigator for the Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs’ independent assessment of the City of Columbus’ response to protests during summer 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. Stewart led a team of lawyers, researchers, public policy experts, and law enforcement officials who gathered and analyzed data to identify policy successes and failures, as well as to recommend policy changes to the Columbus mayor, city council, city attorney, public safety director, and police department officials. In response to this report, several grassroots efforts have begun in Columbus to push for truth and reconciliation between police and the community.

Prior to joining DRK, Stewart served as the presidentially appointed US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio in the Obama administration. In this role, he was responsible for representing the federal government in civil matters and for prosecuting federal crime in a district that included Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton. Stewart emphasized deterrence, crime prevention, and alternatives to incarceration in his work. He created the district’s first diversion program and first community outreach position, and established a community leadership committee geared toward building trust and improving communication between the public and law enforcement.

Stewart took a leadership role at the Department of Justice in 2012 addressing inequities in the criminal justice system through his work raising awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline and by chairing a working group of US attorneys focused on reducing racial disparities in the federal system. He also served on Attorney General Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee and chaired the attorney general’s child exploitation prevention working group from 2013 to 2015.

Stewart currently serves on the boards of the Marshall Project, the Nantucket Historical Association, and Nantucket Film Festival. He previously served on the boards of the Joyce Foundation and the Contemporary American Theater Company. Stewart received a JD from Harvard Law School, an MA in education policy from Columbia University, and his undergraduate degree in political science from Stanford University. 

About The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.


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press@mellon.org