About the foundation.

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a community-supported foundation that invests in the power of women and girls of color in the Washington DC region. We open doors to opportunity, safety and security through grantmaking and advocacy.

Since 1998, we have awarded more than $14 million in grants to more than 205 community-based organizations in the Washington, D.C. region.


Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a community-supported foundation that invests in the power of women and girls of color across the Washington metropolitan region.


To ignite change in our community to advance gender, racial, and economic justice.


● We are constantly learning and adapt our practices to serve a changing world.
● We are honest, transparent and accountable to our community.
● We are a small but mighty collective that encourages diversity in community, thoughts and ideas.
● We practice kindness and intentionality in all we do.

Meet Our Staff

  • Sarena Barnes
    Office Assistant

    Sarena serves as the first point of contact for the Foundation, providing operations, administrative and finance support to the staff.

  • Mercy Chikowore
    Director of Communications

    Mercy Chikowore leads the organization’s communications and branding strategies.

  • Martine Gordon
    Vice President of Programs
    Martine leads the Program team and The Foundation’s program strategy development.
  • Jackie Lendsey
    Interim President and CEO

    Jackie leads the organization in its mission, providing and implementing its strategic vision.

  • Chika Onwuvuche
    Program Officer

    Chika oversees grantmaking to both individuals and organizations, and provides support directly to Grantee Partners and youth award-
    winners with technical assistance and additional fundraising.

  • Sylvia Padilla
    Finance and Operations Associate

    Sylvia provides operation and finance support to The Foundation staff.

  • Donna Wiedeman
    Executive Assistant to the President

    Donna provides administrative support to the President and CEO, serving as liaison with the Board of Directors, and as office manager.

Meet Our Board

  • Joyce M. Brayboy

    Managing Director
    Goldman Sachs Office of Government Affairs

  • Yvette Butler

    Head of Private Bank & Wealth Advisory
    Silicon Valley Bank

  • Evelyn N. Bynum

    The Maultsby Way

    Senior Career Consultant
    George Washington University School of Business

  • Sally D’Amato

    Deloitte Consulting

  • Andrea Dykes
    Co-Chair, Development & Co-Chair, Luncheon Committees

    Managing Partner
    Howard Insurance

  • James MacGregor

    Vice President of Local Markets
    American City Business Journals (ACBJ)

  • Pinkie Dent Mayfield
    Board Chair

    Vice President — Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer
    Graham Holdings Company

  • Jennifer Parker Porter, M.D.

    Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon,
    Medical Director 
    Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC

  • Teresa Payne-Nunn

    Vice President and Chief Member Officer
    Executive Leadership Council

  • Matthew D. Shank, Ph.D

    Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges

  • Leo Tucker

    Managing Partner
    Northwestern Mutual

Grantee Partners

We work in partnership with community to build relationships with nonprofit organizations led by, benefiting, and recognizing the power of women and girls of color and gender expansive people of color in the Washington, DC region.