Tamara wilds Lawson

President and CEO

Dr. Tamara Wilds Lawson is the President and CEO of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, a community-supported foundation that invests in the power of women and girls of color in the Washington, D.C., region. Since joining the Foundation in 2023, Tamara has played a pivotal role in guiding its strategic direction and leveraging her expertise to further the organization’s mission and deepen its impact.

Under her leadership, The Women’s Foundation successfully commemorated 25 years of serving women and girls at its first public event since 2019 and released the groundbreaking report, “Thrive as They Lead: Advancing the Infrastructure to Support Black Women Leaders in the D.C. Metro Area Non-Profit Sector,” signaling the beginning of a long-term effort to enhance support and resources for Black women and gender-expansive leaders.

Prior to her appointment at The Women’s Foundation, Tamara served as the Movement, Issue, and Charitable Organizations (MICO) Director at ActBlue—an organization that raises funding and awareness for progressive political causes and campaigns—and led a 20-person team that supports nonprofits raising funds on the platform. Her work with ActBlue was particularly rewarding, given the decade she spent in nonprofit leadership as Chief Community Impact and Inclusion Officer for Washington Nationals Philanthropies and Director of the Posse Foundation’s Washington, DC office.

Early in her career, Tamara developed a diverse professional portfolio in higher education while earning her doctorate and also gained valuable national political organizing experience as Director of African American Outreach for the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 election cycle.

Tamara received her B.A. from Occidental College and Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of Leadership Greater Washington, and in 2019, Washington Business Journal selected her as one of its Women Who Mean Business. She is also honored to serve on the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) Executive Committee. 

A proud native Washingtonian, Tamara lives with her family in Southeast D.C.