Omar Woodard - Venture Philanthropy Partners

Omar Woodard

Omar draws on his deep expertise across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to improve the lives of people everywhere.

  • Omar T. Woodard, MPA         

    Professional Experience:   
    Policy Director, Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams. President, Girard College Foundation. Principal, Venture Philanthropy Partners. Consultant, Advisory Board Co. Deputy Regional Field Director, Obama for America. Lobbyist, The Whitaker Group. Contact:   

    Omar Woodard has a decade of experience working across the government, business, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently he was policy director to Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams, and president of the Girard College Foundation, which receives gifts on behalf of Girard College, a 166 year­ old private North Philadelphia-based boarding school for children from low-­income, single parent families, of which he is an alumnus. 

    Prior to that, he was a principal at Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), one of the nation's earliest philanthropic investment firms, based in Washington D.C. He co-managed a $20M portfolio of charter school and other education-related investments, focused on systems change, scale, and social impact. 

    Prior to VPP, he was a Healthcare Consultant and Associate Director of Business Development at the Advisory Board Company, a global healthcare and education research firm based in Washington, D.C. He advised corporations, hospitals, colleges and universities on cost saving initiatives and best practice implementation; closed $1.5 million in new business; and conducted nearly 200 speaking engagements with senior executives on the most pressing business issues facing their enterprise.

    He has experience as a registered federal lobbyist for The Whitaker Group, a premier strategic consulting firm committed to creating sustainable prosperity in Africa. He implemented strategies for African heads of state and Fortune 500 companies to build and strengthen key relationships in Congress, the White House and federal agencies, and worked closely with the U.S. Congress, African heads of state and foreign government ministers to secure increased trade and investment opportunities through coalition building, the appropriations process and U.S. foreign aid programs.

    In 2008, Omar was a Deputy Regional Field Director in Pennsylvania for the Obama for America presidential campaign. He played an integral role in Chester County voting Democratic for the first time since 1964. He began his career on Capitol Hill as an aide to Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA).

    Omar has experience as a board member/adviser to numerous nonprofit and for-profit social enterprises, including the Girard College Foundation, the George Washington University Board of Trustees, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and the Elliott School of International Affairs Board of Advisors. He is a Fellow with the Association of Black Foundation Executives, and received the Toyota Presidential Fellowship from the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and the Hansjoerg Wyss Award for Social Enterprise from Harvard Business School. A noted public speaker, he has judged numerous social enterprise competitions, including as Head Judge at Harvard Business School, George Washington and Temple universities.
    He is a two-time graduate of The George Washington University, and as a Presidential Administrative Fellow from 2005-2007 earned an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, and a B.A. in International Economics & Public Policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs. He also completed the Governing for Nonprofit Excellence program at Harvard Business School. During college, Omar served as President of the Black Student Union, and Student Body President.

    He is a native of North Philadelphia, PA, and speaks Arabic and French at an intermediate level.

  • • Nonprofits and Philanthropy
    • Board Governance
    • Youth Leadership and Organizing
    • Black Male College Success


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