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         

    Recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and recently selected as one of 55 “Connectors & Keepers” by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, Omar T. Woodard is an experienced leader with over a decade of expertise in public affairs, philanthropy, and corporate/nonprofit governance and management. He is a sought-after public speaker across the nation, with high-level experience in political campaigns as a fundraiser, field director, and policy director. A North Philadelphia native and resident, Omar is currently an adjunct professor in the Fox School of Business at Temple University.

    Most recently, Omar was policy director for a mayoral campaign in Philadelphia; and prior to that he was a principal at Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), one of the nation’s earliest philanthropic investment firms where he co-managed a $20M portfolio to achieve social impact. Prior to VPP, he was a healthcare and higher education management consultant, and an associate director of business development at the Advisory Board Company in Washington DC.

    For two years, he was a federally registered lobbyist for the Whitaker Group, a premier consulting firm focused on increasing US-African trade & investment. At The George Washington University, he worked in the Office of Corporate & Foundation Relations, and the Office of the Senior Vice President. He served as Deputy Regional Field Director during the general election for the 2008 Obama for America presidential campaign, and started his career on Capitol Hill as a congressional intern/aide.

    He is a board member/advisor to numerous organizations, including PHL Diversity – a division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors’ Bureau – the African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Maternity Care Coalition, and the Elliott School of International Affairs Board of Advisors. At 24, he was the youngest-ever person elected to the George Washington University Board of Trustees. The Board of City Trusts of Philadelphia appointed him to the Board of Managers of Girard College, and he served as President of the Girard College Foundation.

    Omar is a Fellow with the Association of Black Foundation Executives, a Fellow with the Center for Progressive Leadership, and he received the Toyota Presidential Fellowship from the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. Harvard Business School awarded him with the Hansjoerg Wyss Award for Social Enterprise, and he also served as a Head Judge of the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition. The Obama for America 2012 presidential campaign appointed Omar to represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a member of the Rules Committee for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

    Omar received a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on nonprofit management and governance, and a bachelor’s degree in international economics & public policy, both from the George Washington University where he was a Presidential Administrative Fellow and Student Body President. He holds a certificate in nonprofit governance from Harvard Business School. Omar graduated from Girard College, a grade 1-12 co-ed boarding school in North Philadelphia for children from low-income, single parent families.

  • • Non-profits and Philanthropy
    • Board Governance
    • Youth Leadership and Organizing
    • Black Male College Success

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