The People

Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

(pronouns: she/her/hers)

Sherece is a leading 21st century equity advocate. From her early beginnings as a housing advocate in New York City to leading programs at some of the most prestigious foundations in the Southeastern United States, Sherece has been relentless in her quest to increase prosperity for families striving to move out of poverty. Sherece uses every opportunity to speak life into leaders and organizations. Her expertise in public policy, funding strategies, and program development make her one of our nation’s top transformational leaders.

Before the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, she was the founding CEO of the Foundation for Louisiana (FLL). Prior to FFL she was with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Sherece earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland, and a master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

She is a member of the board of directors of Community Change, ForwARd Arkansas, and Philander Smith College.

When she is not working, you will find Sherece traveling the world with her husband Joe, hanging out with their pups Peaches and Herb, or chilling with them at home reading, eating grapes or popcorn (sometimes both) while listening to music. She loves to dance.


  • Ph.D., Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland
  • MA, Public Policy, University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • BA, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland
  • Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Policy Institutes
  • 2003 - 04 Emerging Leaders Fellow, a joint program of Duke University and the University of Cape Town in South Africa

Associations and Recognition

  • 2019-2020 Philanthropy Forward Fellow, Neighborhood Funder’s Group
  • 2017-2018 Rockwood Leadership Institute's National Leading from the Inside Out Yearlong Fellowship
  • 2017 James A. Joseph Lecturer
  • 2015 - 16 Ascend Fellowship Program, The Aspen Institute
  • 2015 Humanitarian Award, Just Communities of Arkansas
  • 2013 Woman of Influence Award, Arkansas Business Journal
  • 50 for the Future, Member, Little Rock Chamber of Commerce
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Beta Pi Omega Chapter
  • Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Education Committee
  • Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum
  • Center for Community Change, Board of Directors
  • ForwARd Arkansas, Executive Advisory Committee
  • Philander Smith College, Board of Trustees - Chair
  • Mission Investors Exchange Inc., Board of Directors 
  • 2010 Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Center on Community Philanthropy, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
  • 2007 Telly Award winner for work as executive producer of the social documentary Power in the People
  • Graduate of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Arkansas Class of 2007–08
  • Top 180 Power List, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013, Arkansas Business Journal


“I have a mission and vision to use my time, talent, and treasure to transform vulnerable communities into healthy, vibrant communities.”

― Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, Ph.D.

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