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Rhode Island Foundation Names Toby Shepherd Programs Officer for Educational Grantmaking
By Chris Barnett / April 14, 2014 /   Loading Disqus...
The Rhode Island Foundation has named Toby Shepherd as a grant programs officer effective May 5.

Shepherd will lead the Foundation’s grantmaking in the Education sector. His responsibilities will include serving as lead for the Foundation on educational issues, working with Foundation stakeholders and evaluating funding proposals.  

Last year, the Foundation awarded more than $7.8 million in grants for education, supporting initiatives like the Highlander Institute’s Center for Blended Learning, the Learning Community Charter School’s district-level partnerships and the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative’s Pathways to Graduation Summer Program.

“Providing a high quality public education for every student is one of our priorities. Toby’s experience as a classroom teacher and his experience developing innovative educational programs makes him a great resource for us and a great adviser for our donors,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Shepherd currently serves as director of policy for the city of Providence, where he played a lead role in developing the kindergarten readiness program “Providence Talks.” Funded through a $5 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Providence Talks initiative aims to support parents and caretakers in developing the vocabularies of young children. 

Previously, he was associate director of portfolio planning for the New York City Department of Education and a second-grade teacher.

Shepherd is a graduate of Northeastern University and earned a master’s degree in teaching at Pace University and a master’s degree in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He lives in Providence with his wife and two sons.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2013, the Foundation made grants of more than $31 million to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising, and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

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