Kate Wolford "became president of The McKnight Foundation in December 2006. Prior to joining McKnight she spent 13 years as president of Lutheran World Relief (LWR). During her career Wolford has devoted more than 25 years to helping communities through locally based efforts and establishing innovative systems that empower individuals to help themselves.
"From 1991 to 2006, Wolford worked at LWR, where she was named president after two years as program director for Latin America. Founded in 1945 and headquartered in Baltimore, LWR works with grantees and development networks in 35 countries to provide relief and to combat the causes of poverty. As with McKnight's own international grantmaking, LWR's priority is to work with local partners in the communities it serves.
"Prior to her tenure at LWR, Wolford worked in Latin America and the Caribbean. She established Church World Service's Caribbean regional office for disaster response and community-based development. Before that, Wolford worked with Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas, a rural development organization. She also chaired InterAction, a consortium of over 150 U.S.-based relief and development organizations, and Action by Churches Together, a global faith-based humanitarian aid alliance.
"Wolford is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Gettysburg College, where she received a B.A. in history. She earned her M.A. in public policy from the University of Chicago, and a second masters in religious studies from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Wolford has received honorary doctorates from Gettysburg College, Muhlenberg College, and Concordia University-St. Paul.
"Baltimore's The Daily Record newspaper has selected her three times as one of "Maryland's Top 100 Women." She has also received Gettysburg College's Young Alumni Achievement and Woman of Distinction awards. Wolford serves on the Minnesota Council on Foundation's board of directors, and chairs its membership committee. She is also on the board of Living Cities and co-chairs its Communications and Knowledge Committee."