About Us

The Women’s Foundation Board of Directors demonstrates the character of the Foundation, itself. Inspired. Determined. Fearless. They have refused to accept the hand dealt to women in Mississippi. Each of these insightful and resourceful leaders has made a stand to create new solutions. Their collective strength, support, and wisdom fuel our mission.

Every day, our staff works with determination and compassion to foster real change. They work together with Mississippi’s politicians, schools, and communities to ensure Mississippi’s women thrive.

Our Guiding Principles.
Learn about the history of our organization here.


Board of Directors

Our History

  • Community Foundation of MS logo


    The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi began as a field-of-interest fund within the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson.

  • Power of the Purse newspaper article

    Inaugural Power of the Purse

    The first Power of the Purse event, an informative session on how women could get involved in philanthropy, was hosted.

  • womens-fund-logo

    Public Launch

    The Community Foundation officially launched the Women’s Fund.

  • New Events

    The Fund hosted several new events, including the first Lunch and Learn, Change by Design, and Dining by Fireflies

  • International Women’s Day in Mississippi

    Former governor Haley Barbour declared March 8th “International Women’s Day” in Mississippi.

  • Carol Penick

    First Executive Directcor

    Carol Penick appointed as the first Executive Director.

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation logo

    W.K. Kellogg Foundation funding

    W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded The Fund a two-year, $375,500 capacity-building grant to support future endeavors.

  • Independent Organization

    The Fund officially separated from the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and became an independent, statewide organization.

  • Teen Pregnancy Spending Report Cover

    Teen Pregnancy Focus

    The Foundation committed to addressing proper sex education and teen pregnancy, and released an informational packet on the cost of teen pregnancy in Mississippi.

  • Partnership for Women’s Prosperity

    The Foundation joined the Partnership for Women’s Prosperity (PWP), an organization focused on supporting economically vulnerable women by providing opportunities in education, job training, and employment.

  • Fact Not Fiction condoms

    Fact Not Fiction

    The Foundation launched Fact Not Fiction, a website and statewide advertising campaign with the goal of lowering Mississippi’s rate of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

  • Mature Endowment

    The Foundation’s endowment was valued at $1 million, and it awarded $235,000 in grants.

  • Two-Generation

    The Foundation implemented the Two-Generation model, awarding grants to community colleges throughout Mississippi.

  • Policy Success

    The Foundation worked with the Community College Board to pass Senate Bill 2563, which requires community colleges to address the needs of women.

  • David & Lucile Packard Foundation Funding

    The Foundation continued to gain recognition locally and nationally, receiving a $1 million grant from the Packard Foundation.

  • Carol Penick


    Carol Penick announced her retirement after serving as the Executive Director of the Foundation for 9 years.

  • Tracy DeVries

    Tracy DeVries

    Tracy DeVries became the new Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation, effective January 1, 2017.

  • Women's Access to Quality Jobs in Mississippi

    New Research Released

    The Foundation released research on women’s access to quality jobs in Mississippi showing that closing the wage gap between similar men and women workers would cut the poverty rate in Mississippi BY HALF.

  • She's on Board

    She’s on Board

    The Foundation hosted its first annual “She’s on Board” training seminar where more than 130 women received board governance training.

  • Women's Policy Institute

    Mississippi Women’s Policy Institute

    The Foundation recruited, trained, and supported its first-ever class of Women’s Policy Institute fellows. The fellowship is a program designed to train community-based leaders in Mississippi in public policy advocacy.

  • Rapid Response Funding

    No one could’ve imagined what 2020 would have in store. In response to the once-in-a-century pandemic, the Foundation awarded more than $160,000 in Rapid Response funding to help support women and girls.

  • Melanie Powell

    Melanie Powell became the new Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation, effective March 1, 2024.

Organization Information and Documents

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