The Hudson-Webber Foundation Names Melanca Clark as Next President and CEO

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Koya Leadership Partners congratulates the Hudson-Webber Foundation on recruiting Melanca Clark as its next President and CEO. We were delighted to be involved in this successful search.

Located in Detroit, Michigan, the Hudson-Webber Foundation is dedicated to improving the vitality and quality of life of the metropolitan Detroit community. The Foundation concentrates its giving primarily within the city of Detroit. The revitalization of Detroit’s urban core is a particular interest because this area is a focus for community activity and pride and is of critical importance to the vitality of the entire metropolitan community.

Ms. Clark joins the Foundation from Washington, D.C. where she currently serves the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as Chief of Staff of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS office), a grant-making component of the DOJ, overseeing the office’s administration of nearly $1 billion in active grants. She will assume her new role in August 2016.

“The original donors of the Hudson-Webber Foundation left a tremendous legacy of striving to improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit. It took a deliberate and thorough search to find an individual who is particularly capable and committed to lead the Foundation into its next chapter. We found that leader in Melanca,” said Jennifer Hudson-Parke, Board Chair. “In our search, we looked for a candidate who will continue to foster a culture of collaboration among our partners and peers, advance our strategic direction, and reflect a passion for our mission areas. Melanca’s personal character and leadership qualities, career experiences, and her genuine desire to see Detroit continue to prosper give us complete confidence that we have selected the right candidate to serve as our third President and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation.”

Throughout her career, Ms. Clark has demonstrated innovative and collaborative leadership while striving to build strong communities through a social justice lens. At COPS, Ms. Clark devised creative funding strategies and partnerships to advance community policing and police reform. At DOJ’s Access to Justice Initiative, she developed and implemented the office’s strategy for increasing legal counsel for homeowners facing foreclosure, working with HUD’s International and Philanthropic Affairs Office to engage a group of foundations around opportunities for philanthropic support. As a Senior Policy Advisor with the White House Domestic Policy Council, she convened foundations and key stakeholders to enlist support for and communicate the President’s priorities with respect to enhancing fairness in the criminal and juvenile justice system, strategically aligning philanthropic and private sector investments.

“Melanca is a respected leader, recognized not just at COPS, but throughout the Administration for her unique ability to bring diverse stakeholders together to achieve common objectives,” said Ronald Davis, Director of the COPS Office. “She will be sorely missed, but I look forward to seeing all she will do to advance the important work of the Hudson-Webber Foundation.”

Prior to serving in senior positions in the Obama Administration, Ms. Clark held a variety of positions advancing equal access to opportunity including as Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at the Gibbons Law firm, and as a Skadden Fellow and Assistant Counsel with the Economic Justice Group of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Ms. Clark also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., U.S. District Court New Jersey; adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, and a litigation associate in the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

“I am honored and thrilled to have been chosen to lead a foundation that has such a storied legacy in Detroit,” said Ms. Clark. “The Hudson-Webber Foundation is singularly committed to ensuring that Detroit achieves its greatest potential by improving the vitality and quality of life of the entire Detroit metropolitan community, and I look forward to working with the Trustees and staff to build on the Foundation’s catalytic investments.”

Also a true lover of the arts, Ms. Clark appreciates the transformational impact that arts and the art community can bring to revitalizing neighborhoods. Her father, Ed Clark, an abstract expressionist painter, has ties to Detroit which brought her to the city many times over the years. The Detroit Institute of Arts retains a piece of Clark’s work in their collection and he has exhibited at the George N’namdi Gallery in Detroit.

Ms. Clark earned her law degree from Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA and her undergraduate degree from Brown University, Providence, RI. She will be moving to Detroit with her two children to join her husband, Moddie Turay, who was named the Executive Vice President of Real Estate and Finance for the Detroit Economic Growth Corp in October 2015.

“The Search Committee was taken with Melanca’s fresh perspective, and focused and clear ideas as to how the Foundation could refine and extend its efforts within its four mission areas, building on the Foundation’s 15×15 strategy while expanding opportunities for all Detroiters,” said Amanda Van Dusen, Trustee and Search Committee Chair. “The Hudson-Webber Foundation will also benefit from the dual perspective she brings having served in philanthropic-funded non-profits as well as in roles providing critical and impact funding to initiatives and programs.”

The selection of Melanca Clark was made after a thorough national search, overseen by Koya Leadership Partners, a national executive search firm dedicated to the nonprofit sector. The Hudson-Webber Foundation has supported efforts to improve the quality of life in the city it calls home for over 75 years. With four mission areas of interest; Physical Revitalization, Economic Development, Safe Community and The Arts, the private foundation continues to lead and lend a hand in moving Detroit into its next incarnation of innovation and prosperity. Since 1939, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, a 501 (C)(3) non-profit grant-making organization, has contributed over $193 million in the Detroit metropolitan area.

For more about the Hudson-Webber Foundation, please visit: