Kristen Mekemson named VP of Development and Philanthropic Services

Mekemson250.jpgThe Greater Milwaukee Foundation has selected a new senior leader with extensive experience in higher education advancement as its next vice president of development and philanthropic services.

Kristen Mekemson joined the Foundation March 29 and is responsible for structuring, implementing and monitoring the development, stewardship and donor relations activities of the organization. She leads a team focused on growing the Foundation’s assets while building opportunities for deeper engagement and coinvestment with donors.

Mekemson most recently served as assistant vice president of development and campaign director for Lawrence University, which she originally joined in 2013 as principal gifts officer. She advanced strategic philanthropy for the Appleton-based college with a scope of work that included overseeing research and operations. She held additional development roles at Lawrence earlier in her career.

Other past experience includes service as director of development at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and program associate for the Kern Family Foundation as well as teaching roles at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University, among others. She has volunteered with BizStarts Milwaukee and provided pro bono services to help local nonprofits secure grant funding.

“We are excited for the energy and expertise Kristen is bringing to the Foundation and to our efforts to expand philanthropy in the region, serve donors with distinction and strengthen our community as a whole,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO. “With $46 million received as gifts to the Foundation just last year, we have an incredible opportunity to build on a steady pattern of growth and investment by partnering with donors for the benefit of the community, a mission we’ve been honored to serve for more than 100 years.”

Mekemson graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in French and writing-intensive English and a master’s degree in British and American literature, both from Marquette University