Dr. Michelle D. Gillard

Dr. Michelle Gilliard is the Director of Education and Workforce at FHI360, a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions.

In her previous role as Partner with Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), Dr. Gilliard managed a multi-million dollar portfolio of nonprofit organizations and initiatives including, Ready for Work: Champions for Career and College Ready Graduates in Prince George’s County, and VPP’s Social Innovation Fund initiative youthCONNECT; conducted due diligence and analysis of investment criteria to select high performing philanthropic investments; assisted in the creation of growth-oriented business plans; structured investment parameters; and provided strategic advice designed to assist nonprofit organizations in achieving their proposed social outcomes.. Previously, Dr. Gilliard was senior director at the Walmart Foundation, one of the world’s largest corporate foundations. In that role, she provided leadership to the Foundation’s national giving programs including education, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, women’s economic empowerment, and international giving. While at Walmart, she designed large-scale collaborative initiatives to address complex social problems, including the creation of www.MyFreeTaxes.com. For more than 20 years, Dr. Gilliard has worked on a broad range of social issues affecting low-income populations including a focus on postsecondary education outcomes, workforce readiness and labor market outcomes, and related social support services. Nonprofit capacity building and expanding educational and occupational opportunity characterize the twin focal points of her work. Previous positions include vice president for programs at the Foundation for Independent Higher Education, vice president for planning and evaluation and executive director of the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education at the Council of Independent Colleges, and executive advisor at MG Associates. Dr. Gilliard received a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in sociology from Brown University, an executive master’s degrees in international service from American University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Dayton. She is on the inaugural board of the Excel Center Adult Public Charter School in Washington, DC.