Meet Janice Thomas (she/her), our interim chief executive officer at the Meyer Foundation! As our interim CEO, Janice works with the board and staff in setting and leading the strategic direction of the Foundation.
Prior to stepping into the role of interim CEO, Janice served as the Foundation’s vice president for finance and operations, where she was responsible for all accounting and finance functions, including overseeing the Foundation’s endowment, human resources, technology, and grants management in partnership with the controller, operations and grants management teams.
Prior to joining the Meyer Foundation in 2013, Janice was the director of finance at if, a foundation for radical possibility (formerly known as the Consumer Health Foundation), where she learned that philanthropy can propel catalytic change in communities. Janice also served as the former chief financial officer at the Freddie Mac Foundation, where she first became acquainted with the philanthropic sector and its limitations in solving problems that require deep, collective efforts.
To formally re-introduce Janice as interim CEO, we asked her a series of questions. Check out her responses below:
What most excites you about your role as interim CEO at the Meyer Foundation?
The thing that I find most exciting about being in the interim role is the opportunity that I have to step into our programmatic work. Having spent my entire career at the Foundation in finance, operations, and grants management, I am learning more about our programmatic work and I love it. I hope that this experience will make me a better partner to the next CEO of the Meyer Foundation.
What role does the Meyer Foundation play in the Greater Washington community during and after a COVID-19 world?
This is a question that we are grappling with as we plan how to continue to support COVID-19 recovery in our region into 2022. What we know is that COVID-19 exacerbated the inequities in our community, which has led us to the conclusion that a new social contract is needed between citizens, the government, and business.
What is happening in the region right now that the Meyer Foundation should maintain pertinent attention upon?
As a result of the social and racial unrest after the murder of George Floyd, we began to see an even greater movement to build power and to hold our elected officials accountable. We are focused on continuing to build power in communities most affected by inequities.
What are you currently reading?
I recently downloaded Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I hope to find time to actually start listening to it soon!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the many social movements in our local communities. I am inspired by the people taking their destinies in their own hands and fighting for what’s right.
Who is on your dream dinner party guest list?
I would love to just be able to have dinner with Angela Davis, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, and my dad.