Ridgway White

President and CEO


Joined Mott in 2002


Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Mott Foundation Building
503 S. Saginaw St., Suite 1200
Flint, Mich. 48502-1851



Ridgway White became president of the Mott Foundation in 2015, as the Flint water crisis was still unfolding. White led the Foundation’s swift approval of a $4 million grant to help the city reconnect to the Detroit water system and begin the process of bringing clean water back to the community. He subsequently led the charge on Mott’s commitment in 2016 to provide up to $100 million over five years to help the city recover and rise from the crisis — a commitment that was fulfilled in just over four years and subsequently exceeded.

White is a vocal champion of the Foundation’s support for a “one-water” approach to managing the nation’s drinking water, storm water and wastewater systems. He is an ardent believer in the power of community foundations to be local leaders of positive change, both in the U.S. and around the world. He also was the driving force behind the development of Mizzen by Mott, an online platform that was incubated at the Foundation to deliver outstanding content to afterschool providers nationwide — at no cost to them. As intended from the outset, Mizzen has since spun off to become an independent charitable organization, Mizzen Education Inc., and White now serves on its board of directors.

As part of White’s earlier program work for the Foundation, he served as a loaned executive for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing Flint. Over the course of a decade, he oversaw the development of more than 1 million square feet of mixed-use space, paving the way for new businesses and restaurants to open. Notable projects included the creation of the Flint Health and Wellness District, a four-block area that’s now home to the Flint Farmers’ Market and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. The Urban Land Institute Michigan and University of Michigan recognized the project with their Development/Redevelopment of the Year Award in 2014.

In a spirit of social entrepreneurship, White took it upon himself to build two schools that share a campus in the city of Flint. The project resulted in a state-of-the-art home for the Michigan School for the Deaf, which is operated by the state of Michigan, and Powers Catholic High School.

White is a graduate of Hobart College, where he studied architecture, economics and urban planning. He chairs the board of directors of U.S. Sugar. In addition to Mizzen Education Inc., he currently serves on the boards of the Charles Stewart Harding Foundation, Isabel Foundation, Detroit Regional Partnership and Ayablu, a licensee of Burt’s Bees doing business as Burt’s Bees Baby. He is a member of YPO, the global leadership community of chief executives. He previously served on the board of the Council on Foundations and currently chairs its Public Policy Advisory Committee. He also served on the board of the Council of Michigan Foundations and as co-chair of its COVID-19 Working Group. He is past chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Sloan Museum governing council. He also served on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Return to School advisory committee.

Annual Messages

2015 Annual Message | Foundation for Living: How Flint’s water crisis demonstrates the value of endowed philanthropy

2014 Annual Message | Partnering for progress


Alliance Magazine


Kids are struggling. Why isn’t Congress scaling what works to help them?

The Future of Learning

How our worst health crisis can lead to a new ─ and better ─ normal

New partnerships are needed to solve Michigan’s water-related issues

Black Lives Matter

Dedicated federal funding for 21st CCLC should be expanded — not eliminated

Looking back and moving forward

Are we still the Land of the Free?

America still needs afterschool

Lawsuit to block stricter Lead and Copper Rule is shameful

Mott Foundation signs partnership agreement with Flint Community Schools

Partnering for progress

Breaking down barriers, lifting up opportunities: Mott’s response to the Flint water crisis

Why infrastructure matters

America needs afterschool

Philanthropy News Digest feature

Staging a comeback: A restored Capitol Theatre will help spur Flint’s revitalization

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