Inside Mott: Foundation announces staff promotions in Education program

This feature periodically highlights news about Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Trustees and staff.

The Mott Foundation is pleased to announce two promotions within its Education grantmaking program. Benita Melton has been named program director, and Gwynn Hughes has been promoted to senior program officer.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have these talented and dedicated individuals shepherding our work forward,” said Neal Hegarty, vice president-programs. “Benita and Gwynn are among the most highly regarded program officers in their areas of expertise and provide excellent national leadership for the Foundation.”

Benita Melton, Program Director

Benita Melton
Benita Melton.

Melton, who has worked for the Foundation for 20 years, began her career at Mott in 1995 as an associate program officer. Promoted to program officer in 2000, she has worked primarily on state-level budget and tax policy issues and strategies benefiting low- and moderate-income families’ efforts to save money and build assets. She also played a key role in the development of the Foundation’s Pathways to Opportunity grantmaking plan that was approved by the Mott Board of Trustees in September 2014.

A Michigan native and graduate of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Melton earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting. She is co-chair of the Asset Funders Network and a past co-chair of the Grantmakers in Income Security Taskforce. She also has served on several philanthropic advisory and planning committees.

Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked for the Pistons-Palace Foundation in Auburn Hills, Michigan, as a grants and contributions supervisor.

Gwynn Hughes, Senior Program Officer

Gwynn Hughes
Gwynn Hughes.

Hughes joined Mott as a program officer in 2010. She manages the Foundation’s largest grantmaking portfolio, Advancing Afterschool, which includes 50 statewide afterschool networks. As a signature area of grantmaking for the Foundation, Mott funding to increase access to and the quality of afterschool programs totaled more than $14 million in 2014.

Prior to joining the Mott staff, Hughes served as executive director of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership in Boston from 2004 through 2010. She also held several positions with the State of Massachusetts from 1998 through 2004.

A graduate of Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Hughes earned her master’s degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In 1998, she received a Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.