Karen Aldridge-Eason joins Mott Foundation board

A portrait of Karen Aldridge-Eason standing in the hallway of a building.
Karen Aldridge-Eason Photo: Courtesy of the Michigan Governor's Office of Foundation Liaison

FLINT, Michigan — Karen Aldridge-Eason has been elected to the board of trustees of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, effective Feb. 1, 2024. Headquartered in Flint, the private charitable foundation has 15 active board members and three trustees emeriti.

“As a native of Flint, I am deeply honored to join the board of an organization that has had such an impact on my hometown,” said Aldridge-Eason. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to build on the Foundation’s mission of empowering communities and individuals to reach their highest potential.”

Aldridge-Eason has decades of experience working in the public and charitable sectors. Earlier in her career, she served as an administrator for a mission boarding school in Liberia, West Africa, budget director for the city of Flint, and director of the Office of Health and Human Services within the Michigan Department of Management and Budget.

She joined the Mott Foundation in 1993 as a program officer for the Flint Area team and was promoted to program director the following year. In 2003, as a loaned executive from the Foundation, Aldridge-Eason accepted a position as the first foundation liaison to a governor’s office in the United States.

Three individuals are seated in the front row of a crowd gathered to celebrate the OFL's 20th anniversary.
From left to right, Neal Hegarty, vice president for programs at the Mott Foundation and chair of the Office of Foundation Liaison Advisory Committee, Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations, and Karen-Aldridge-Eason, foundation liaison, share a laugh at the 20th anniversary celebration for the Michigan Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison in 2023. Photo: Cristina Wright

The nonpartisan Office of Foundation Liaison was established through a joint agreement among Michigan foundations and the governor’s office. As liaison, Aldridge-Eason brings together state policymakers and foundation leaders to explore and identify solutions to issues affecting Michigan’s children and families. She has led the OFL for more than 20 years, working with the administrations of Govs. Jennifer Granholm, Rick Snyder and Gretchen Whitmer.

Aldridge-Eason graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she received a bachelor’s degree in education. She also earned a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

“From my time working within the Foundation and external positions in government, I have seen how strategic partnerships between the nonprofit and public sectors can drive meaningful change,” said Aldridge-Eason. “I look forward to contributing my perspective and experience in education, government and philanthropy to help further the Foundation’s mission.”

“With her devotion to Flint, experience working in government agencies and decades spent nurturing public-private partnerships at the state level, Karen Aldridge-Eason brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique lens to the Mott Foundation board of trustees,” said Ridgway White, board chair. “We’re enormously grateful for the work Karen has done to serve her home community of Flint and all Michigan residents, and we look forward to her guidance as a trustee.”