New Senior Program Officer Announced


May 14, 2021
Contact:     Jennifer A. Giovannitti, President

Benedum Foundation Announces New Program Staff

PITTSBURGH (May 14, 2021) – Melanie Claxton has been named Senior Program Officer of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. She will join the Foundation on June 3, 2021 and will oversee the Foundation’s grants programs in education.

Ms. Claxton comes to Benedum with expertise in learning initiatives aimed at out-of-school time.

As the Coordinator, Out-of- School Time, for Pittsburgh Public Schools, Ms. Claxton implemented flexible policies that adapted to the needs of those served, specifically in informal learning environments. Ms. Claxton has led national sessions on implementing evidence-based, high-quality summer learning programs and continues to push for the advancement and extension of quality learning opportunities for youth.

“Melanie is passionate about helping kids and families and she is joining Benedum at the perfect time to advance our work in education. She has led programs that function alongside the public-school model, which shows the creativity and collaboration we are looking for at Benedum” said Jen Giovannitti, President of the Benedum Foundation. She added, “Melanie has experience with training and evaluation, but it was her focus on policy, partnerships and coalition-building that meant a lot as well.”

Ms. Claxton is currently Co-Chair Elect of the Pennsylvania School-Age Child Care Alliance (PENN SACCA), a committee member of the Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) Executive Committee, a grant making committee member of the Three Rivers Community Foundation, and a co‑founder of Benevine.

“After working in the second largest school system in the state of Pennsylvania, Melanie brings an existing connection to many of our local and regional partners” said Lloyd Jackson, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Benedum Foundation.

Ms. Claxton earned her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, and her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Michigan.

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum, natives of West Virginia, as a memorial to their only child, Claude Worthington, who died in 1918 at the age of 20.  The Foundation is a regional foundation focusing primarily on West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania. For more information on the Foundation, please see: