Benedum Hires Director of Strategic Initiatives


January 9, 2024
Jennifer A. Giovannitti, President

PITTSBURGH (January 9, 2024) – Rochelle (Rocky) Schrecongost Goodwin has been named Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, a senior leadership role at the Foundation.

Jen Giovannitti, President of the Benedum Foundation, noted the importance of this position with the Foundation, stating, “Benedum is turning 80 this year and I can’t think of a better way to increase our staff talent than to bring on Rocky. She will lead some of our most interesting work and help shape our upcoming years. Rocky brings to Benedum a deep commitment to the region and subject matter expertise in a variety of areas. She is a perfect fit for Benedum.”

She was congratulated by the Chair of the Benedum Board of Trustees, Thomas A. Heywood, who said, “I welcome Rocky to the Benedum Foundation, and I congratulate her on being chosen for this important leadership role. Working with President Giovannitti, our program officers, our staff, and our Board, Rocky will help the Foundation conceive and execute several exciting strategic initiatives in the years ahead.”

Ms. Goodwin is a recognized leader who has devoted her career to helping make West Virginia a better place through law, public service, and policy. After starting as a lawyer for Legal Aid of West Virginia, she served Senator John D. Rockefeller, a distinguished five-term U.S. Senator, as his Deputy Director and then as his State Director, leading professionals across five offices. After the Senator retired, Ms. Goodwin joined West Virginia University where she has served in various roles, most recently as Vice President for Policy and Strategy at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.

The Benedum Foundation has a long and valued history with West Virginia University. President Giovannitti noted that four WVU presidents have served on Benedum’s Board of Trustees (Harlow, Heflin, Miller, Stahr) and she has had a close working relationship with current WVU President Gordon Gee, saying “WVU is an important partner of Benedum and Rocky in this new role will only deepen the partnership.” “Rocky is a valued member of the West Virginia University community and we have greatly benefited from her expertise, particularly in the launch of West Virginia Forward and most recently at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute,” said WVU President Gordon Gee. “As the Benedum Foundation prepares for its future, I am certain that her talents and her love for West Virginia will be a tremendous asset.”

Ms. Goodwin earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Marietta College, where she now serves as a Trustee, and her Juris Doctor from West Virginia University.

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: