New Senior Program Officer Announced


May 11, 2022
Jennifer A. Giovannitti, President

Benedum Foundation Announces Bill Woodrum as Senior Program Officer

PITTSBURGH (May 11, 2022) – Bill Woodrum has been named Senior Program Officer at the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation where he will lead community and economic development initiatives in West Virginia. He was congratulated by the Chair of the Benedum Board of Trustees, Lloyd Jackson, who said, “Bill is coming to Benedum with the right background to work with people at all levels of our economy and across sectors. He understands the challenges and the opportunities that exist, and we expect Bill to be an agent of change in this ever-changing economy.”

Mr. Woodrum is a recognized figure who has been working to advance community and economic development initiatives in West Virginia for the past 30 years. His diverse career spans work in systems‑building, fund development, small business development, technology transfer, extension programs, and agriculture. In addition, Mr. Woodrum has had longstanding relationships with universities, including as director of entrepreneurship at the Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University, and as an associate director managing statewide programs at West Virginia State University Extension.

Retiring program director, Mary Hunt had this to say, “I have worked with Bill Woodrum as a grantee and collaborator in his past roles. Bill has the commitment and motivation to help West Virginia communities improve and thrive. His experience and knowledge of the Benedum Foundation’s initiatives will enable a smooth transition as I retire, and he takes on the position of senior program officer for community and economic development. I wish Bill much success and hope he is as fulfilled in this work as I have been for the past 22 years.”

The Benedum Foundation has been making grants in West Virginia for over 75 years. Today the Foundation has two program officers based out of West Virginia, who are purposefully embedded in the work at a very intimate level. The Benedum culture is to not make the work about the Foundation, but rather to become an ally in the work lead by grantees.

Jen Giovannitti, President of the Benedum Foundation noted the importance of this position with the Foundation, stating, “The work of community and economic development takes trust, time, and a willingness to work on hard problems, collectively. Being open to ideas coming from within communities is how Benedum supports exceptional work. Bill has shown, in his career, a talent for collaborating, believing in others, and an eagerness to roll up his sleeves and get the job done.”

Mr. Woodrum earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marshall University and his Master of Science from The Ohio State University. Mr. Woodrum will begin as senior program officer on June 6, 2022.

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: