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The Wallace Foundation Names Melkeya McDuffie as Chief Human Resources Officer

The Wallace Foundation Names Melkeya McDuffie as Chief Human Resources Officer
October 13, 2020


Lucas Held,
646-942-1894; or
Amy Buckley,
The Hatcher Group, 301-485-4356


NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2020 – Melkeya McDuffie, a human resources leader with experience at a range of Fortune 500 companies, has been named Chief Human Resources Officer at The Wallace Foundation, an independent, national philanthropy, effective Nov. 2, 2020, the foundation announced today. McDuffie will succeed Sharon Clark, who will retire at the end of 2020.

As Wallace’s chief Human Resources Officer, McDuffie will lead efforts to build an inclusive culture, develop staff, and sustain and strengthen the foundation’s commitment to equity.

“We are delighted to have Melkeya McDuffie joining our team at Wallace,” said Will Miller, Wallace’s president. “Mel will be a great partner to me and the entire senior management team as we continue our organizational culture journey to fulfill our mission in ways that reflect our values. She will bring valuable experience and fresh eyes as we infuse equity more deeply into our work both internally and externally.”

McDuffie commented: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to join such a talented team deeply committed to the service of others.  It is clear to me that The Wallace Foundation prioritizes its people and its grantees and emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of its cultural fabric. That is a culture that I am honored to become a part of and influence. I am excited about this opportunity to lead such a critical function centered on shaping the talent strategy and leading cultural change to ensure that we are best positioned to continue to serve our grantees and communities in excellence.”

McDuffie brings deep experience in human resources, talent acquisition, talent development, organizational development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and performance management.

In her prior role, she was vice president of Organization & Talent Development at Waste Management headquartered in Houston, the nation’s leading comprehensive waste and environmental services company with $14 billion in annual revenue and 44,000 employees, where she served as chief talent leader for the U.S., Canada and India.

McDuffie joined Waste Management in 2005 as a manager, and rose through the ranks, with stints including director of talent management for the Eastern U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico; director of human resources responsible for 3,000 employees in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; and HR manager with responsibility for 1,700 employees in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Prior to joining Waste Management, she spent five years at Quest Diagnostics, the global leader in diagnostic testing, information and services, beginning in 2000, where she was senior human resources business partner and human resource generalist. Before that, she held positions at the Metris Companies, now a division of HSBC Finance Corp., and at Norwest Mortgage, now part of Wells Fargo.

McDuffie was recognized in 2016 by the National Diversity Council as one of the 50 Most Powerful Business Women in Texas, and was honored by HRO Today magazine as an HR Superstar in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and a Talent Acquisition Leader of Distinction in 2018. She serves on the board of directors of Talent Acquisition Leadership Keynotes (TALK Houston) and Imagine Excellence, Inc., and the advisory board of Dress for Success Houston and Consero.

She earned a B.A. in Human Resources Management from Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and earned an MBA degree from York St. John University, York, England. She holds a certificate in Advanced Employee Relations from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and a certificate in Strategic Business Leadership from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

McDuffie will succeed Sharon W. Clark, chief administrative officer and assistant secretary, who joined the foundation in 2004, responsible for human resources, information technology, grants administration and office services. Clark led the creation of a strong HR infrastructure encompassing compensation, employee benefits, and policy. She contributed to Wallace’s efforts to foster a culture aligned with its values, interdisciplinary team approach, and openness to all voices, through annual employee surveys, 360 feedback for senior managers, a performance enhancement system focused on growth, and recruiting with a commitment to a robust and diverse pool of finalist candidates. During her tenure, her team added a new grants management system and a range of other technology solutions, and completed two office relocations; she co-led Wallace’s web team, contributing to two website redesigns to improve knowledge-sharing.


Based in New York City, The Wallace Foundation is an independent national philanthropy that seeks to improve learning and enrichment for children and foster the vitality of the arts for everyone. Its current areas of interest include school leadership, expanding and diversifying audiences for the arts, social and emotional learning, summer learning, arts education, and afterschool. Wallace aims to help solve problems facing the fields in which it works, benefiting both the organizations it works with directly and the broader field by developing credible, useful knowledge to inform policy and practice nationwide. The foundation maintains a free, online Knowledge Center at


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