Grant Oliphant is president of The Heinz Endowments. He rejoined the foundation in June 2014, after serving as president and chief executive officer of The Pittsburgh Foundation for six years. For nearly two decades, Oliphant held several senior management posts with Heinz family foundations, including vice president for programs and planning at the Endowments, his position before taking over the helm at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2008. He also served as press secretary to the late U.S. Senator John Heinz from 1988 until the senator’s death in 1991.
Grant frequently leads community conversations around critical issues such as public school reform, civic design, the ongoing sustainability of anchor institutions, domestic violence, riverfront development, and various socio-economic concerns. He has taken a prominent role in building advocacy programs to support the work of local nonprofits and the families and individuals they serve. He serves extensively on the boards of local nonprofit and national sector organizations, including the Center for Effective Philanthropy, which he chairs.
Grant is immediate past board chairman of Riverlife, which is working to transform Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, as well as a board member of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which oversees the city’s celebrated Cultural District, The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and the Pittsburgh Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
In addition, Grant has served on the boards of Grantmakers Evaluation Network, Pennsylvania Partnership for Children, and the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance, and as board chairman of the Communications Network, a nonprofit membership organization that promotes strategic use of communications as part of effective philanthropy.
Grant originally joined The Heinz Endowments in 1993 as director of communications for the foundation, the Heinz Family Philanthropies, and Endowments Chairman Teresa Heinz. After holding several senior positions, he became vice president of programs and planning and was responsible for managing the Endowments’ $70-plus million annual grant-making portfolio. He also led special task forces promoting civic design, school reform, and stronger links between environmental stewardship and economic development. He was responsible for strategic planning and led the organization’s board and staff through a major review and refocus of its strategic orientation and grant-making priorities. As a corporate officer, he served on the Endowments’ Investment and Budget committees, which guided management of the foundation’s assets and expenditures.
Prior to his service as press secretary for Senator Heinz, Grant was founding editor of American Politics, a monthly political magazine. Grant received a Master of Science degree in organizational development from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College. He lectures frequently on communications, leadership, and organizational dynamics.