Bainum Family Foundation Appoints Jacquelyn Davis as New CEO and President

Bethesda, Maryland (April 24, 2019) For the first time in the 50-year history of the Bainum Family Foundation, an executive outside of the founding family will lead the day-to-day operations of the Bethesda-based charitable foundation. The Foundation’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jacquelyn Davis ― a Washington, D.C., resident with a long record of leadership in education and philanthropy ― will become CEO and President effective July 22, 2019. Barbara Bainum, daughter of founders Stewart and Jane Bainum, is retiring as CEO and President, while retaining her role as Chair of the Board.

“We have spent the past year preparing for this important transition,” says Barbara Bainum, who took over as Chair of the Board, CEO and President from her father in 2008. “We are thrilled to have someone of Jacquelyn’s caliber assume these leadership roles and guide the Foundation into its next era of work and impact. She has dedicated her career to education equity, founding many innovative organizations in our city to change the life trajectories of children.”

The Bainum Family Foundation, established in 1968, works to improve the quality and availability of resources for children living in poverty. Focused on three areas ― Early Learning, Wrap-Around Support and Knowledge Building ― the Foundation works primarily in Wards 7 and 8 in the District of Columbia, but with commitments in several other cities and countries.

“With the vision she brings and her deep understanding of the D.C. community, Jacquelyn is an outstanding choice to lead the Foundation’s 50-person staff and help advance our efforts to strengthen and connect the systems that serve children and families,” says Charles A. Ledsinger Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of SunBridge Capital Management and chair of the Board’s executive search committee.

Davis is a nationally recognized social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, author and speaker on education issues. Most recently, she co-founded and served as Partner of Education Forward DC, where she led the $11 million human capital portfolio of a regional philanthropic fund. Before that, she was Founder and Managing Director of Ed-Volution Education Group, a boutique consulting firm supporting philanthropic organizations, local education agencies, states and education nonprofits on strategy, new-initiative design, partnerships, growth and organizational health.

In that role, she led initiatives and projects for many national foundations — including NewSchools Venture Fund, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Wallace Foundation, the Walton Foundation, the Rainwater Foundation and the Kern Foundation — and worked with many education organizations, including the Rhode Island Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of Education, Achievement First, Denver School of Science and Technology, Teaching Trust, 2U, Teach for America, New Leaders and Tennessee SCORE.

Davis was a Senior Education Fellow at The George W. Bush Institute and founding Executive Director of the D.C. regional program of New Leaders, a national nonprofit that selects, trains and supports high-quality urban school principals. She was a Co-founder and Chancellor of the highly rated Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School, D.C.’s first law-related charter high school, as well as a founding board member of E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. She co-founded and served on the board of Hands On D.C., a volunteer-led nonprofit organization dedicated to refurbishing D.C. public schools, raising scholarship funds for low-income D.C. youth, and involving community residents and businesses in volunteer service to area schools.

Davis began her career in public policy, serving as Chief of Staff to Congressman Nick Lampson (D-TX) and Legislative Aide to Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) as well as working on the Presidential Campaign of Bill Clinton and serving as Campaign Manager for Nick Lampson’s successful bid for Congress.

Davis has authored many papers in the field of education and spoken nationally. Among her writing, she co-authored groundbreaking reports — “A New Approach to Principal Preparation: Innovative Programs Share Their Practices and Lessons Learned,” The Center for American Progress’ “Gateways to the Principalship: State Power to Improve the Quality of School Leaders” and “Operating in the Dark: What Outdated State Policies and Data Gaps Mean for Effective School Leadership.” Davis has spoken on many panels at conferences and philanthropic convenings, including the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Council of Great City Schools, Association of American Superintendents, Education Trust, Education Alliance, Education Weekly and Teach for America.

Barbara Bainum and Jacquelyn Davis

Davis graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and earned her Juris Doctorate with honors from Georgetown University Law Center. She was a visiting student at Howard University. Among many honors, she was named a “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian Magazine in 2006. She currently serves on the board of School Leader Lab.

“Stewart and Jane Bainum set out to improve the lives of children living in poverty. There is no greater imperative today than to find innovative solutions that unleash the potential of every child regardless of race or zip code — and to change the structures that continue inequity,” Davis says. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in this role, work with our partners and build on the Bainum Family Foundation’s 50-year legacy of impact.”

In addition to Barbara Bainum’s continuing role as Chair of the Board, Bainum family members remain deeply involved with the Foundation in other ways. Two grandsons of the founders serve on the Board of Directors, and a Members Committee (consisting of five family members) sets the mission and policy of the Foundation and elects Board members. The Foundation’s Family Philanthropy initiative also supports the ongoing philanthropic efforts of four generations of the Bainum family.


The Bainum Family Foundation combines proven expertise with a passion for supporting the whole child by providing integrated services to help them thrive. Our circle of collaboration includes investments and support in Early Learning, Wrap-Around Support and Knowledge Building. Founded in 1968 by Stewart and Jane Bainum, the Foundation has helped underserved children exit poverty through high-quality educational programs and services for 50 years. For more information, visit


Ann Egan
Senior Director of Communications