Ascendium is excited to welcome Keith Witham as our new Deputy Director - Education Grantmaking. Keith will be providing day-to-day supervision and support to program officers across Ascendium’s four focus areas to maximize impact of investments that support learners from low-income backgrounds.
"We're delighted to have Keith join the team," said Rebecca Villarreal, Ascendium's director - education philanthropy. "Ascendium's mission will be well served by his experience and scholarship on advancing equity in learner outcomes."
Previously, Keith was managing director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC, where he led operational and programmatic growth of the program’s work to advance community college student success with equity. Prior to joining Aspen, he was on the faculty of the College of Education at Temple University in Philadelphia and has also held positions with Complete College America and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Outside of Ascendium, Keith serves on advisory boards for the University of Maryland Global Campus Executive Doctoral Program in Community College Leadership and the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at North Carolina State University.
Raised in rural southern New Mexico, Keith earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in social service administration, both from the University of Chicago. He received a Ph.D. in urban education policy from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
“I’m thrilled to be joining an organization and a team that I’ve long respected and admired,” Keith said. “The areas of strategic focus in Ascendium’s education philanthropy are perfectly aligned with my own commitment to advancing systemic change to improve educational opportunity and success for learners from low-income and historically underserved communities. I look forward to contributing to the impact of Ascendium’s work from this role.”