Recently retired as the Principal Advisor at GHR Foundation, Mary led the strategic direction and implementation of GHR Foundation’s Global Development Program. She managed grant making focused on advancing local development priorities by empowering women, employing inter-religious approaches, and keeping children in families. Pickard also led GHR’s partner Better Way Foundation, which is focused on early childhood education. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mary was president of the Travelers Foundation and vice president of community affairs at Travelers, formerly The St. Paul Companies. Having served there for 35 years, she grew the insurance provider’s community citizenship program from a $600,000 contributions program to a broad-based community affairs function including a $16 million foundation and corporate giving program, a corporate sponsorship program, volunteerism, and social purpose investments. Programmatically, Travelers’ community priorities focused on neighborhood community development, education access for low-income students, and arts and culture – particularly as it relates to diversity, education, and civic engagement. Trained as a journalist, Pickard worked briefly as a newspaper reporter and publications editor and also has experience working in human resources. Pickard is past chair of the Minnesota Council on Foundations and a former board member of the national Council on Foundations. She has served on the boards of directors of several community-based nonprofit organizations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Minnesota.
Former Principal Advisor, GHR Foundation
St. Paul, Minnesota