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William Davidson Foundation Welcomes Lisa Baragar Katz as its New Senior Program Officer for Economic Vitality and Entrepreneurship


The William Davidson Foundation is pleased to announce Lisa Baragar Katz will be joining its staff later this summer as its new Senior Program Officer for Economic Vitality and Entrepreneurship. Katz will lead the design and implementation of the Foundation’s philanthropic investments in economic and entrepreneurial development, working to stimulate new business creation and job growth in Southeast Michigan. In addition, she will help further the development and stewardship of similar activities in Israel.

“Lisa brings deep, practical knowledge of the economic conditions and entrepreneurial culture in Southeast Michigan as well as first-person, time-tested experience as a social entrepreneur,” says Darin McKeever, chief program and strategy officer at the William Davidson Foundation. “I’m delighted to welcome her to our team.”

Katz launched and began serving as the executive director of the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) in 2011, with funding from the Southeast Michigan-based New Economy Initiative, the nation’s largest philanthropy-led economic development initiative. Since then, the nonprofit consortium has grown from a single funding source to more than 15 funders. WIN provides labor market intelligence, strategy consulting, and policy guidance to understand and address the skills gaps in a wide range of industries, from IT, healthcare and advanced manufacturing to cybersecurity and autonomous vehicles.

Prior to establishing WIN, Katz served as director of strategic engagement and development for the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce. While there, she worked with the administration of Michigan’s Former Governor Jennifer Granholm on its entrepreneurship strategy for the state and with the Midwest Governors Association to support venture capital investment in clean energy. She also has worked for the Detroit Regional Chamber, Research Data Analysis, Public Sector Consultants and the State of Michigan’s Department of Management and Budget.

In 2012, Katz was honored in Crain’s Detroit Business “40 under 40,” an annual recognition of professionals under age 40 who have achieved far beyond their years in terms financial impact and community leadership. More recently, she has been a guest blogger for the publication.

A Michigan native, Katz earned her undergraduate degree in international relations at Michigan State University’s James Madison College and her master’s degree in public administration and international economic development at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She also undertook graduate studies at the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“The William Davidson Foundation is committed to a collaborative approach to investing in the growth of good jobs and a healthy economy in Southeast Michigan,” Katz says. “I am excited to join this amazing team of people, all of whom are truly committed to making the region an optimal place to live, work, and play.”

About the William Davidson Foundation

The William Davidson Foundation is a private, family foundation that honors its founder and continues his lifelong commitment to philanthropy, advancing for future generations the economic, cultural and civic vitality of Southeast Michigan, the State of Israel, and the Jewish community. For more information, visit