Celebrating A Year of Leadership

On April 2, 2020—just one day after DC’s official COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were announced—Tonia Wellons was named President and CEO of The Community Foundation. This followed a half-year search during which she served as interim CEO of the organization. 

Today, on Tonia’s one year anniversary, we celebrate her steadfast leadership and vision. Throughout 2020, Tonia remained determined to care for our community with urgency and with care - and the community took notice. 

Through her many media features, awards and accolades this past year, we are so humbled and appreciative of all the positive support she’s received. Below, get to know Tonia better, and learn about some of this year’s top highlights. 

Introducing Tonia: ‘A Steadfast Vision Offering Us Hope’

Read about Tonia’s background and experience, and her vision for The Community Foundation. Hear what it was like starting as CEO during a pandemic and how she is shaping The Community Foundation’s priorities in response to the evolving crisis. 

Celebrating Her Leadership: ‘A Collaborator On The Journey Toward Solutions’

Learn about two significant awards Tonia received this year, which honored the incredible community leadership she’s provided amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Thought Leadership in Action

Last summer, Tonia wrote a Washington Post op-ed with Ursual Wright, Managing Director for FSG, where she referred to the pandemic as a ‘trifecta of crisis:’ health, economic, and democratic. Read more about her views on this crisis - and her perspective from being on the frontlines of philanthropy.

Tonia Wellons Named Nonprofit Leader of the Year by Washington Business Journal

Dear Friends of The Community Foundation,

Photo by EMAN MOHAMMED/WBJ Courtesy of Washington Business Journal

Courtesy of Washington Business Journal

What a year it has been! In light of the ongoing crisis and continuing cycle of bad news, I wanted to share the exciting news that Tonia Wellons, our fearless CEO, has been named Nonprofit Leader of the Year by The Washington Business Journal.

Tonia could not have taken over as The Community Foundation's permanent President and CEO at a tougher time. Tonia has proven to be the exact right leader for this moment and for our community. Under Tonia’s leadership and with the tireless work of our amazing staff, together with the generosity of all of you and many others in our community, we have raised over $10 million to date for our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

As we continue to respond to the ongoing crisis and move forward with other critical initiatives, I hope you will join me in congratulating Tonia by making a gift to support The Community Foundation's work.

Congratulations to Tonia for this well-deserved recognition of your hard work!

Katharine Weymouth
Chair, Board of Trustees
Greater Washington Community Foundation

Tonia Wellons named one of Washingtonian's "Heroes of the Crisis"

Tonia Wellons, President and CEO, of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, was recognized for our efforts to help struggling arts groups as part of the Washingtonian‘s feature on “Heroes of the Crisis.” The feature shines the spotlight on “some of the people who have helped get us through these most challenging of times” from medical professionals to social-justice activists to culinary stars.

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How to reconstruct an equitable future for our region

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Tonia Wellons and Ursula Wright explore a new framework for for reconstructing a more equitable future for our region.