Grant Selection Committee Chair Transition

DFW is grateful for the service of Susan Garrity, who is retiring from our Grant Selection Committee (GSC). Susan has been in service to women and girls through her work with DFW since 2009, when she and three friends started the CA, San Jose-4 chapter, which they still lead.

Susan spent 29 years in Operations and Supply Chain management in the medical device manufacturing world, except for a two-year break during which she attended nursing school and became a Registered Nurse. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration.

Following her retirement, Susan chaired the 2010 San Jose Summit Committee and joined the GSC that year as well.

“I was asked to join the DFW Board in 2014 as a member representative, which evolved more into a voice for the grants process, and I continue to serve on the Board,” she said. “Veena Khandke (DFW Director of Grants and Partnerships) and I developed the role of GSC Chair in the latter part of 2015, and I filled that role. Though I have loved every minute of being involved in the GSC, it is time for me to move on and allow for others to make their voices heard. I know the committee will be in very good hands, and this helps me let go – as hard as that is.”

“Through my work with grants, I know that DFW helps to transform the lives of so many women around the world,” she said. “But DFW also transformed my life and those of all the women around me that share DFW’s passion – my friends, my co-leaders and chapter members, the GSC members and those being trained to join the GSC, to name a few.”

Thank you, Susan for all of your contributions on the GSC! We are glad you will remain a valued part of DFW.

Welcome New GSC Chair

We are delighted to announce that Lynn O’Connell is the new Chair of the Grant Selection Committee. Lynn has been a member of the GSC since 2014.

Lynn has more than 25 years working in the nonprofit sector as a staff person, a consultant, a trainer, and a volunteer. She currently serves as Executive Director of Computer CORE, a workforce development nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, VA. Prior to joining CORE, Lynn served as Executive Director for the Physician Assistant Foundation where she directed grant programs, established a new grant evaluation system, and launched an endowed international health care grant program. Lynn developed a Certificate in Nonprofit Management & Leadership which is offered in Denver, CO and in Northern Virginia. In 2009, she received a national Clarion award in Curriculum Development for her graduate grant writing course. Previously, Lynn had been a Foreign Service Officer, serving primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lynn holds a Masters in Philanthropy from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University, and is a Fulbright Scholar. She is currently on the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Career Development Grants Selection Panel and has served on many boards of directors over the years including Little Theatre of Alexandria, the Arts Commission of Alexandria, the Matrix Foundation, and Washington Literacy Council. She is past board chair of Volunteer Alexandria, the Association of Women in Communications-DC Chapter, and Empowered Women International.

“While working on my Masters in Philanthropy, I became very interested in giving circles,” Lynn said. “Besides DFW, I am a member of two others -Giving Circle of HOPE and Giving Together – both in the metro D.C. area. I believe I attended my first DFW meeting in 2006. A few years later, I joined the Education Committee and wrote the fair trade, books, and films material for a number of years. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel on some of DFW’s past trips to visit grantees in Vietnam/Cambodia and Peru.”

Lynn has remained committed to lending her skills and passions to DFW.

“Dining for Women has been a fantastic experience for me,” Lynn said. “When I attended my first meeting in D.C., not knowing a soul, I had no idea of the many great people I would meet, how much I would learn about different issue areas, and the inspiration I would get from both our grantees and our members.”