Elspeth Revere

Governance Committee Chair

Elspeth Revere is Vice President of Media, Culture, and Special Initiatives of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She is currently on sabbatical, prior to leaving the Foundation at the end of 2015.

Her responsibilities at the MacArthur Foundation have included support for journalism and media in a technologically changing environment, the arts in Chicago, the MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions, Discovery grants, and a changing set of special initiatives – most recently on strengthening American democracy. In her many years at the Foundation, Ms. Revere designed and implemented grantmaking initiatives on topics ranging from human rights to copyright to community service for young adults. She also served on the MacArthur Foundation’s senior leadership group.

Ms. Revere helped refresh two long-standing areas of MacArthur’s work: its support for journalism, which makes grants to nonprofit organizations conducting thorough explanatory and investigative reporting at a time of rapid changes in the information environment; and arts and culture in Chicago, which supports the vital cultural community by providing essential operating support grants to over 300 arts organizations.

She also developed new programs, including the MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions, which provide funds for cash reserves, endowment, and other institution-strengthening purposes to MacArthur grantee organizations in the many areas of its work, and Discovery Grants, which is a cross-foundation collaborative program to identify and support promising ideas in fields outside of MacArthur’s regular grantmaking.

Ms. Revere’s most recent work has been an initiative designed to strengthen the institutions of American Democracy, in order to ultimately produce better public policy. The initiative supports work to protect voting rights, modernize the system of voting administration, and reduce the impact of money in politics.

Ms. Revere joined the Foundation as a program officer in 1991. She was promoted to Associate Director of the program in 1992, to Director in 1998 and to Vice President in 2006. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was President and CEO of the Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit policy research organization working to increase private sector investment in low-income neighborhoods, Director of Program Development for the city of Chicago's Department of Housing, and a Senior Planner in the Department of Development and Planning. She has also worked on community development projects in Guatemala.

Revere holds a master's degree in urban policy and planning from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Films by Elspeth Revere

The Homestretch 2014
A Very Special Thanks to