Kathy A. Whelpley
Chief of Staff
Kathy joined Oceana because she was inspired by the mission and impact of the organization. As someone who grew up two miles from the Jersey Shore, she swam almost every summer day of her childhood and countless hours on her dad’s fishing boat. Being a part of the foundations fundraising team is the opportunity to connect personal passions with professional experiences.
Kathy has spent her entire career working with, for and on behalf of foundations, donors and corporations involved in philanthropy. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to families who give and those that work with them. She worked with giving families across the country, helping them realize their visions for change. Internally, she led all programming and operations, including network building, fundraising, marketing, finance and administration, and governance.
Before that, she spent 12 years at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, ending her time as Chief Operating Officer. She led their strategic planning, measurement and governance functions, and also managed donor service, community investment and marketing. She was honored to lead the Foundation’s response to 9-11, developing and managing the $25 million Survivors’ Fund, the largest fund in the country dedicated to the survivors of the attack on the Pentagon.
Earlier in my career, she was the founding Associate Director of the Freddie Mac Foundation, helping to grow this corporate foundation over 10 years into the largest corporate giver in the Washington, D.C. region.
Kathy is a graduate of James Madison University and also hold a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Leadership Washington Class of 2000 and have been actively engaged in the local philanthropic community for two decades, serving as a board member and Vice Chair of Washington Grantmakers, a board member and Chair of the Washington AIDS Partnership, a board member and Treasurer of Street Sense and a volunteer with numerous local and international nonprofits.