Dr. Trisha Gadson is the CEO of the Jefferson Regional Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to improve the health and well-being of the community served by Jefferson Hospital through grantmaking, education and outreach. She is a driven and mission-focused executive who has built a fulfilling and successful career in non-profit management, development, education, DEI, and community service. With a passion for working to accomplish racial equity, she is experienced in raising awareness, elevating thinking and conversations relating to equity and justice. She is a seasoned strategic thinker with persuasive and passionate communication skills. She has a more than 25-year track record of nonprofit management which was evidenced by her successful leadership for 12 years of a respected human service organization that experienced significant growth and increased impact within the region.
Dr. Gadson earned a Ph.D. in community engagement from Point Park University; a Master’s of Science in professional leadership and program development from Carlow University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Syracuse University. She also holds a national certification as a Bullying Prevention Program Trainer and Consultant from the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University; and a Leadership Credential for Strength Based Family Workers from Temple University. In addition, Dr. Gadson is a recognized diversity, equity and inclusion consultant and facilitator. She obtained training from the National Multicultural Institute and holds a Fostering Diversity & Inclusion Certificate from Yale School of Management.
As a result of her leadership and advocacy for equity, when the Allegheny County Executive convened the Children’s Fund Working Group to develop and design a model for funding Early Childhood and Out-of-School-Time programming throughout the region, Dr. Gadson was asked to serve as Co-Chair leading a group of 26 experts to develop recommendations for a new County Department. She is also noted for leading the charge in acquiring and implementing programs aimed for senior citizens within weeks in order to prevent a service gap for vulnerable community members. Dr. Gadson is noted as a change maker throughout Allegheny County having transformed a small flailing nonprofit into a dependable community resource with an annual budget that increased by eighty percent over the last decade.
She has served on advisory councils for the Bayer Center for NonProfit Management at Robert Morris University, the Hill District Community Engagement Center of the University of Pittsburgh and the Department of Community Engagement at Point Park University. She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the African American Strategic Partnership and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In the fall of 2019 Dr. Gadson was recognized by the New Pittsburgh Courier as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Women of Excellence and in 2022 recognized by the Pittsburgh Business Times as a Woman of Influence.