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Jayson Smart named Managing Director, Programs at Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

January 16, 2024

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) announced that Jayson Smart has been promoted to Managing Director, Programs (MDP). The MDP role is part of the Program Cabinet at MACP, which includes the Vice President, Programs and three MDPs. Each of the Managing Directors oversees multiple program teams to ensure effective strategies are in place and that grantmaking within those programs aligns with broader organizational goals.

Jayson moves into an MDP vacancy created by the retirement of long-time MACP program leader, Elizabeth Sullivan. In his new role, Jayson will lead strategy and planning for MACP’s Arts & Cultures, Teachers & Students, and Quality of Life (domestic) program domains. He will also provide leadership on program-wide priorities and serve as a thought partner across MACP, including board and committee members.

Jayson (he/him) joined Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies in April 2018 as Program Director for the organization’s Arts & Cultures programs. In this role, Jayson led the team’s work in strategy development, evaluation planning, and management of MACP’s Arts & Cultures grantmaking portfolio, which includes Folk Arts & Cultures and Native Arts & Cultures, along with emerging work in Music Education. During his time as Program Director, he also assumed responsibility for the Teachers Domain from 2019-2022.

Prior to joining MACP, Jayson worked in program leadership capacities at several mission-driven organizations in Alaska. He spent eight years with Rasmuson Foundation in both administrative and program leadership roles, where he managed the Foundation’s arts and culture portfolio along with special topics in health and education. His previous experience includes arts and education administration and social service agency management roles, including serving as deputy director of the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services.

“Jayson came to MACP with extensive leadership and grantmaking experience,” commented Kurian Thomas, MACP’s Vice President, Programs. “In his five years with the organization, he played a pivotal role in guiding the team through significant changes that include grant transitions and strategy refinements in the Arts & Cultures portfolio and rethinking the portfolio’s learning frameworks, placing a greater emphasis on community and partner input. We’re excited to have his depth of experience in the Managing Director role.”

Jayson holds a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in public management and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from the University of Alaska Anchorage.