“I joined the KFLA board because I wanted to bring an outside perspective and decades of human service experience – public policy, fundraising and practice – to the strong culture of the Kellogg Fellows. I believe strongly that the investments made in the development of each individual fellow must be preserved and leveraged. The Kellogg Fellows comprise one of the most powerful activist cohorts in existence. They are the brightest, most compassionate and energetic change agents in the world. We have a responsibility to develop innovative and sustainable leadership models for KFLA to inspire compassion, combat poverty, health disparities and hatred in this country and around the world.
Martel-Gaiter is Executive Vice President of External Affairs for Volunteers of America, an organization that helps more than 2 million people in over 400 communities across the nation. It is the fourth largest nonprofit owner of affordable housing for families, veterans, people with mental disabilities and seniors and has combined annual revenue of approximately $1 billion.
Martel-Gaiter’s varied job responsibilities include developing brand messaging and supporting the initiatives of VOA’s Aging with Options TM and Family Strengthening Projects. As a member of VOA’s executive leadership team, she directs the efforts to raise national awareness and increase local capacity to serve VOA clients through the organization’s myriad departments.
Throughout her career, Martel-Gaiter has been a passionate advocate, collaborator and effective voice for children, women and families. A sample of her innovations include the founding of the Indiana Coalition for Human Services, a voice for vulnerable populations in Indiana; Florida Foster Care Review, which helps courts monitor abused and neglected foster children; Champions of Choice, a Washington D.C. event honoring women leaders in women’s health.
She is currently a member of the board of the National Human Services Assembly, Generations United, Black Women’s Health Imperative, and a member of the Independent Sector Public Policy Committee, Leadership Washington, the National Capital Philanthropy Day Co-Convener/Awards Committee and the National Press Club. She is a Robert Woods Johnson Nursing Fellow mentor and co-chair of the Coalition of 100 Black Women 30th National Conference.
Martel-Gaiter has a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland and Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law. Most recently she completed The Women’s Leadership Forum: Innovation Strategies for a Changing World at Harvard Business School in May 2010.