Dr. Heather D. Wathington Announced as New CEO of iMentor


NEW YORK CITY – Today iMentor, a national mentoring organization with a 20-year proven track record of increasing the number of first-generation college graduates, announced that Dr. Heather D. Wathington will lead the organization as its new Chief Executive Officer. Wathington, the current President of Girard College, brings deep experience in education and nonprofit work to iMentor, both as an institutional leader and as a scholar.

“Dr. Wathington is a phenomenal leader who emerged from a rigorous and inclusive search process as the candidate to lead iMentor during such a transformative time for education in this country. Heather’s lifelong commitment to serving young people, her proven track record leading institutions, and her extensive knowledge of the secondary and college landscape galvanized our collective belief in her appointment,” said John Griffin, founder of Blue Ridge Capital and chair of iMentor’s Board of Directors. “As a co-founder of iMentor, I am proud that Heather is joining the organization to build on our legacy of impact and to empower more young people across the country to achieve their career ambitions.”

Dr. Wathington joins iMentor with deep expertise in education, most recently as the head of Girard College, a full scholarship boarding school serving students from underserved communities. Wathington also served as CEO of the Maya Angelou Schools in Washington, DC, was a Senior Research Officer at the Lumina Foundation, and was both an assistant and research professor of education at the University of Virginia for over 10 years where she conducted nationally recognized research on barriers to post-secondary completion.

“I've dedicated my career to working on behalf of young people, particularly young people of color and first-generation college students,” said Wathington. “As an educator and researcher, I seek interventions that work for all types of students and that have tangible outcomes. And that is what I see in iMentor and why I am so excited to join this team. I am honored by the opportunity to work alongside our volunteer mentors, our stakeholder community, and dedicated iMentor staff to make sure a child’s ambitions and future are not determined by a zip code.”

“As someone who has worked with some of the most committed and talented nonprofit leaders, I see in Heather a seasoned leader and tireless advocate for youth poised to bring her inspiring vision and intellectual rigor to iMentor. I have tremendous confidence in Heather and I am certain she is the right leader for iMentor, at present and in the future,” said Rich Buery, incoming CEO of Robin Hood Foundation and iMentor Board Member and co-founder.

Dr. Wathington’s first day will be August 30th and she is excited to be moving to New York City before the start of the school year. iMentor’s Board of Directors also expressed its deep appreciation to interim CEO Jana Reed who thoughtfully led the organization through this period of transition. Jana will return to her role as Chief Operating Officer.

iMentor is currently preparing to support more than 10,000 students this fall. As the country emerges from the health-related, economic, racial justice, and educational challenges that COVID-19 created across the country, iMentor is identifying and meeting the needs of students and mentors as they continue to navigate the impacts of the pandemic. The organization continues to innovate its program model and is investing in key programmatic improvements to strengthen post-secondary success outcomes and career readiness supports.

About iMentor

iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower students from historically underserved communities to graduate high school, succeed in their post-secondary pathway of choice, and achieve their career ambitions. iMentor students outperform the best comparable peer groups in college enrollment, persistence, and completion.

iMentor partners with public high schools and matches every student in the school with a mentor. Each year iMentor recruits thousands of volunteers to serve as mentors who commit to a minimum of four years to mentoring a single student in the program, bridging support from high school to post-secondary pathways. With dedicated support from iMentor, mentors gain a holistic understanding of their mentee’s individual talents, aspirations, and challenges, which allows them to provide a level of support that could not be achieved through traditional school counseling alone.

Since 1999, iMentor has matched nearly 38,000 students across the country with mentors. During the 2020-21 program year, iMentor served more than 10,000 students across four regions in Baltimore, the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City and in 12 additional states through partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters. To learn more, visit imentor.org.


Shari Mason
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