Dr. Mariama Grimes, Ed. L.D., MPA

Managing Director, Early Learning

Dr. Mariama Grimes is United Way’s Managing Director, Early Learning at United Way. In this role, she actively and collaboratively works to identify potential investments in high-performing organizations that are able to demonstrate measurable impact in educational outcomes in our region.

Most recently, Dr. Grimes worked at the Public Education Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada where she served as Vice President of Family and Community Engagement. Previously she completed her doctoral residency in Boston, Massachusetts as Director of Community Initiatives for Strategies for Children, a nonprofit focused on increasing access to high-quality early education services for more children. In this capacity, Mariama developed and implemented a strategic framework for the launch of the new community initiative. She also led the development of the “Brockton Community Leadership Team” to drive support of a common vision promoting the early learning system throughout Brockton.

She also served as Director of Charter School Sponsorship at Saint Louis University, where she administered the University’s charter authorization office. She also engaged on three charter school boards as an ex-officio member, facilitating high-achieving education programs, and served as Charter School Grant Reviewer for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In 2007, Mariama took on the role of Special Assistant to the Senior Advisor at New Schools Venture Fund in San Francisco, where she combined her passions for leadership development, curriculum design, and education equity to support the design and launch of the inaugural fellows of the Aspen Institute – NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education. She also served as Senior Advisor to the Board President and the Manager of Community Engagement for St. HOPE Public Schools, where she played a key role in transitioning Sacramento High School to St. HOPE management as one of the first conversion charter high schools in the state.

Mariama holds a Doctor of Education Leadership from Harvard University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California in Los Angeles. She is an avid reader and has been journaling since the first grade (and still has the journals to prove it!).


  • Harvard University, Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed. L.D.)
  • University of Southern California, Master of Public Administration
  • University of California, BA, Political Science
Join Us