MENLO PARK, Calif.—The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that Jessica Mele would be joining the Foundation as a program officer for Performing Arts.

From an email to grantees and Foundation staff Performing Arts Program Director John McGuirk sent about the appointment:

I am very pleased to announce that Jessica Mele will be joining the Hewlett Foundation as a program officer for Performing Arts. Her experience leading an arts education organization in San Francisco has given her a great deal of insight into the unique challenges and opportunities facing Bay Area arts nonprofits. I’m confident she will make a great addition to our team.

Jessica’s career has been dedicated to bringing the transformative power of performing arts to young people’s lives. Since 2006, she has worked at Performing Arts Workshop, a fifty-year-old nonprofit that works with schools and community partners at more than 100 sites across the Bay Area to help young people develop critical thinking, creative expression, and learning skills through the arts. As executive director, the position she has held with Performing Arts Workshop since 2011, Jessica was responsible for all aspects of organizational strategy, programming, and fundraising, and also directed the organization’s policy advocacy efforts. Given her professional background and passion for the arts, it’s no surprise that in her free time, she is also a practicing artist in her own right; Jessica is active as a writer, director, and performer with San Francisco’s PianoFight Theater Company. Earlier in her career, she worked at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and as an organizer for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers.

At the Hewlett Foundation, Jessica will join the Performing Arts team in providing philanthropic support to arts organizations throughout the greater Bay Area. As a program officer, she will manage approximately 80 grants, including many focused on arts education delivery, advocacy, and policy.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and French studies from Smith College, and a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Mele will begin work at the Foundation in early August.