The Technology Association of Grantmakers Welcomes New Executive Director

Oct 31, 2023

Jean Westrick joins TAG with decades of philanthropic experience and a lifelong commitment to strategic innovation.

Chicago, IL – The Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) is pleased to announce that Jean Westrick will join TAG as the organization’s third Executive Director starting December 1, 2023. 

She is preceded by Chantal Forster, whose 6-year tenure was a transformative period for the 17-year-old association. Westrick currently serves as the Director of IT Strategy and Communications at The Chicago Community Trust (“The Trust”), the nation’s second oldest community foundation. 

“We are living in a critical time where philanthropy plays a vital part in narrowing inequities and building access for communities. From the lasting impacts of a global pandemic, to efforts to subvert democracy across the globe, to widening structural inequities  – these are the big challenges the philanthropy sector takes on.  The equitable and innovative use of data and technology is not only important, it must be central to our solutions,” said Jean Westrick.  

Jean headshot

Westrick brings two decades of experience building communities by leveraging technology, innovation and program strategy. Prior to being named the next Executive Director of TAG, Westrick was the Director of IT Strategy and Communications at The Chicago Community Trust where she led change management efforts for the foundation’s $6M digital transformation initiative. Also, while at The Trust, Westrick directed On the Table, an award-winning engagement model designed to inspire resident action that was replicated in 30 cities nationwide. 

“I am honored to be selected as the new executive director for TAG. In some ways, every grantmaking organization today is a technology organization. The last few years in particular have underscored the imperative for investing in data and technology not just as essential to organizational survival but as critical to our missions. I am excited to collaborate with the TAG network and the many passionate and innovative individuals who are committed to making good things happen and harnessing the power of data and technology.”

A longtime advocate for equity in STEM education, expanding technology access and increasing science literacy, Westrick holds a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and a Master of Science from DePaul University.  

“After a highly-competitive nationwide search, the Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Jean Westrick as our next Executive Director,” states José Aron-Diaz, incoming TAG Board Chair, and Director of Information Technology at Bezos Earth Fund. “Jean’s vision for TAG’s future growth is not only responsible and sustainable but also firmly rooted in our mission and membership, ensuring inclusivity and approachability. She embodies the cherished values of TAG, is a seasoned leader in philanthropy, and consistently prioritizes equity, making her the ideal leader for our organization.”

Westrick, a native of Michigan, has lived in Chicago for more than 20 years where she has led organizational strategy efforts, implemented new models of learning, and developed engaging public programs. A multidisciplinary artist, Westrick resides in the West Town neighborhood with her husband of 25 years.

Outgoing Executive Director, Chantal Forster celebrates the Board of Director’s selection, noting, “Jean’s expertise as a renowned community builder and strategist in philanthropy tech, combined with her self-awareness, humility, and dedication to advancing equity, uniquely qualify her to lead TAG in a dynamic environment, where emerging technologies like AI are reshaping the landscape of civil society. With Jean at the helm, I am confident in TAG’s role as a strategic force, shaping the future of philanthropy in the age of AI.”

Westrick commences her tenure with TAG on December 1, 2023. Chantal Forster will serve in an advisory capacity until December 31, 2023. Both Westrick and Forster will be onsite in Nashville, TN during the TAG2023 conference from November 6-9, 2023.

About the Technology Association of Grantmakers

TAG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization that promotes the strategic, innovative, and equitable use of technology in philanthropy to solve problems and improve lives. With over 2000 members in 300 foundations throughout North America and beyond, TAG is the voice of technology in the philanthropic sector, providing technology professionals, tech funders, and “accidental techies” with knowledge, networks, mentoring, and educational opportunities.

Since 2008, the Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) has built a global community, conducted groundbreaking research, and become an advocate for investment in tech infrastructure throughout the charitable sector. For more information, visit