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Mesch named to Eileen Lamb O'Gara Chair in Women's Philanthropy


INDIANAPOLIS — Women’s philanthropy expert Debra Mesch has been selected to hold the world’s first endowed chair dedicated to research and teaching about women’s philanthropy.

As the Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Mesch will expand research, understanding and awareness about women’s unique and powerful role in giving, volunteering and leadership of philanthropic organizations. The appointment is effective July 1, 2015.

Mesch is director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the school, located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and will continue to serve in that capacity. She also is professor of public affairs in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI.

“Debra Mesch is recognized internationally as one of the foremost leaders in women’s philanthropy today. Under her leadership, the Women’s Philanthropy Institute is significantly expanding what is known about the important differences in the ways men and women give and volunteer,” said Amir Pasic, dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “As the Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy, Debra will build on that momentum to fill the gaps in understanding of this integral part of philanthropy and advance the ways in which women’s philanthropy changes the world.”

Mesch will conduct cutting-edge research on women’s philanthropy and on gender differences in philanthropy, translate research into improvements in philanthropic practices and develop academic courses in the school. She will provide new insights and information for students, donors, fundraisers and nonprofits.

“Women’s giving, volunteering and leadership are making transformational differences in every aspect of our lives, from global issues to the basic needs of individuals and communities, but much more knowledge is needed if philanthropy overall is to achieve its full potential,” Mesch said. “I am honored to be named to this important chair and to have an opportunity to move the research agenda on women’s philanthropy forward with new research on significant, groundbreaking questions. By doing so, we can provide new insights that help people and organizations around the world maximize the impact of their philanthropy.”

Additional information on Mesch’s appointment is available on the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy website.