( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Alexander Advocates for Philanthropy and Social Change Through Ford Motor Company Fund
ENSPIRE Contributor: Elizabeth Duchan
Pamela Alexander is using her job to raise people up. The director of community development at the Ford Motor Company Fund spearheads numerous programs that aim to support female and BIPOC entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders while supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
Alexander’s drive for social change started at a young age, as she recalls actively volunteering and contributing service hours in her neighborhood with aspirations to make the world a better place. As a graduate student at Columbia University, Alexander worked for former NYC Mayor Ed Koch in the government relations department of the NYC Public Development Corporation and later joined the Ford Motor Company controller’s office in 1990. In 1998, Alexander switched from her finance position to the government affairs office, where she pursued policy development and acted as the company’s lobbyist.
Through her work with the Ford Motor Company, Alexander joined its philanthropic arm, Ford Fund. As director of community development, she spearheads outreach and engagement initiatives with nonprofits to promote social mobility, diversity, gender equality, education, and community engagement.
“My work affords me the opportunity to uplift and empower others,” Alexander says. “I am especially proud of the targeted nature of our initiatives that have allowed us to have a real impact in communities to help people live their fullest lives. I have an opportunity to help lay a path of success for people who may not otherwise have those opportunities.”
Alexander hopes to see her work evolve to match the rapid pace of the world. In light of the pandemic, the Ford Fund has focused on providing community access to food, shelter, and personal protective equipment, while also providing relief funds to college students. Their $200,000 emergency fund for those at HBCUs and additional grants to members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities speaks to Ford’s goal to provide national assistance during taxing times.
As Alexander reflects on her career, she encourages rising entrepreneurs to share their voices and create opportunities for themselves and others. “When doors close, step up and stand up for yourself and what you believe in,” the businesswoman says. “True transformation often happens in the most difficult times.”
For more information about the Ford Fund and its initiatives, please visit www.fgb.life.