Grant Oliphant is president of The Heinz Endowments. For nearly two decades, Grant held several senior management posts with Heinz family foundations, including vice president for programs and planning at the Endowments, his position before taking over the helm at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 2008. He also served as press secretary to the late U.S. Sen. John Heinz from 1988 until the senator’s death in 1991.
If there’s a major project happening in Pittsburgh, chances are that Oliphant is pulling the strings. His six-year tenure atop The Pittsburgh Foundation saw that organization increase its assets by a third in the middle of a recession; even more impressively, that foundation oversaw the recruiting and hiring of Mayor Bill Peduto’s senior staff through its Talent City initiative. Oliphant quickly has made his presence known at Heinz, which shortly after his arrival in May 2014 jettisoned a controversial connection to the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.
Since then, he’s overseen the P4 Conference on urbanism in April, became the primary force in development of the 178-acre Almono site in Hazelwood, brokered the sale of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture to Heinz and other foundations and forged close ties to the Peduto administration.
Grant’s Challenge; Work to move your worldview from “me” to “we”.
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If you liked this interview, check out episode 107 with Bill Peduto where we discuss the evolution of Pittsburgh or episode 130 with Ray Gastil where we discuss the challenges of city planning and reorganizing Pittsburgh’s communities.