The director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis has announced plans to resign. Debra Mesch, who has served in the role for 10 years, will step down in August to focus on full-time research and teaching.

IUPUI says, during Mesch’s tenure, the WPI has received nearly $3 million in research grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further research into men’s and women’s giving. Mesch will continue her work as the lead scholar for studies about gender and philanthropy. She also created and taught the first graduate-level course on the subject during her time as director.

"Dr. Mesch is the leading scholar of women’s philanthropy in the United States, and I’m confident she will add even more to the body of knowledge about gender and philanthropy when she is able to direct all of her efforts toward research," said Amir Pasic, dean of the school. "By raising awareness of the power and possibilities of women’s philanthropic leadership around the world and building the Women’s Philanthropy Institute into the foremost resource for nonprofits, fundraisers, donors and scholars, she has already made a lasting impact on philanthropy’s future."

WPI Associate Director Andrea Pactor will serve as interim director while a national search for Mesch’s permanent successor is conducted.

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