Jama Dodson

Jama Dodson
Executive Director, Saint Louis MHB

After establishing a career in social services with stints first in Washington, D. C. and later in Rochester, NY., Jama came to St. Louis in 2000 to become founding Director of St. Louis for Kids--a “backbone” organization established to strengthen the youth services sector in the St. Louis region.  Jama led St. Louis for Kids until 2009, then served for three years as executive director of the Family Support Network, a home visiting agency working to prevent child abuse/neglect (now a program of Epworth). She was appointed Executive Director of the Saint Louis Mental Health Board (now MHB), a publicly supported grantmaking foundation, in January 2012.

Jama holds a bachelor’s degree in education (B.S.Ed.) from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in public administration (M.P.A) from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Brockport.  She was born and raised in rural southwest Missouri, in the Springfield area. 

How does GCG support your work in the philanthropic sector?

The Gateway Center for Giving has provided me with invaluable connections to other funders who generously share their ideas and approaches to funding.  In addition, GCG has had a positive influence on the effectiveness of services and their alignment with the true needs of our region.