Brent Thompson helps to build a Culture of Health by leading strategic communications to advance the Foundation’s commitment to making quality health care accessible to everyone in our nation. Thompson believes that freeing people from the fear and stress of living without health insurance will make our society more prosperous, just, and healthy. He is also responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking to support the philanthropic sector.
Before joining the Foundation, Thompson spent nearly a decade as director of communications at the William Penn Foundation (WPF), a $2 billion philanthropy advancing the quality of life in Greater Philadelphia through strategic grantmaking in the environment, children’s futures, and the arts. In addition to serving as WPF’s chief communicator, he worked with program staff to make effective communications investments and provided technical assistance to a wide range of grantees. Thompson was one of the leaders of WPF’s cross-functional media grantmaking team that helped to establish several public interest news operations in the region. While at WPF, he was also an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, teaching marketing and communications for nonprofit organizations at the Fels Institute, Penn’s graduate public policy program.
Earlier in his career, Thompson served as chief of staff and communications manager at the American Red Cross in Philadelphia. There, he helped to secure state and local funding to create Red Cross House, the nation’s first transitional living facility for low-income disaster victims, located in West Philadelphia. Before that, he managed programs on Middle East peace and security at Search for Common Ground, a Washington-based non-governmental organization specializing in global and domestic conflict resolution.
From 2005 through 2011, Thompson was a trustee of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, serving in a variety of leadership roles, including vice chair. He has also been a volunteer at a free health clinic in Washington, D.C., and with his hometown United Way, where he was named volunteer of the year in 2008.
Thompson earned an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania, a BA from Drew University, and has done coursework in graphic design at Moore College of Art.
In his free time, he enjoys music, the arts, and camping. He spends as much time as possible exploring southern New Jersey’s extraordinary Pinelands region. Brent’s wife is an assistant professor of Spanish at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. They live in southern New Jersey with their two young daughters.