Denise Porche has held leadership roles in philanthropy, social service provision, and community activism for more than two decades. Currently, Denise is Executive Director of the Island Foundation, which she has led since 2009. Under her leadership, the Island Foundation has increased its funding for equity and inclusion, basic needs, educational opportunities for underserved populations, and environmental justice. She also founded the Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network and the Women CEOs Group.
Denise’s leadership in philanthropy includes present and prior facilitation of many funder networks, and she is an advisor for the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and the Social Innovation Forum. Denise also taught Social Justice Philanthropy at The Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University. Additionally, she serves on the boards of The Redford Center, Project Citizenship and the SouthCoast Community Foundation, and she previously served on the boards of Philanthropy Massachusetts and the Environmental Grantmakers Association.
Prior to joining the Island Foundation, Denise was a fellow at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, she worked on inclusion projects and immigration issues, and she was a member of the Harvard Diversity Working Group. And before that, Denise worked at Catholic Social Services directing the Office for Child Protection and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Denise holds a BA from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and an MSW from Boston University.