GEOVETTE WASHTINGTON

Bringing a creative approach to problem-solving and challenges within the community.

Geovette Washington is the Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Legal Officer at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been with the university for the past seven years and covers all legal and policy issues for the university. “I’m often called upon to help solve complex problems by creating processes that will help people get to the right place and do good things with their lives.” Geovette has found that moving to Pittsburgh from Washington, DC., has allowed her to make more of a local impact.

Geovette recalls a project she worked on here in Pittsburgh that changed her perspective on everyday needs.  “We provided toiletry bags for women who couldn’t afford to buy them themselves. So many people in America today are struggling and need to make choices on what to buy,” said Geovette. “And that often means going without something else they may need. I’ve never experienced that kind of need…it was eye-opening and made me more appreciative of my own privileges.”

This experience, and countless others, further sparked her passion for philanthropy.  United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) helped give her that opportunity. Geovette enjoys the comradery of growing relationships and making an impact with United Way and the WLC. Geovette has been a supporter of United Way for over a decade. She started giving to United Way while she worked in Washington, DC., through the federal government. In her current position at the University of Pittsburgh, she continues to stay involved. Geovette credits Kathy Humphrey, president of Carlow University, as the person who encouraged her to get involved with the Women’s Leadership Council. “Kathy is more than just a very good friend, but a mentor, so when she told me about WLC, I jumped at the opportunity. Unlike in Washington, DC., Pittsburgh has more opportunities for you to step up and become a leader. Women’s Leadership Council is one of the ways you can do that here.”

Geovette is inspired to see other women giving back to their community. “The WLC is a group of very dedicated and determined women who are figuring out new, creative ways to help their community, even during the most difficult times.” Geovette shares that the staff at United Way keeps everyone engaged and allows you to choose the specific projects you want to be involved in.

When Geovette is not working and volunteering, she loves to watch and attend all the sporting events here in Pittsburgh. When she was just a little girl, Geovette’s grandmother taught her how to crochet. “I make holiday crafts and baby blankets for my friends and co-workers and recently  started making scarfs to donate to a charity that gives them to homeless people during the winter months.  It’s a great way to calm down from a busy day.”

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at lynne.popash@unitedwayswpa.org in Allegheny County or Terri Dominick at Terri.Dominick@unitedwayswpa.org in Westmoreland County, or Sherrie Dunlap Gallagher at sherrie.dunlapgallagher@unitedwayswpa.org in Butler County.