Jennifer Lawson, Ph.D.

Project Director

Contact Jennifer


Jennifer Lawson joined the Johnson Center in May 2024 as a project director. In this role, she is responsible for creating and implementing projects that advance the mission, vision, and values of the organization. She is also an adjunct professor in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University.

Jennifer has more than 15 years of experience working in philanthropy, with nonprofits, and teaching in higher education. Her areas of expertise include grantmaking, program design, private foundation compliance, course development, and training/instruction. Most recently, Dr. Lawson worked at the DTE Energy Foundation as a program manager. Prior to that, she worked as a fundraiser and event coordinator.

Jennifer serves on the board of SPEC Associates, a nonprofit evaluation firm that specializes in producing customized evaluations that promote knowledge. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Wayne State University, as well as an M.S. in community services and a B.S. in veterinary technology from Michigan State University.