Battle Creek, Mich. - The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announces the selection of Tonya Williams as its vice president for policy, communications and knowledge analytics and Dion Santana Trahan as its director of advance. Both roles are newly created and will provide pivotal support in setting the direction for all of the foundation’s policy, communication and advocacy investments worldwide.
Both Williams and Trahan joined the foundation on Dec. 12 and report to AJ Jones II, WKKF’s chief policy and communications officer.
“We are very excited to welcome Tonya and Dion to WKKF,” said Jones. “These two positions will play a critical role as we continue to make advances in our work to create the conditions in our communities and families for children to thrive. Both Tonya and Dion possess unique and invaluable talents that will be an asset to our team and the foundation.”
Williams will provide strategic counsel and leadership to the foundation, while managing the policy and external communications staff. Williams also will provide strategic external support for the foundation, its grantees and public/private partnerships to promote the foundation’s mission, vision, values and strategies.
Williams most recently served as the special assistant to the vice president and director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C., where she served as the primary liaison between the Office of the Vice President and Congress.
Prior to this, Williams served as the chief of staff and floor assistant for Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) at the U.S. House of Representatives and director of Intellectual Property Policy for North and South America at GlaxoSmithKline. She also served as general counsel to longtime Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight at North Carolina General Assembly.
Williams obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and completed the International Human Rights & Comparative Law study abroad program with Loyola University Chicago School of Law in Rome, Italy. In addition, she has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In Trahan’s role, he will be responsible for managing a portfolio of communication projects across the foundation and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to design, plan and implement strategic communications campaigns and projects to advance the foundation’s mission. Trahan also will play an integral role in preparing WKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron for events and coordinating with media and other local, national and international entities to successfully communicate the foundation’s strategies.
Previously, Trahan was the director of healthcare and benefits solutions at Micropact in Herndon, Virginia Dion provided healthcare software solutions to several federal and state government agencies through innovative projects. His understanding of the intersection of healthcare and regulations has allowed him to work on projects such as the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals at The Department of Health and Human Services; the Senior Medicare Patrol program and the State Health Insurance Program at the Administration for Community Living, and other programs at the National Institutes of Health and Health Resources & Services Administration.
Prior to this he served as the deputy healthcare client executive for Enterprise Information Management in Rosslyn, Virginia.; senior consultant at Booz | Allen | Hamilton in Rockville, Maryland; law clerk at Donald H. Hadley, LLC in Rockville; professional staff member and counsel, oversight and investigations for subcommittee for the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C.; fellow for Majority Whip’s Office for the United States Congress; and lastly, armor tank platoon commander for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Trahan obtained a Master of Laws from Washington College of Law, American University; a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Civil Law degrees from the Paul M. Herbert Law Center, Louisiana State University; and a bachelor’s degree from the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.