New President and CEO of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, Janine Woods, is on a Mission

Janine Woods, President and CEO of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

Janine Woods is the new Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. A Kansas native, Woods began her professional career in corporate America with Fortune 500 companies, but soon realized her heart’s desire was to work on behalf of those most in need – thus beginning her career in the nonprofit world. Woods’ early nonprofit career took her to the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, the Winston Salem Urban League, Save the Children, YMCA’s Black Achievers, and the North Carolina Dental Health Fund.

During her tenure in the Carolinas, Woods became Program Officer at the Foundation for The Carolinas, where she managed four community grants and oversaw a $1.2 million budget. As Southeast regional director of Save the Children in Asheville, North Carolina, Woods improved the socio-economic conditions of people living in poverty throughout a seven-state region, including the Cherokee Indian Nation. Woods has also served as president of Building Capacity, a company dedicated to creating impactful and systemic change for nonprofit organizations. While in the Carolinas Woods was an active member of the Women’s Impact Fund; one of the fastest growing giving circles in the country.

“We’re grateful our national CEO search led us to Janine, a bold and visionary leader who is beyond qualified to further the YWCA’s mission,” said LaJuana Fuller, president of the Board of Directors. “From Congressional intern to corporate America to national advocacy, Janine’s wealth of experience and dynamic leadership will steer our organization as we work to generate institutional change in racial justice, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls.”

Most recently, Woods served as CEO of Brown Family Health Center in Deep East Texas. Here, her work addressed the social determinants of health, improving the health, wellness and socio-economic condition of over one million Texans living in abject rural poverty. Woods refers to herself as a social entrepreneur who strives to find long-term solutions for underprivileged populations everywhere. Woods is also a North Carolina Governor Appointed Human Relations Commissioner, former contributor to Black Enterprise Magazine, and exemplary member of the community who’s dedicated her time and treasure to organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, the Wichita Indochinese Center, the Mid-America All Indian Center, Sant La and more. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Personnel Administration from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from Webster University in St. Louis, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. Outside of her professional life, Woods is an exercise enthusiast, avid poet, flautist and philanthropist. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a faithful member of her church, and the proud mother of two wonderful young women.

For more than 150 years, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh has responded to the critical needs of women and girls.Woods will lead new efforts to focus resources and programs on growing the economic power of women, especially women of color, and sustaining that improvement. Through Woods’ courageous and strategic leadership, the YWCA is preparing to launch cutting-edge programs that challenge racism and address institutional biases, defend the interests of marginalized populations, and improve quality of life in the Pittsburgh region. Plans are currently in development to restructure the Center for Race and Gender Equity, add new programming focused on young adult women and implement new initiatives that focus on community advocacy, policy and research. Additional details will be released soon.

For more information about the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, please visit

About the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all, envisioning a community that advances education, opportunity, and equity regardless of gender, race or background. YWCA serves thousands of women, children, and families every year through an array of programs that provide advocacy for justice and social change, high-quality early care, STEM education for girls, and financial assistance and empowerment for women of all ages.

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