CPF Former Fellow Nichol Whiteman Headshot
Center for the Political Future

Fall 2021 Fellow

With a relentless dedication to improving the lives of others, Nichol Whiteman is the Chief Executive Officer of the award-winning Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF). Under Nichol’s leadership, LADF tackles the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos. During Nichol’s tenure, LADF launched incredibly impactful programming including Dodgers RBI, a youth development initiative serving more than 10,000 youth today.

As part of LADF’s commitment to Southern California communities, the Foundation completed its 50th Dodgers Dreamfield, created a benefit gala, and increased fundraising by 1,000% with Nichol at the helm. Direct programming is only the beginning. Whiteman also advocates for LADF to be a strong charitable partner for nonprofits within the Los Angeles community through strategic grant making that builds capacity and reach. Collectively, Whiteman has cultivated partnerships that have resulted in more than $32 million in community investment in the form of direct programs and grant making, impacting over 2.3 million children.

As a Black woman in Major League Baseball, Nichol understands the importance of access. She uses her resources to open doors and opportunities for youth from all backgrounds. In addition to her professional achievements, she mentors countless men and women. The New York native has been recognized throughout the industry for her exceptional contributions having earned the 2020 National Medical Fellowship Leadership in Philanthropy Award, the 2020 Visionary Award presented by Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN), and the MOSTe Motivating Our Students

Nichol is a member of Women in Sports and Entertainment and LA Community Leaders and holds positions on the advisory and regional boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Covington Capital Management, the Women’s Leadership Council, A Better Chance, Inc., New Teacher Center, Davinci Schools Board Fund, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Positive Results Corporation, and Portal Schools board of trustees. Additionally, she sits on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance and serves on the YMCA of Metro LA’s Sports and Impact Panel.

Attracting attention from acclaimed journalists, she has been featured in outlets including Forbes Magazine, NBC’s CA Live, and the LA Times. With a degree in Economics from Spelman College, Nichol was the first in her family to graduate from college and has a passion for education, equity, and diversity. Her unwavering dedication resulted in positions in investment management and publishing before beginning a philanthropic career as VP, Western Region of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. As a child of Jamaican immigrants “in search of a dream,” she frequently highlights the power of diversity in advocating for resources and opportunities for marginalized populations.

Course: Non-Profit Leadership: Advancing the Missions in Unprecedented Times

The year 2020 was unprecedented as a pandemic ravaged global communities with racial unrest testing the principles of this nation. Compounded by a presidential election unlike any other, these unforgettable moments have impacted our national and global sensibilities, calling for innovation and creativity when navigating the non-profit landscape.

In this 10-week course, students explored positive actions, adaptations, and approaches of non-profit leadership in tumultuous times. Students also took an in-depth look at nonprofit leadership and how strategies constantly evolve as a result of current events.

Core competencies included: 1) Engagement of invested parties, partners and volunteers; 2) The transformative power in leadership vs. management; 3) The essential role of empathy in non-profit success; 4) Strategic approaches to address operating without a financial reserve; and 5) Speaking your truth and loving what you do.

This dynamic course was highly interactive, ranging from storytelling to lessons led by prominent guest speakers from organizations like the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Liberty Hill, Baby2Baby, UCLA Health, Brotherhood Crusade, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and more. Given the emphasis on leadership, students were challenged to take an active role. This included leading discussions, contributing critical thought, and offering solutions to navigate real issues faced by non-profits in challenging times.


Fall 2021 Semester Recap

Group Photo of CPF Fellow Nichol Whiteman’s Fall 2021 Study Group
Group Photo of CPF Fellow Nichol Whiteman’s Fall 2021 Study Group

Hudi Potash, a sophomore majoring in Public Policy, said this about his experience in Nichol’s course:

“My experience in engaging with the Fall 2021 Fellows has been mostly engaging in Nichol Whiteman’s class. Besides that, I’ve been able to have opportunities to go to CPF events, such as Pizza and Politics, and also have access to their networks and just getting to hear from them and talking to them to learn about their experience. I’m in a small, tight-knit class where you just get to hear from Nichol Whiteman’s experience, but also get to hear from your other classmates. My favorite part of being in Nichol Whiteman’s class has definitely been hearing from all the speakers that she brings. Nichol has all these connections to people in the nonprofit world and just hearing from these speakers in talking about their experiences has opened up so many doors for me about what I could do in a nonprofit space. So just hearing that has really empowered me and excited me to be in the nonprofit world however I see fit.”


See what Fall 2021 Fellow Nichol Whiteman said about her experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future in this video highlight.