Carrie Walton Penner is a K-12 education advocate and chairs the board of directors of the Walton Family Foundation. Her passion for educational equity was ignited during college when she witnessed first-hand the significant quality discrepancy in the U.S. public education system while tutoring high school students in Washington, D.C. She has been active in education research, evaluation, advocacy and philanthropy for more than 20 years. She is focused on improving access to high-quality schools for every child, particularly those in low-income communities.
With expertise in developing effective governance models for high-impact philanthropy, Carrie has advised many nonprofit organizations on matters such as strategic planning, funder and grantee relationship building and organizational transitions. In addition to the Walton Family Foundation, she currently serves on the boards of The Aspen Institute, Charter School Growth Fund, KIPP Foundation, EdVoice and Stanford University Graduate School of Education.
Carrie holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in administration and policy analysis, and a master’s degree in program evaluation – both from Stanford University Graduate School of Education.
Carrie is the granddaughter of Helen and Sam Walton, founders of the Walton Family Foundation and Walmart.
Walton Family Foundation Names Consultant as New Leader - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
3rd Generation of Walton Family Makes Sharp Turn in Giving - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Walmart Fortune, Spreading Charter Schools - The New York Times
A Quiet Family Fund Creates a Loud Buzz - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
In 2013, the Walton Family Foundation was inducted into the NAPCS Hall of Fame. This video features foundation board member Carrie Walton Penner, and highlights the Walton Family Foundation's long history of empowering parents with high-quality education options.