July 17, 2012
Mark McDonald, Press Secretary
(City of Philadelphia) Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an executive order establishing the Mayor’s Office of Grants, which will increase the City’s capacity and capabilities to compete for federal, state and philanthropic grants as well as to manage the funding with transparency. New city-wide procedures will be instituted regarding the coordination, competition and application for grant funding, and the Office will regularly report on the effectiveness of grant-funded projects to both the funders and the public. The executive director of Mayor’s Office of Grants will be Maari Porter, formerly the Deputy Director of Finance for Recovery who oversaw the City’s distribution and management of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding.
“The Mayor’s Office of Grants is a strategic addition, which will allow the City to more effectively compete for increasingly scare federal, state and philanthropic resources,” said Mayor Nutter. “My Administration has been a strong partner on grant funded programs, which improve the lives of thousands of residents and visitors in the city. I have full confidence that this office will uphold the highest ethical standards and will ensure that the City of Philadelphia continues to receive significant grant funding allowing us to invest in the programs, systems and infrastructure for our citizens.”
In Fiscal Year 2011, the City of Philadelphia was awarded $1.2 billion in grant funding from federal and state governments. Currently, the federal government is reforming its grant process to institute more competition and collaboration between counties and municipalities applying for funding. The Mayor’s Office of Grants will be tasked with responding to new allocation models by the federal government and with centralizing the application process. The Office will also work closely with the Chief Integrity Office to ensure compliance and monitoring of funding and reporting.
“I am delighted and honored to work with Mayor Nutter and his Administration in the newly established Grants Office,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Grants Maari Porter. “This Office will allow us to more easily apply for grants, monitor them and improve our processes.”
Maari Porter led the City’s Recovery Office and set the strategic direction for the City’s stimulus program with the Mayor and Finance Director. She oversaw quarterly reporting and performance management of $278 million in 50 ARRA grants, ensuring transparency for taxpayers.
Previously, Ms. Porter served as Capability Review Manager in the Office of the Cabinet Secretary for the United Kingdom and as a Performance Advisory in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. She has a MSc from the London School of Economics and Bachelors in Urban Planning from the University of Auckland.