Our People

Staff Profile

Vanessa McKnight

Controller, Finance

Vanessa McKnight


Vanessa is responsible for the Foundation’s accounting direction and strategy, the operational treasury, accounts payable and payroll functions, and overseeing the Foundation’s investment portfolio accounting and tax reporting. As Controller, Vanessa oversees the preparation, audit and issuance of the Foundation’s consolidated financial statements, the completion of the Foundation’s tax filings, and the Foundation’s foreign office accounting and reporting requirements. She is also responsible for the system of controls over financial assets and reporting, including the design, implementation and testing of all internal controls.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Vanessa served as Senior Financial Analyst for CNA Insurance and Senior Accountant for the National Black MBA Association, Inc. and Motorola, Inc. Vanessa has a strong financial, expense, and cost analysis background as well as budget and audit experience.

Vanessa holds a Master of Business Adminstration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Chicago State University. While attending graduate school she received the MBA Leadership Grant, served as Team Leader for Engagements in consulting projects for the Office of Strategic Business Initiatives, and was President of the MBAs of Color. 

Vanessa serves on the Audit Committee of Living Cities, an organization focused on interrelated systems—education, transit access, workforce development, and more—that impact peoples’ economic well-being and on closing racial income and wealth gaps in U.S. cities.

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