Our People

Kelly Reed

Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Grants and Finance

Kelly Reed is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Grants and Finance at the Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. She oversees the grantmaking and finance functions of Democracy Fund and supports the continuous improvement of key operational infrastructure for the foundation.

Kelly originally joined the Democracy Fund in 2018 as the Director of Grants Management, where she oversaw the administration of all Democracy Fund grants and partnered with program staff to incorporate philanthropic best practices into grantmaking strategies. She has more than a decade of experience working at the intersection of philanthropy and advocacy, with extensive experience managing grantmaking processes, funding policy campaigns, developing advocacy strategies, and supporting the implementation of lobbying and political activities. Prior to Democracy Fund, she was a Director at Arabella Advisors where she oversaw dozens of 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) campaigns that spanned social justice issues and helped manage several nonprofits that serve as fiscal sponsors, including the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

Prior to joining Arabella, Kelly served as a program officer at Ploughshares Fund, where she led a multi-year grantmaking campaign to advocate for the nuclear deal between the United States and Iran. As part of this campaign, Kelly funded the development of policy ideas for negotiations, and designed and implemented a grantmaking strategy to urge Congress to withhold sanctions that would have resulted in the deal’s collapse. She has also held internships at the State Department, BusinessWeek, and in the office of US Senator Herb Kohl. Kelly graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with majors in journalism and political science. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, a journalism honor society.