Areas of Expertise

Strategic Planning, Grants, Operations, Financial Planning, Human Resources, Coaching, Technology Planning

Joan Schaffer  |  Consultant


Joan Schaffer specializes in strategic planning, board governance, and nonprofit management. Most recently, she served for five years as the grants manager for the Montgomery County Council. Joan began her career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the D.C. Government’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services then joined the consulting practice at Price Waterhouse, working with a wide spectrum of government and private sector organizations. Subsequently, as a director at Freddie Mac, she held various positions in IT and Operations. She then served as a managing vice president at Capital One where she led a corporate effort to improve executive governance functions. In a volunteer capacity, Joan is the Board Treasurer for International Arts & Artists. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Bard College and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Education & Certification

M.B.A  Georgetown University 1983;  A.B. in Psychology from Bard College, 1975


Interfaith Works

Community Service

Joan is very active in a volunteer capacity.  She is currently serving as a facilitator for “Candid Conversations on Race”, an effort sponsored by the Interfaith Network of Montgomery County.  She serves on the Steering Committee for Daughters of Abraham, a group of women from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions, exploring one another’s faiths, and is a founding member of All Faiths in Friendship, women sharing both religion and culture.  Additionally, she is active with the Children’s Opportunity fund at the Community Foundation as it increasingly leads efforts to close the achievement gap in Montgomery County Schools.  She serves on the Boards for MCAEL (Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy) and International Arts & Artists. Previously, she has served as Secretary of Leadership Montgomery and Vice Chair at Voices for Children.

In the past, she served as the Lean and Hungry Theater Vice Chair, a Court Appointed Special Advocates Board member, Leadership Montgomery Board Member and Secretary, a trustee for the Bard College Board of Governors. Joan was also the chair of the Grants Advisory Group, Montgomery County Council and was on the Steering Committee for the Nonprofit Advancement Fund for the  Community Foundation for Montgomery County.

Get to know me

Joan is proud to be a life long resident of the DC area. She is an active cyclist riding with Babes on Bikes, Wednesday Irregulars, and the Potomac Peddlars ShelI also likes theater in particular and the arts in general.

A strong advocate for Interfaith Understanding, she serves on the Leadership Team of Daughters of Abraham, a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim women, and participates actively in the Montgomery County-based All Faiths in Friendship book group.   She is also a committed participant in the Rockville Chapter of Dining for Women, a global giving circle dedicated to transforming lives and eradicating poverty among women and girls in the developing world.

Favorite Quote

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” – The Reverend Martin Luther King