George C. Jacobsen is a senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation. He joined Kresge in 2008 and has managed the foundation’s Detroit Program arts and culture portfolio since 2011, including its work to support individual artists and provide general operating support to a variety of arts and cultural organizations working in metropolitan Detroit. He further pursues grantmaking opportunities in the arts that advance Kresge’s Detroit program to reposition the city as a model for revitalization.
He also supports Kresge’s focus on Green, Healthy, Active Neighborhoods in Detroit, including the development of Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit, a three-year, $5 million grant initiative to support neighborhood-based projects that launched in 2014, and other activities that advance the cultural, economic and physical conditions of Detroit. He also serves on a committee focused on the foundation’s membership and infrastructure grantmaking.
George previously worked for three years on Kresge’s national Arts & Culture team, strengthening the capitalization of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations across the country.
He has worked on advancing a wide range of regional quality of life issues in Southeast Michigan since 2005, including work with Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a public-private partnership, and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
George has a master’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University in Detroit and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in social science from Michigan State University, where he focused on international studies and political science. Through his studies, he had the opportunity to visit and learn from leaders in cities and regions across the globe, including extended study tours in Washington D.C., Japan, and South Africa.
He is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the Larson Center for Leadership through Urban Land Institute-Michigan and The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities PLACES fellowship program.
Photo: Douglas Schaible