Abena Asante is a senior program officer at St David’s Foundation in Austin, Texas. Abena joined the Foundation in 2016 and leads strategy development and grant making for the strong safety-net; connection to specialty care and rural communities focus areas.
Prior to joining St David’s Foundation, Abena spent almost 8 years with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina. While at the Trust, she managed a health focused grant portfolio including access to primary care and behavioral health services. In her role as a program officer, Abena led the Trust’s state-wide diabetes initiative and partnered with thought leaders including the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services and Harvard University to publish the Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) report which highlighted policies supporting the management and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes in North Carolina. Additionally, Abena led the implementation of the Healthy Places North Carolina Initiative in rural communities in western North Carolina. The goal of the place-based initiative was to improve the health and well-being of the community by strengthening their local capacity to organize, lead and develop health interventions that were relevant to their communities. In her role as a program officer for the Cone Health Foundation, she worked with community stakeholders to establish the first county-wide obesity prevention coalition. Prior to joining the field of philanthropy, Abena worked in several capacities with non-profits and Public Health Departments in North Carolina and Florida.
Abena is an alumnus of the Southeastern Council of Foundation’s Hull Fellows’ program and also ABFE’s Connecting Leaders Fellowship program. Abena holds a Master of Health Care Administration degree from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from the University of Florida in Gainesville.