Mary Beth Knight, PhD

Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Gillings School of Global Public Health Advancement
108 Rosenau Hall
CB #7400
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Mary Beth Knight serves as the director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) for the Gillings School, and is a member of the School’s advancement team as well as the CFR team in University Advancement.  She works with faculty, staff and administrators to secure grant funding from foundations and corporations in support of Gillings research and broader School priorities. She also stewards and advances the Gillings Schools’ relationships with these funders.

Mary Beth has 15 years of experience in higher education fundraising, including eight years as development director at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. She most recently established the grants office at Wofford College and oversaw their corporate and foundation relations program. Earlier in her career, Mary Beth worked as a business journalist in New York and was a speechwriter in the U.S. Senate. She also has directed equity-focused programs with public university system and campus leaders at The Education Trust, a large education advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Staff/Administrative Duties

-    Leads School fundraising efforts with foundations and corporations
-    Stewards awards and strengthens relationships with funders
-    Partners with senior director of research and innovation, Alexia Kelley, to optimally match UNC Gillings projects with funding sources and streamline communications around extramural funding
-    Leverages tools and expertise to benefit Gillings School researchers as a member of the Corporate and Foundation Relations team in University Advancement


  • PhD, Higher Education, University of Virginia, 2010
  • BJ, Journalism, University of King’s College, 1997
  • BA, English and French, Wofford College, 1996