Faye Nelson, Grosse Pointe Woods

Faye Nelson, Commissioner, Michigan Women's Commission

Faye serves as Michigan Director of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, she oversees strategy, operations, and grantmaking throughout the state of Michigan which includes offices and priority funding locations in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek. Prior to joining the Kellogg Foundation, Faye served as the 2018 Sojourner Truth Fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she taught a graduate level course on placemaking and public space development in urban communities. Before joining University of Michigan's faculty, Faye served as Vice President of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE); additionally, she was Board Chair and President of the DTE Energy Foundation. In this role, she restructured the company's philanthropic priorities, redesigned its program funding strategy, and oversaw the disbursement and fulfillment of over $20 million in annual grant funding to nonprofits statewide.     

Faye has more than 20 years of senior executive experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, specializing in real estate, economic development, technology, energy, and philanthropy. She brings significant governance experience, including fourteen years of board service with Compuware Corporation where she served on the compensation and nominating committees. She currently serves on numerous charitable boards including the Michigan Women's Commission (gubernatorial appointment), Detroit Symphony Orchestra, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and M-1 Rail.

Throughout her career, Faye has delivered transformational results, having played a critical role in the revitalization of various communities throughout Michigan. During her ten-year tenure as the inaugural President and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Faye was instrumental in developing the Detroit waterfront, transforming an industrial riverfront into a vibrant public space that spanned over 3 miles, welcomed more than 3 million visitors annually, and generated over $1 billion of public and private investments. In addition to developing the waterfront, Faye was also instrumental in progressing Detroit's entrepreneurial and technology sectors. As Vice President of Governmental Affairs for Wayne State University, she co-led the development of the Wayne State University Research and Technology Park, now known as TechTown.

Faye earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Mercy College of Detroit and a law degree from the University of Detroit School of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and a Life Member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference. She is also a member of the International Women's Forum-Michigan where she served as co-chair of the 2020 IWF World Leadership Conference in Detroit, Michigan, and a member of the Greater Wayne County Links, Inc. 

Faye is the recipient of numerous awards including Crain's Detroit Business' 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan, Michigan Business Hall of Fame Inductee, Joyce Ivy Foundation Leader of the Year Award, the Walsh College Jeffery Barry Education Excellence & Community Service Award, and the Damon J. Keith 24th Annual Soul and Spirit Humanitarian Award