Mary Odell headshot

Mary Odell is an experienced early childhood educator and grantmaking professional.  Mary began her professional career teaching the children of migrant farm workers in Coachella, California, was an elementary school teacher and vice-principal in South Los Angeles, and worked as an Education and Instruction Specialist for IBM Corporation.  In 1991, Mary transitioned to philanthropy, serving as President of The Riordan Foundation and its affiliated public charity, Rx for Reading, until 1999 when she became the founding president of UniHealth Foundation until her retirement in 2016.  Mary is recognized as a leader in the philanthropic community with expertise in managing public-private partnerships.  Mary has done extensive graduate work in early speech and language acquisition, has lifetime credentials to teach multiple subjects preschool through 12th grade and adult education, and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.  She currently serves on the Board of LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program and is Chair of the Board of The Riordan Foundation.