Nicholas Pelzer

Senior Program Officer


​Nicholas Pelzer joined The Wallace Foundation in 2014. As a senior program officer in the Education Leadership unit, Pelzer works with school districts, technical assistance providers and stakeholders across the country to strengthen their efforts to attract, train, evaluate and support school leaders in urban areas.

Before joining Wallace, he served as director of public service leadership and strategic initiatives at National Urban Fellows, where he worked to support long-term strategies and innovative approaches to ensuring diverse leadership in the public sector.

Before then, as a project officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he coordinated the launch and expansion of several multi-million dollar grantmaking programs focusing on critical areas in nursing. He also managed national efforts to create a more highly educated healthcare workforce, introduce new and diverse researchers to the field, and improve access to high-quality healthcare for underserved communities. Previously, he served as a program manager at Leveraging Investments in Creativity, where he managed a national initiative to improve the conditions for artists through community-based investment, collaboration and research. Pelzer began his grantmaking career as an associate at Ashoka’s Youth Venture, where he provided seed funding and technical assistance to young people launching social ventures.

He is an alumnus of several public service and leadership programs including the National Urban Fellowship, AmeriCorps VISTA, Lead NJ and the America’s Leaders of Change program. Pelzer holds his doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University, a master’s degree in public administration from Bernard M. Baruch College-CUNY, and a B.S. degree in communication from James Madison University.​