March 8, 2022

The Board of Melville Charitable Trust has unanimously elected Dr. Karen DuBois-Walton as Chair. She  joined the Trust’s Board in 2018 and will succeed Stephen Melville, who served as Chair for 17 years and will remain a member. Steve is son of the late Frank Melville, the board’s founding Chair, and the late Allen Melville, who also served on the board for many years.

Karen currently serves as the President of the Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven and its related entities, The Glendower Group and 360 Management Group, responsible for administrative, programmatic and policy direction of the public housing, housing choice voucher program, low-income housing tax credit program, finance and planning and development activities.

Previously, she served as Chief of Staff and Chief Administrative Officer for Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. in the City of New Haven, CT.

“I am delighted that the board is in the hands of such a dedicated and community-oriented leader,” said Steve Melville. “She has a wealth of experience in housing, especially the complex and inter-connected challenges facing our lowest-income community members, and her vision for changing the systems that create housing instability and homelessness will serve the Trust extremely well going forward.”

In 2021 the Trust updated its strategic plan, focusing on three root causes of homelessness and housing instability and the racially inequitable systems that have denied so many people safe, stable and affordable housing in communities that allow them to thrive.

“I’ve been proud to be a part of the Melville Charitable Trust and to witness its evolution,” said Karen DuBois-Walton. “Focusing specifically on the populations most impacted—including Black, Indigenous and Latino/a/x people with extremely low incomes— acknowledges the deeply inequitable systems and policies that cause so many communities of color to endure substandard housing in neighborhoods cut off from opportunity or live without any stable housing.”

The Trust’s President, Susan Thomas, expressed gratitude to both Stephen and Karen. “Steve has been an extraordinary leader for the Trust and we are all tremendously grateful for his and his family’s generosity, which has enabled the Trust to support work that has made a lasting impact on homelessness and housing instability. Fortunately for us, he is passing the reins to another exceptional leader, who will carry on the Melville family’s legacy with courage and care. We are truly fortunate to have such a strong, forward-looking and compassionate board.”

For more information about the Trust’s new grantmaking strategy visit

Published on March 8, 2022
Filed in Announcements