Executive Vice President for Community Investments, St. David's Foundation
William Buster is the Executive Vice President for Community Investments at St. David’s Foundation, where he leads the creation, design, execution and evaluation of the Foundation’s grantmaking and community programs, including the St. David’s Dental Program, that address the unmet healthcare needs of the Central Texas community.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2016, William was the Owner and Lead Consultant for Common-Unity Philanthropic and Nonprofit Advisors. He also worked with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where he served as the Director of Mississippi and New Orleans Programs as well as Advisor to the President on Men and Boys of Color, and as a Program Officer with the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, with a focus on Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and parts of Appalachia.
William has a Master of Arts in Policy and Practice of Development from the University of New Hampshire, and a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.
While the rural population in the United States comprises 19 percent of the total population, the level of giving focused on rural communities has been less than 7 percent of all grantmaking from foundations, according to Foundation Center. The current political moment has underscored the alienation felt by many in rural communities, as well as the tendency of “coastal elites” to under-appreciate the distinct challenges rural communities face. This session will explore how to define, scope, and address the unique challenges and opportunities in serving rural communities.