senior program officer
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
trellis stepter serves as a senior program officer at the Mertz Gilmore Foundation for democracy, climate, and power. trellis brings over 15 years’ experience working on racial, social, and economic justice policy in the public and philanthropic sectors. he also served as the program officer for Money in Politics at the Piper Fund, a funder collaborative and initiative of the Proteus Fund. trellis served as the co-chair of the money in politics working group at the Funders Committee for Civic Participation.
In 2011, he was selected to participate in a yearlong distinguished fellowship program at Proteus to empower more diverse leaders to enter the field of philanthropy. Previously, trellis worked in public service in both the executive and legislative branch in Massachusetts. He served as Director of Government Affairs for the Secretary of Transportation in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick. He also served as chief of staff to former Assistant Majority Leader Byron Rushing in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He serves on the boards of the Environmental Grantmakers Association and Insight Western Massachusetts Meditation Center.
trellis is a New Orleans native and a graduate of East Jefferson High School. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans before being accepted to the Juilliard School’s Drama Division. Upon graduation, he earned a living in New York as a professional actor and director.