Media release

The Honorable Melissa DuBose named to Foundation Board of Directors

Rhode Island District Court judge joins board as the Foundation comes off a record year of grantmaking

The Honorable Melissa DuBose has been named to the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Foundation. As the state’s largest funder of nonprofit organizations, the Foundation awarded a record $87 million in grants to more than 2,200 nonprofits last year.

“We are delighted to welcome Judge DuBose. She has an accomplished background and adds to the diverse range of experiences of our Board. Her viewpoints will allow the Foundation to bring an even sharper focus on addressing disparities in the pursuit of our strategic priorities of educational success, healthy lives and economic security."

- Polly Wall, chair, Foundation board of directors
Judge DuBose
The Honorable Melissa DuBose

DuBose is an associate justice of the Rhode Island District Court, where she presides over criminal and civil cases in Kent County.

In addition to her official duties, DuBose serves on the Roger Williams University School of Law’s Board of Directors and chairs the board’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in Rhode Island Courts and chairs the Public Engagement and Education subcommittee.

Prior to being appointed to the District Court in 2019, DuBose served as senior legal counsel at Schneider Electric, specializing in corporate compliance, ethics and fair trade. Before joining Schneider’s in-house team, she served as a Special Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Criminal Division. While pursuing her law degree, she proudly served as a Providence Public School history teacher; a position she held for more than a decade.

DuBose earned a BA in Political Science from Providence College and a JD from Roger Williams School of Law. She was appointed to the board by R.I. Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Suttell in accordance with the Foundation’s by-laws, which set aside a seat for a member of the state judiciary.

“As a lifelong Rhode Islander, I am both honored and humbled by this appointment. I have personally witnessed the transformative power of Foundation’s commitment to education, civic engagement and health equity, so I am beyond thrilled to join this amazing board."

- Melisa DuBose, associate justice of the Rhode Island District Court

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $68 million and awarded a record $87 million in grants in 2020. Since its centennial five years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $284 million in grants and has raised more than $328 million. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.