- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

John “Skip” McKoy is fighting to make the District a better place for young people to learn.

He was recently named director of Fight for Children, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of education and health care for D.C. youths.

The organization has raised more than $190 million through private contributions, grants and events such as Fight Night, an annual boxing fundraiser, and School Night, an education-themed benefit for schoolchildren.

Mr. McKoy will oversee the grant-making side of the group’s operations.

“We want to be able to help more than one child at a time,” Mr. McKoy said. “A lot of what we do now is focused on individual scholarships, so we want to coordinate with other organizations to be more effective.”

The biggest challenge is to distribute the organization’s money in a way that will help the District’s children the most, Mr. McKoy said.

“There is a lot of activity out there, but not all of it is effective,” Mr. McKoy said. “And what we need to do is make it more effective.”

Mr. McKoy said his goal is to use neighborhood data to measure the health and educational progress of at-risk communities in the District so that philanthropists will know which areas need the most help.

“Skip is a terrific fit for our organization. He has a great background in the city,” said Michela English, president and chief executive officer of Fight for our Children.

“He’s been involved in the public sector, he’s been involved with nonprofits in the city, and we work across all of those organizations,” Mrs. English said. “He has a great track record for bringing everyone together and he will help extend the impact of Fight for Children in the city.”

Mr. McKoy has been a key player in the District’s evolution since he arrived from Philadelphia 30 years ago, before the city had Metrorail.

He worked for the D.C. Department of Planning, where, he said, he helped develop the city’s first land-use plan.

Mr. McKoy was most recently executive vice president of the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. (AWC), a land development organization founded by the D.C. government, where he oversaw development of public lands in Wards 7 and 8 east of the Anacostia River.

During his tenure there, the AWC donated $200,000 each year to support recreational programs for D.C. children.

“Looking ahead, you can’t help but be optimistic that this city is going to be better,” Mr. McKoy said.

Mr. McKoy received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Hamilton College in New York. He received a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s in public administration from Harvard University.

Mr. McKoy lives in the District.

Bryce Baschuk

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