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Jim Denova

Vice President - Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

As Vice President of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Jim Denova’s primary responsibilities include program development and grant making in the areas of education and economic development. He is also a current member of the Remake Learning Council.

Dr. Denova has more than 30 years’ experience in nonprofit administration and philanthropy and has consulted with nonprofit organizations on program evaluation and strategic planning. He serves on the Advisory Council of the West Virginia Department of Education’s 21st Century Learning Initiative, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Advisory Committee, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics Board of Fellows.

Dr. Denova received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work with a concentration in social research. His research and publications focus on school-based health services, adult education, and nonprofit management.

Congratulations on retirement, Jim!

"Jim has been a guiding star for educational reform in West Virginia. His expertise and dedication to our state has inspired each of us and empowered us to dream big and implement innovative ideas that are moving our students to new levels. On a personal level, Jim has served as a mentor and dear friend in every step of my career.” Donna Peduto, Executive Director of the West Virginia Public Education Collaboration
“For over 20 years, Dr. Jim Denova has been instrumental in shaping numerous projects and initiatives that have greatly benefitted West Virginia children and educators. His vision regarding the Benedum Foundation’s commitment to excellence in educational programming and research-based best practices has resonated throughout West Virginia, positively impacting thousands of our state’s children and educators. While we look forward to continuing our solid and longstanding relationship with the Benedum Foundation, the great work of Dr. Denova will not soon be forgotten here in West Virginia. We wish him the best upon his retirement.” Clayton Burch, State Superintendent
“Goes without saying, our professional lives offer many benefits, opportunities, and challenges. For me, the most rewarding benefit is meeting people I truly hope will become lifelong friends. Jim Denova is just such a person! Since first connecting because of our shared interests through WVPEC and the Benedum Foundation, my respect, gratitude, admiration, and abiding fondness for Jim have only grown over time. His retirement, after such a productive career resulting in so many consequential contributions toward improving educational opportunities for children, families, and communities, is bittersweet. However, no way will he get rid of me! It’s that wonderful gift called friendship. Congratulations Jim! All best wishes on your next chapter!” Robert Mahaffey, Executive Director of Rural School and Community Trust

“The education community in Pennsylvania and West Virginia has been blessed by the strong leadership of Jim Denova. The work he has undertaken through Benedum on behalf of thousands of children is unmatched and he has forged a new vision for what learning should be in the future. Through Jim’s dedication, the entire region is on a path to a brighter future and an education blueprint has been designed with one goal—for students to succeed.” Chip Slaven, Chief Advocacy Officer of the National School Boards Association

"Throughout his career, no other person that I have known or had the pleasure to work along side, has changed the "face" of education, enhanced the vision and opportunities, grown success, and given unconditional HOPE through Benedum grants, personal support and unrelenting enthusiasm as Jim Denova. It has been and always will be an honor to call him my colleague, my brainstormer and networker, but most importantly, my friend and an undeniable HERO to West Virginia education." Gayle Manchin, Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission

“As program director and vice president for the Benedum Foundation, Jim Denova has been a valued partner to everyone who cares about our region’s future. He has a gift for bringing people together, trusting in their expertise and inspiring them to break new ground in education and economic development. Like many others, I will miss his consensus-building, strategic approach, but I know his legacy will live on through the partnerships he has forged and the investments he has advanced.” Dr. E. Gordon Gee, President of West Virginia University

“Jim has been my lifeline as I climb the steep learning curve of being a Member of the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative. Jim is the master of the public, private, academic, nonprofit partnership. In a time when agreement is rare in the public domain, Jim Denova’s retirement allows us a point of overwhelming consensus; that he has been a pioneering, collaborative leader in education. Jim and his esteemed Benedum colleagues and board have built a launchpad for what comes next.” Scott Rotruck, West Virginia Board of Education