As vice president and then president of the Alcoa Foundation, a global asset based corporate foundation in 200 communities and 31 countries, Kathleen became an expert on philanthropy. After shaping the strategic and grant making focus of Alcoa Foundation for 17 years, Kathleen joined GSPIA to direct the Philanthropy Forum, a learning and teaching platform that links the world of philanthropic practice to the university.


Teaching and Research Areas

Buechel’s research focuses on these key areas:

  • Philanthropy
  • Nonprofit finance and organizational sustainability
  • Civil society
  • Public engagement
  • Corporate social responsibility



Consultancies and Public Service

  • Executive Director, Benter Foundation
  • Founder and Principal, Community Investment Advisors
  • Vice Chair, Ethics Hearing Board, City of Pittsburgh
  • Vice Chair, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh



  • A Gift of Belief: Philanthropy and the Forging of Pittsburgh. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021).


Other Academic Positions

  • Director, The Philanthropy Forum