Denise Walker

Denise Walker Headshot



Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs
Institutional Advancement Division

Denise brings over 25 years in government and non-profit experience from programmatic and grant management work along with community outreach and communications experience to the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs.  

Most recently, Denise worked to ensure low-income Franklin County residents receive access to free prescriptions, health care and healthy food as Development Director at Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio. She strengthened development efforts with new funding streams, while maintaining current local government and foundation grants. She increased individual giving through community outreach, fundraising events, as well as relationship and list building. Working closely with the Board and Development Committee she grew the organization’s community footprint, developing a community outreach and communications plan including the annual report, quarterly newsletters and social media presence.  

Denise’s fundraising experience includes identifying, securing, implementing and reporting various federal, state, and local government and private foundation grants serving Franklin County and Ohioans with access to legal assistance, and home health and hospice during her previous positions with Legal Aid Society of Columbus/Southeastern Ohio Legal Services and Ohio Living Foundation. 

At Children’s Hunger Alliance she promoted and expanded USDA meal programs, and managed a 45 site after-school program and statewide AmeriCorps project. This program work has given her a unique insight to understanding the feasibility of potential grant prospects.  

Eight years of public service includes Ohio Auditor of State (spokesperson) and community outreach at Franklin County Treasurer’s Office. During the foreclosure crisis, in 2008 – 2010, she led the Franklin County Save our Homes Task Force while creating and managing the collaborative Franklin County government foreclosure prevention program, the Homeowner Helpline.  

Her education includes a B.S. from Heidelberg University and the American University Washington Semester Program.  An active member of the Grants Professionals Association, Central Ohio Chapter with leadership positions since 2016, and recently as Chapter President from 2020-2022.  

When not working, Denise attends Columbus Crew and Columbus Blue Jacket games with her husband, Rob and four adult children/step-children. She also enjoys her Beagle and being outdoors biking, kayaking and hiking.