Tarik Ward

Director of Music Programs, the ELMA Philanthropies Services

Tarik Ward is the first-ever director of music programs for the ELMA Philanthropies Services. He will lead the expansion of the ELMA Music Foundation’s portfolio, reach, and impact in the United States and South Africa with organizations that are using music as an effective youth development tool. Ward brings to this role a robust career in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in the U.S. He also brings a passion for the role that music can play in education and youth development. 

Ward’s career includes seven years as a flight controller for the International Space Station with NASA; two years of consulting at Deloitte, including a focus on consulting with education and early childhood development nonprofits; and two years as chief operating officer of the Commit! Partnership, a Dallas, Texas–based collective impact nonprofit focused on expanding access to quality education for all children and youth, from cradle to career.

Ward has a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. and an M.A. in education from Stanford University. He plays the trumpet and has amassed a digital music collection that includes almost 100,000 songs.