Ana Oliveira, President & CEO of The New York Women's Foundation, Named a Lifetime Achievement Honoree in City & State's 2023 50 Over 50 List
Nearly a decade ago, the good-government leader and former New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum had a great idea for City & State: Identify a group of distinguished New Yorkers whose decades in local and state politics and government are worthy of recognition. The concept came to fruition as our annual 50 Over 50.
The feature, which has become one of our most popular lists each year, recognizes the legacies of 50 accomplished individuals who are 50 or older. While many of our lists regularly track the rise and fall of politicians within different power structures, this annual undertaking has allowed us to take the longer view – and offer well-deserved accolades for leaders who have amassed a long list of accomplishments over the course of their entire careers.
This is the eighth year City & State has partnered with AARP in highlighting 50 New Yorkers over 50. In this issue and at a gala celebration on Jan. 31, we recognize the contributions of this year’s class, ranging from prominent power brokers to pivotal behind-the-scenes players. Among them are 10 lifetime achievement honorees, including Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chair and CEO Janno Lieber, the recently retired 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg and The New York Women’s Foundation’s Ana Oliveira. Plus, as the entire population ages and professionals are staying on the job longer than ever, we have something new this year: a 7 Over 70.
Ana Oliveira has served as president and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation for 17 years. A veteran of social services, Oliveira expanded the foundation’s grant-making under her leadership with $100 million in total grants awarded to community-based organizations serving women and gender-expansive individuals.
Born and raised in São Paulo, Oliveira credited her family for instilling the importance of community service. Her mother was a progressive member of the Catholic Church and participation in community drives was normal.
“I was raised with values of generosity, values of empathy, values of we are one so to speak,” Oliveira says. “That we aren’t different from others.”
After moving to the U.S., Oliveira led community programs for support groups like Samaritan Village and the Osborne Association. She became involved in public service work for LGBTQ New Yorkers, serving in various roles such as on the New York City HIV Planning Council and the city Commission on AIDS.
Most recently, she led the nonprofit Gay Men’s Health Crisis as its executive director for seven years. She has been the recipient of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Liberty Award and the Rosie Perez Fuerza Award from the Latino Commission on AIDS, among other honors, for her tremendous work.
Asked what she hopes to accomplish in the years ahead, Oliveira says her goal is that the foundation “continues to express a type of philanthropy that is community-centered, that centers those who live the challenges into their creation of the solutions.”