The Nathan Cummings Foundation Announces Leadership Transition

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Nathan Cummings Foundation Announces Leadership Transition

Dear friends, 

On behalf of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, I am writing to share that Sharon Alpert is stepping down this month as our President and CEO.

It has been an honor and privilege to work with Sharon over the past four years. We have grown together and learned from each other — and the foundation has benefited greatly from the strength of her commitment to social justice and Jewish values. Sharon has worked diligently to advance our mission, while being both passionate and compassionate. She has left an indelible mark on the foundation, and we have much to thank her for.

I offer just a few of the numerous ways Sharon’s leadership at the foundation has left its mark on the field:

  • Sharon led the Board to the unanimous decision to move 100% of NCF’s assets to align with our mission, and we have made significant progress in moving our assets.
  • We increased our payout so that more resources go to:
    • Movement building organizations defending democracy
    • Frontline organizations fighting to halt the climate crisis and bring about the Green New Deal
    • Moral faith-based voices, artists, and journalists calling out injustice and safeguarding the truth
    • Inside/outside strategies to hold corporations to account
  • We expanded our voice in the field by speaking out against antisemitism and white nationalism. 
  • We created a strong strategic framework for tackling the climate crises and growing inequality, breaking down internal silos to coordinate across programs and increase our impact.
  • We launched a revised, integrated strategy for our work in Israel that is timely and relevant — defending democracy, shifting narratives, and building bridges.
  • Sharon championed NCF’s commitment to intergenerational philanthropy, developing its fourth-generation leadership.

Above all else, Sharon aligned us all around a vision to be in the business of changemaking, not just grantmaking. We wish her the best in her future endeavors and hope you will join us in expressing gratitude for her leadership.

Following Sharon’s departure, the Board will partner with the Senior Leadership Team to provide oversight of the foundation’s grantmaking and operations during the transition. We have confidence in the strength and ability of our staff, who will continue to resource organizations and individuals that pursue justice for people and the planet. We will be sharing more information in the coming weeks about a national search...

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