The Surdna Foundation is also pleased to announce the appointment of four new Program Officers. To more effectively deliver on their mission to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States, the Foundation recently decided to expand their program staff. All four new staff members will be joining the Foundation in February 2013.
Elizabeth Mendez Berry joins the Thriving Cultures program and brings a background as a cultural journalist and communications professional, as well as experience as a philanthropic consultant to the Ford Foundation. The Thriving Cultures program focuses on involving teens in the arts and fostering the growth of local artists as economic engines, participants in community development and agents in social change.
Jessica Garz also joins the Thriving Cultures program and brings to Surdna experience in community development and design, having recently conducted research on the intersection of culture and community development for The Urban Institute.
Alison Corwin comes to Surdna from New Ecology, Inc. in Boston, where she served as a Project Manager on green affordable housing and sustainable community development. Corwin also brings experience in urban planning and social enterprise development. She joins Surdna's Sustainable Environments program, which supports next generation infrastructure solutions that will improve transit systems, make buildings more energy efficient, better manage our water systems and rebuild regional food systems.
José Garcia comes to the Foundation with a background in policy and advocacy, working with Dēmos and other national organizations on issues including economic opportunity and wealth building. Garcia joins Surdna's Strong Local Economies program, which supports the development of robust and sustainable economies that include a diversity of businesses and access to quality jobs.
"With the addition of these four talented professionals, Surdna is poised to accelerate and deepen our work on the range of new program strategies we announced in December. We are incredibly excited about the burst of energy and ideas this cohort of new staff members will bring to the Foundation," said Phillip Henderson, President of the Foundation.
The search was conducted by Gumbs + Partners, a New York City-based executive search firm serving the nonprofit community nationally and internationally.