Sharon Alpert

The Nathan Cummings Foundation


Sharon Alpert


Having joined NCF in November 2015, Sharon Alpert is the Foundation’s fourth president and first female leader. A seasoned philanthropic leader, Sharon has more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of inequality and environmental issues.

Previously, Sharon served as the Vice President of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the Surdna Foundation. Joining Surdna in 2004, Sharon rose from program officer to director of Surdna’s Sustainable Environments Program. Having spent more than a decade with the Surdna Foundation, Sharon brings with her deep experience working with a multi-generational family dedicated to social justice. Her service at the Surdna Foundation was defined by her commitment to collaboration, innovation, and creating a culture of learning.

Sharon began her career in philanthropy at the Ford Foundation, where she implemented a cross‐portfolio initiative to address inequality in housing, employment and environmental opportunities in Camden, New Jersey. She also reshaped Ford’s environmental justice portfolio to focus on next generation leadership from communities of color and the intersection of health and the environment.  Previously, Sharon spent eight years in the nonprofit and private sectors. This work included securing millions of dollars of public and private investments for the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation to support affordable housing, energy efficiency and environmental health programs; working with leaders in the environmental justice movement at the Washington Office on Environmental Justice and Natural Resources Defense Council; and serving as a liaison to the Sustainable Communities Taskforce of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. She also worked on Wall Street as the director of marketing for a financial software firm that provided technology solutions to international banks and energy companies.   

Sharon holds both a master’s in public administration and a bachelor’s in agricultural, resource and managerial economics from Cornell University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her Canadian husband, Kevin, and their two children, Millie and Jesse.