Brooklyn Community Foundation Announces New President Cecilia Clarke

Alan Fishman, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, announced today that Cecilia Clarke will join the Foundation as its new President and CEO. Ms. Clarke succeeds Marilyn Gelber, who will step down from the post on June 30, 2013. 

“Cecilia is a passionate leader and creative thinker who has succeeded enormously at every phase of her career. She embodies the energy and entrepreneurial spirit that has made Brooklyn a global destination. We are thrilled to have Cecilia lead the Foundation during this very exciting time in Brooklyn,” said Mr. Fishman.

Ms. Clarke comes to the Foundation directly as the Founder and Executive Director of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, an award-winning educational organization for low-income young women. Ms. Clarke grew Sadie Nash from an inaugural class of 16 in 2002 to its current roster of more than 500 participants per year. Ms. Clarke’s vision has helped redefine leadership models for young women to take action, lead by example, and challenge the status quo.

Prior to establishing Sadie Nash, Ms. Clarke enjoyed a successful career in the arts. She led the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, one of the nation’s leading summer residency programs for emerging visual artists, served as Associate Director of the Drawing Center, and managed government fundraising at the Brooklyn Museum. Ms. Clarke began her career as a social worker, counseling women at Fountain House, a residential “club house” program for the mentally ill. Ms. Clarke received her B.A. from Georgetown University. She lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her husband and three children.

Ms. Clarke will start at the Foundation in early September. Foundation Chief Operating Officer Michael Burke will serve as interim President until Ms. Clarke begins.


About Brooklyn Community Foundation
Established in 2009 as the first and only charitable foundation for New York City’s largest borough, Brooklyn Community Foundation is dedicated to improving lives and strengthening communities through local giving, grantmaking, and community service. In partnership with generous donors, the Foundation provides critical support to hundreds of nonprofits working locally in the areas of education and youth achievement, arts and culture, community development, human services, and the environment. Learn more at