The Nathan Cummings Foundation, a $440-million fund that supports arts, environment, health, Jewish life, and social-justice causes, has selected Simon Greer as its new leader.
Mr. Greer, 42, currently serves as chief executive of Jewish Funds for Justice, a post he has held since 2005. He will take the helm of the Cummings foundation upon the retirement of its current leader, Lance Lindblom. Mr. Lindblom is scheduled to retire on December 31, capping a decade of service to the organization.
Mr. Greer, who comes to his new job after more than 20 years working in social-change groups and as a labor and community organizer, including a stint as executive director of New York Jobs With Justice, and as founder of Jews United for Justice, a Washington group.
“Simon is bold, collaborative, energetic, honorable, insightful, thoughtful, and a shining exemplar of possibility,” said James K. Cummings, the foundation’s board chair, in a written statement. Mr. Cummings is the grandson of the philanthropy’s benefactor, Nathan Cummings, who founded Sara Lee.
At Jewish Funds for Justice, Mr. Greer oversaw his organization’s mergers with other charities, which spurred his group’s growth. His experience with collaboration was a key factor in his selection, Mr. Cummings said, noting that the new leader’s “depth of collegial innovation is the perfect through line to lead [the foundation] into its third decade of grant making, its fourth generation of family leadership, and its evolving approaches to impact philanthropy.”
In a statement of his own that accompanied the announcement, Mr. Greer called the Cummings fund “one of the most innovative foundations working to advance the values I believe in” and added, “I see a role of foundations like [Cummings] as more than just grant makers. I see them as partners in creating strategies that can significantly leverage their investments.”
The Nathan Cummings Foundation, in New York, supports organizations that include Americans for Energy Leadership, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and the New Israel Fund. The foundation was created after the 1985 death of Nathan Cummings.