Marci Sternheim

Marci Sternheim, Ph.D. is a versatile, accomplished consultant/coach/facilitator/trusted advisor dedicated to the lasting success and impact of mission-driven organizations.  She works closely with boards of trustees and high-level staff in customized engagements to develop their leadership in governance and management, and to build organizational capacity for long-term sustainability. She also specializes in the complex dynamics of family philanthropy, working with foundations to align values, vision and best practices in the fulfillment of mission. She is a mediator and coach who builds strong interpersonal dynamics that allow organizations to thrive. Marci’s areas of expertise include: assessing organizational capacities and needs; developing customized governance training and education programs; supporting board development and organizational culture building; facilitating meetings and board retreats, including strategic visioning and planning;  articulating donor intent, mission and vision; constructing grantmaking programs; coaching leadership and mentoring board and family members; mediating board/family/staff dynamics; fulfilling special projects and interim leadership assignments; and public speaking.

She held substantial professional roles in philanthropy, nonprofit, and academia, including as Senior Advisor for the Israel Program at the Helmsley Charitable Trust; as President of The Dibner Fund, a $100 million family foundation; as the founding Executive Director of The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, an independent nonprofit organization on the Yale campus; and as Assistant University Secretary/Vice President at Yale where she managed a portfolio of responsibilities ranging from town gown and public relations to campus security as well as being the principal staff liaison to the Yale Corporation.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Colgate University, she holds a doctorate in Spanish and Latin American literature from Yale University, and she taught at both Yale and Wesleyan. She is a trained mediator, having earned her Certification in Mediation from the University of Connecticut and the Quinnipiac University Law School. She is also a BoardSource-trained governance consultant and has received Interim Executive Director leadership training from the Support Center in New York. She is a nonprofit governance and leadership educator in a variety of programs, including the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Susan M. Ross Executive Leadership Institute and the UConn Encore!Connecticut Program; and she was a regular guest lecturer on mentoring and on nonprofit leadership at NYU/Stern School of Business Women in Business Leadership course. She is a frequent public speaker/conference presenter on topics ranging from organizational culture to the philanthropic partnership to mentoring to nonprofit advocacy; and she is the author of “My Path to Family Philanthropy or How I Fell in Love with Good Governance” ( ). She has served on a wide variety of boards, locally and nationally, including as Advisory Committee Chair of Ask Big Questions, a national program engaging young adults on campuses and others in reflective community conversations about purpose, identity, and responsibility, and most recently as Secretary and Governance Committee Chair of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in Washington, DC.; and she chaired the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Consultants Network. Currently, she is a Board member at Temple Israel in Westport, CT and a member of the WW Women’s Studies Dissertation Grant Development Committee for Citizens & Scholars.

LinkedIn: Marci Sternheim