As president and board member of the Joyce Foundation, Ellen Alberding oversees the charitable distribution of $48 million annually from assets of $950 million. The Joyce Foundation funds the development and advancement of policy reforms to improve quality of life, promote community vitality and strive for a fair society. It invests heavily in research to gather facts and data so that proposed policy solutions are based on solid evidence. Its top priorities include improving air and water quality in the Great Lakes; improving educational outcomes for low income and minority students; and increasing access to high quality jobs in the Midwest.
As chief executive of Joyce, Ellen is active in the regional and national policy arena. She was a founding board member of Skills for America’s Future, which works to meet the needs of business and improve employment opportunities for community college students, and served as Vice Chair of City Colleges of Chicago. She is a founding board member of Advance Illinois, which advocates for public education reform. She served as chair and is now a board member of the National Park Foundation, which supports America’s national parks. From 2010 to 2016, Ellen was a board member of the Economic Club of Chicago. She is currently on the Executive Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. She is frequently invited to speak on a range of issues, from the impact of public policy, the role of foundations in addressing the nation’s challenges, and philanthropic accountability and governance.
Ellen holds a bachelor’s degree in English with honors from Brown University, and an MBA from Northwestern University.