Don Chen

President, Surdna Foundation

Don Chen is the President of the Surdna Foundation where he leads the 100-year old foundation’s efforts to strengthen and further leverage its commitment to social justice.

Prior to his appointment, Don was the Director of the Cities & States program at the Ford Foundation, where his work supported urban development initiatives to make housing more affordable, promote more equitable land use practices, and empower communities to have a powerful decision-making voice in American cities and in developing countries. He also led a multi-program team to support the strengthening of social justice organizations and networks in targeted U.S. states.

Previously, Don was the Founder and CEO of Smart Growth America, where he led efforts to create the National Vacant Properties Campaign (which later became the Center for Community Progress) and Transportation for America, and managed a merger with the Growth Management Leadership Alliance. He has authored many pieces on land use, transportation, social equity, and environmental policy.

Don has also served on the boards of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, West Harlem Environmental Action, the Environmental Leadership Program, and Grist magazine. He holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University.

Contributions

A Conversation with New and Graduating CEOs (Live Stream of 2019 National Forum)

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Nicholas A. Tedesco, Jamie Allison, Don Chen, Richard Woo, Jim Parsons

NCFP will live stream a session from the 2019 National Forum on Family Philanthropy in Chicago, IL. From the comfort of your home or office—and with a computer or electronic device—you can listen and view the event as it happens live. Being the non-family staff leader of a multi-generational family foundation is a privilege and honor. The path to engaging… Read More

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!

Signup

Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now