New York — The Families and Workers Fund is thrilled to announce the appointment of Rachel Korberg as its founding Executive Director. Launched in April 2020, it was the first national, multi-donor pooled fund dedicated to the economic hardship caused by COVID-19. While the Families and Workers Fund initially focused on rapid response, it is now a $33 million and growing entity that has transitioned to working as a five-year funder collaborative. It aims to help build a future in which everyone experiences economic security, opportunity, and mobility—especially those who have historically been locked out of the country’s prosperity.
“The pandemic has laid bare the economic pain experienced by too many for too long in the United States, yet amidst this devastation, we also see a once-in-a-generation opening for change,” said Rachel. “I am honored to serve as the Families and Workers Fund’s first Executive Director and to support the philanthropic community in rising together to meet this moment. I look forward to partnering with workers, families, government, business leaders, and many others to help chart a path towards an equitable recovery and economy that uplifts us all.”
The Families and Workers Fund aims to help transform the benefits system, with a focus on unemployment insurance, and shape the economic recovery to center equity and deliver high quality jobs. As Executive Director, Rachel will be responsible for strengthening this impact strategy in partnership with co-funders, grantees, and other stakeholders, as well as overall management, grant making, and continued growth. She has been a core member of the collaborative from its earliest days and co-led efforts to conceptualize, design, and run it as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, one of the co-founders.
“At this inflection point, when millions remain excluded from safety, security, and prosperity, the Families and Workers Fund has a unique opportunity to ensure working people have the support they need to shape a just recovery,” said Sarita Gupta, director of the Ford Foundation's Future of Work(ers) program and a member of the Families and Workers Fund's executive committee. “I can't think of anyone better to lead our Collaborative than Rachel, who, since its inception, has brought vision, purpose, and dedication.”
“We can only emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger if we work together,” said Barbara Bush, a fellow with Schmidt Futures and a member of the Families and Workers Fund's executive committee. “At Schmidt Futures, we build partnerships and networks to help make the world a better place. The Families and Workers Fund has been incredibly effective at bringing together diverse parts of philanthropy to pool our resources to meet this moment. I am thrilled that Rachel will lead us in this next chapter of our work as we move from a rapid response fund to a five-year collaborative.”
Rachel has a track record in fostering philanthropic collaboration and previously created and led the Communities Thrive Challenge, a partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, and United Way that used an innovative, mass peer review process to inform grant making. She also led economic opportunity grant making portfolios at the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation. This included efforts dedicated to technology innovation, state and city government partnerships, and business partnerships. Earlier, she served as Vice President of a boutique investment firm and as a development and humanitarian aid worker.
Rachel is currently President of the Board of the Stonewall Community Foundation and has served on a number of other boards and task forces, including the City of Atlanta’s Economic Security Taskforce, Living Cities’ task force on racial equity, and the Employment Tech Fund. Rachel was also a guest instructor at Yale University, where she recently designed and taught a graduate practicum on funding social change, and regularly speaks and writes on issues of economic opportunity and justice, including with PBS, Fortune, and TechCrunch, among other outlets.
As Executive Director, Rachel will work closely with Nefeli Mourti, the Families and Workers Fund’s first staffer and current Director of Operations, and executive committee, which is led by the Ford Foundation, Eric and Wendy Schmidt’s Schmidt Futures, Open Society Foundations, and the Skoll Foundation. The Collaborative’s major co-funders include Annie E. Casey Foundation, Craig Newmark Ventures, the JPB Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Luminate, MacKenzie Scott, Morgan Stanley, the Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations, and Jack Dorsey’s new philanthropy #StartSmall. The collaborative is housed at and fiscally sponsored by the Amalgamated Foundation, which is part of Amalgamated Bank.