Marci Sternheim, Ph.D.
Non-Profit Organization Development Practice Leader
Marci Sternheim, Ph.D. has devoted her career to enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of non-profits, private and community foundations, higher education, community agencies, civic organizations, governmental and religious organizations. She is a versatile and accomplished professional who works with boards of trustees and leaders to develop leadership in governance and organizational capacity.
As a trained scholar, teacher and former university professional, she brings a nuanced understanding of academic culture to the organizational, governance and philanthropic needs of higher education. As a mediator and executive coach, she builds strong interpersonal dynamics that support an organization’s ability to thrive. Marci’s expertise includes assessing organizational capacity and needs, strategic visioning and planning, developing governance training and development programs, board development, organizational culture building, facilitating meetings and board retreats, constructing grant making programs, mediating board/leader/staff dynamics, leading special projects, interim leadership and public speaking.
Some of her consulting engagements include American Academy for Arts & Sciences, Asian University for Women, Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation, Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, Harry and Leona Helmsley Charitable Trust, Harvard, National Academy of Design, New York University, Rockefeller University, The Dispute Settlement Center, The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center and Yale University.
Prior to consulting, Marci served President of The Dibner Fund, a $100M private family foundation where she was responsible for the foundation’s overall leadership and administration, led its strategic planning, evolved the Fund’s mission, expanded its grant making, strengthened its governance, evaluated programmatic effectiveness, developed four family funds and advised peer organizations over the course of 9 years. During this time she also served as a Board Member of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. During the prior decade, Marci worked for Yale University as the Founding Executive Director of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life where she oversaw a merger integration, strategic planning, construction of a 20,000 sf $6M facility, raised a $10M endowment, oversaw annual fund campaigns and administered an operating budget of $2.5M. Her prior role at Yale as Assistant University Secretary and Vice President included responsibility for University-community outreach efforts, student outreach engagement, oversight of complex University events, special projects, and oversight of the campus security program and crisis management. Marci has taught at both Yale and Wesleyan universities, teaches nonprofit professional practice classes in the UConn Encore! Program and was a regular guest lecturer at NYU/Stern School of Business’ Women in Business Leadership course.
Marci is a Certified Mediator through the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac Law School, a BoardSource-trained Nonprofit Governance Consultant and received Interim Executive Director leadership training from the Support Center in New York. She earned her Ph.D., M.A., and M.Phil. from Yale University with a doctorate in Spanish and Latin American Literature. Her B.A. is a double major in English and Spanish from Colgate University where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Marci currently serves as Advisory Committee Chair for Ask Big Questions (national program engaging young adults on campuses and others in reflective community conversations about purpose, identity, and responsibility) as well as Board Member and Governance Committee Chair for Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and is the Chair of the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Consultants’ Network.