knapikThe Surdna Foundation announced today that Michelle Knapik has been named as the new Director of its Sustainable Environments Program.  Ms. Knapik will join the Foundation in mid-July, and succeeds Sharon Alpert who now serves as Surdna's Senior Director of Programs and Strategy.

For the past six years Ms. Knapik has been the Environment Program Director at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in New Jersey.  In that role, she developed innovative grantmaking strategies to support sustainable community solutions, in close partnership with grantees, civic and business leaders, and funding colleagues in the region.  While at Dodge, Ms. Knapik also worked closely with the Foundation's  Arts and Culture program, funding projects at the intersection of the environment, culture and New Jersey's creative economy.

Ms. Knapik brings a wide range of environmental experience to the Surdna Foundation.  A lawyer by training, Ms. Knapik worked for eleven years in city government as the Director of Energy Policy for the City of Philadelphia's Municipal Energy Office, working on energy efficient buildings, transportation alternatives, sustainable development, and low-wealth community energy strategies.  She was also a legislative aide to Philadelphia Councilwoman Happy Fernandez, working on policy related to low-income energy services.  In addition to her wide experience in the environment Ms. Knapik served as an aviation structural mechanic in the U.S. Navy.  Ms. Knapik did her undergraduate work at East Stroudsburg University, and earned a law degree from Temple University.  Currently, she lives in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where she is a board member of the Urban Enterprise Zone, a founding board member of Second Life Bikes, and a founding member of Sustainable Asbury Park.

Phillip Henderson, Surdna's President, said, "We are fortunate to have Michelle join the Surdna team.  Her deep experience on a range of issues that are critical to sustainable communities and her passion for social justice fits perfectly with the direction in which Surdna is headed.  She brings great leadership and creativity to the position and a very collaborative way of working.  We look forward to her stewardship of Surdna's Sustainable Environments Program."  "Michelle has had a long career working to demonstrate how environmental solutions can actually improve people's lives. Her keen understanding of local and state politics will be a great asset to the program and to the Foundation," added Sharon Alpert.  "The program will be in exceptional hands."

Additional information is available from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Website.

About the Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation - one of the nation's oldest family foundations - was established in 1917 by John E. Andrus, and is governed today by fourth and fifth generation Andrus family members.  Surdna seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States-communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.  With assets of approximately $850 million, Surdna awards more than $35 million in grants annually to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the United States.

Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.