Loyola University Chicago


Ellen Alberding

College of Arts and Sciences

Ellen Alberding

President and Board Member, Joyce Foundation

Ellen Alberding is president and a member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation, a nonpartisan private foundation that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

As the chief executive of the Joyce Foundation, Alberding oversees the charitable distribution of $50 million annually from assets of $1 billion. Under her leadership, the foundation has gained national prominence with a grant portfolio rooted in the core belief that communities are stronger when they share benefits broadly.

Alberding is a founding member of a number of organizations, including the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities—a funder collaborative investing in community-based strategies to reduce gun violence in Chicago—and Advance Illinois, which advocates for public education reform. She was also 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. Alberding currently sits on the Loyola University Chicago Board of Trustees and formerly served on the National Park Foundation board. From 2010 to 2016, Alberding was a board member of the Economic Club of Chicago. She is a former vice chair of City Colleges of Chicago.

Frequently invited to speak on a range of issues, Alberding has spoken about the impact of public policy, the role of foundations in addressing the nation’s challenges, and philanthropic accountability and governance.

Issues of equity are at the core of the Joyce Foundation’s mission, and Alberding guides the foundation’s support of policy research, development, and advocacy in many areas that are vital to the community. In the areas of education and economic mobility, the foundation works to ensure equitable access to high-quality education and jobs for the region’s next generation, especially young people of color and those from low-income communities. Care of the environment is crucial to the foundation, which supports science-based policy to address the impact of climate change and access to safe, clean, and affordable drinking water. Gun violence prevention and justice reform is supported by the foundation through promoting stronger policies to restrict easy accessibility of guns, 21st-century policing to build greater police-community trust, and reducing the over-reliance on incarceration of young people.

Under her leadership, the foundation strives to promote democracy by supporting fair elections and public interest media. Through the foundation’s support of culture, the hope is to inspire creativity and cultural stewardship in the next generation of Great Lakes residents by strengthening the role of artists and arts organizations in culturally vibrant and sustainable communities.

The Joyce Foundation’s goals, under Alberding’s leadership, align with Loyola’s mission and its promise to “care for others” and “care for community.” She holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brown University, where she graduated with honors.