Who We Are

The Alliance

The Science Philanthropy Alliance aims to increase philanthropic support for basic scientific research. Drawing on its distinguished external science advisors and a membership base of leading science funders, the Alliance provides advising services and learning opportunities to help philanthropists expand the world’s knowledge and lay the scientific groundwork for lifesaving, economy-changing breakthroughs.

Advisory Board

Elizabeth Good Christopherson
President and CEO, Rita Allen Foundation

France A. Córdova, Ph.D.
President and Ex Officio Board Member, Science Philanthropy Alliance

Adam F. Falk, Ph.D.
President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., Board Chair
President, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Cynthia M. Friend, Ph.D.
President, Kavli Foundation

Daniel Linzer, Ph.D.
President, Research Corporation for Science Advancement

Caroline Montojo, Ph.D.
President, Dana Foundation

Louis J. Muglia, M.D., Ph.D.
President and CEO, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Claire Pomeroy, M.D., M.B.A.
President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation

David Spergel, Ph.D.
President, Simons Foundation

External Science Advisors

Thomas R. Cech, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, University of Colorado Boulder

Fleming Crim, Ph.D.
John E. Willard and Hilldale Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Marc Kastner, Ph.D.
Donner Professor of Physics Emeritus, MIT; Adjunct Professor of Physics, Stanford University

Shirley M. Tilghman, Ph.D.
President Emerita and Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, Princeton University


France A. Córdova, Ph.D.
President and Ex Officio Board Member, Science Philanthropy Alliance

Elenoa Fuka
Assistant Director of Operations

Rachel Jackson
Director of Operations

Kate Lowry, Ph.D.
Strategy Director

Jason Maier
Director of Communications

Sue Merrilees
Senior Director, Philanthropic Advising

Bishakha Mona, Ph.D.
Associate Advisor

Mary Thurston
Program Associate, Office of the President

Elizabeth Weiss
Director, Philanthropic Advising

The Alliance is a dynamic community of philanthropists who collaborate to learn about opportunities in basic science, share best practices, and celebrate the power of fundamental discovery.


Founded in 1942, the Lasker Foundation seeks to increase support for biomedical research by celebrating the power of biomedical science to save and improve human lives. Through its internationally renowned Lasker Awards, educational initiatives, and public advocacy, the foundation recognizes the most important achievements in science and public service, supports and encourages the scientific leaders of tomorrow, and raises awareness of the ever-present need for research funding. Learn more at www.laskerfoundation.org.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation believes that a carefully reasoned and systematic understanding of the forces of nature and society, when applied inventively and wisely, can lead to a better world for all. The Foundation makes grants in support of original research and broad-based education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance. Learn more at www.sloan.org.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund serves and strengthens society by nurturing a diverse group of leaders in biomedical sciences to improve human health through education and powering discovery in frontiers of greatest need. The Fund is currently addressing career development of early stage scientists, climate change and health, diversity and equity in science, physician scientist shortage, and innovations in science communications. Founded in 1955, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation located in Research Triangle Park, N.C.  Learn more at www.bwfund.org.

The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing neuroscience within society by supporting cross-disciplinary intersections such as neuroscience and ethics, law, policy, humanities, and arts. Learn more at www.dana.org.

The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in Los Altos, California. The Foundation works with its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights for all people. Learn more at www.hsfoundation.org.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation supports the Science Philanthropy Alliance because of its passion for discovery and the inherent value of science. Investment in basic science can lead to unpredictable results—and is yet the surest path to progress in society. The lives and work of our founders, Gordon and Betty Moore, exemplify a commitment to discovery-driven research and the realization of unforeseen societal benefits. Today, the Moore Foundation supports advances in science, environmental conservation, and patient care. Through the Science Philanthropy Alliance, we invite others to consider how investment in basic science can fulfill their own aspirations to create a better future. Learn more at www.moore.org.

The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to the goals of advancing science for the benefit of humanity and promoting increased public understanding and support for scientists and their work. The Foundation’s support of science is implemented through an international program of research institutes, professorships, and symposia in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience, and theoretical physics, as well as prizes in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. Learn more at www.kavlifoundation.org.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) is a foundation for the advancement of science that provides catalytic and opportunistic funding for innovative scientific research and the development of academic scientists, which will have a lasting impact on science and society. RCSA funds basic research in the physical sciences and areas cognate to the physical sciences (e.g., molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, etc.) and serves as an advocate for science and science education where and when appropriate. Learn more at www.rescorp.org.

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. Throughout its work, the Foundation embraces collaboration, creativity, learning and leadership. Learn more at www.ritaallen.org.

Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of basic research in mathematics, physical science, and life science. This is accomplished through support of research universities and institutes, outstanding individual investigators, and large-scale, goal-driven collaborative projects. Additionally, the Simons Foundation engages in STEM education and outreach through its sponsorship of Math for America and the online publication Quanta Magazine. Learn more at www.simonsfoundation.org.


Associate Members