Our Team

External Science Advisors

The Alliance’s esteemed external science advisors lend their expertise to philanthropists investing in basic science. As accomplished researchers and leaders of distinguished institutions, they bring a wealth of experience with firsthand knowledge of how great research is done and how philanthropists can support it.

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

Margaret Leinen, Ph.D.
Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Science, University of California, San Diego

Carla J. Shatz, Ph.D.
Sapp Family Provostial Professor of Biology and Neurobiology and the Catherine Holman Johnson Directorship of Bio-X, 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

Daren Ginete, Ph.D.
Associate Advisor

Elyse A. Hope, Ph.D.
Strategic Initiative Manager

Kate Lowry, Ph.D.
Strategy Director

Sue Merrilees
Senior Director, Philanthropic Advising

Bishakha Mona, Ph.D.
Associate Advisor

Mary Thurston
Program Manager, Office of the President

Elizabeth Weiss
Director, Philanthropic Advising

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Considerations of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) create a stronger, more productive scientific enterprise by widening opportunity and making a place for every talent. A commitment to DEI is integral to the work of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, which is dedicated to the advancement of science, and to the success of our members. We strive to reflect this commitment both through our culture as a staff and in our work supporting philanthropists.

We believe that philanthropy can be a powerful tool to deploy resources in a way that creates a diverse, equitable, and inclusive scientific enterprise. 

The Science Philanthropy Alliance staff commits to do the following:

  • Strive toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture as a team, including awareness of how our own background, beliefs, and bias influence our work.
  • Create opportunities for ourselves and others to learn by remaining open to feedback and candid about our own missteps.
  • Lead by example to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the philanthropic and scientific communities.
  • As advisor and convener, help science philanthropists incorporate considerations of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the pursuit of their goals.

You can read more about the Alliance’s approach to advancing DEI here.