The Surdna Foundation Announces Three Promotions 

With the new year in full swing, we are pleased to announce three promotions at the Surdna Foundation:  

Alison Corwin has taken helm as Program Director of Sustainable Environments 

As Director, Alison will oversee a $9.2 million grantmaking portfolio investing in strategies that build power in service of racial justice. Resources will continue to be mobilized toward frontline communities and grassroots movements whose powerful solutions address structural and systemic change, thus advancing the Foundation’s social justice mission. 

“I’m honored to build upon the legacy and leadership of the Sustainable Environments Program and our partners,” said Corwin.  

Alison joined the Surdna Foundation in 2013, first as a Program Officer and later serving as a Senior Program Officer of Sustainable Environments until April 2021 when she stepped into the role of Interim Co-Director with Kellie Terry. In November 2021, Alison accepted the role of Program Director. She succeeds longtime colleague and mentor, Helen Chin, who after 13 years of service at Surdna is now leading Communities First, a joint partnership between Race Forward and Amalgamated Foundation. 

Learn more about Alison’s work  

Sarian Sankoh was promoted to Senior Program Associate with Thriving Cultures 

In their two years with Surdna, Sarian has been instrumental in coordinating projects, optimizing workflows, and managing the Thriving Cultures team’s programmatic and administrative needs. She works closely with the program’s grantee partners to inform and execute grantmaking to foster the conditions in which artists of color, guided by radical imagination, are leaders in the cultivation of a racially just society. 

Learn more about Sarian’s work. 

Alya Davis was promoted to Senior Program Associate with Sustainable Environments 

Since joining Surdna in 2020, Alya supported exceptional grantmaking to build power for communities of color and low-wealth communities as determined by those on the frontlines of racial, economic, gender, environmental, and climate justice. She leads project management and strategic planning for the Sustainable Environments team, serves as data analyst, and amplifies the incredible work of grantee partners.  

Learn more about Alya’s work. 


About the Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States— communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures. For over five generations, Surdna has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity. Learn More: