Facade of the East Bay Community Foundation building


East Bay Community Foundation Welcomes Elle Fersan Vice President of Philanthropy 

OAKLAND, Calif., July 12, 2023 — Elle Fersan joins East Bay Community Foundation today as Vice President of Philanthropy. Fersan is a widely respected leader in the human rights movement and philanthropy, and in this role, she will lead the organization’s philanthropic strategy. 

“Building resilient communities and advancing racial equity are at the core of our EBCF mission, and I am thrilled to partner with Elle Fersan, a powerhouse in progressive philanthropy, to approach this work,” said EBCF President and CEO Brandi Howard. “With Elle’s expertise and vision for being in community with our donors and fund advisors, I am confident that we will take bold new steps towards addressing urgent challenges. Together, we will forge a path towards a brighter future, a truly inclusive, fair, and just East Bay.” 

Fersan brings more than 20 years of experience to EBCF, having led organizations through growth and strategic partnerships in the United States and globally, and having raised more than $100 million in funding. Fersan has forged strong partnerships and co-led successful capital campaigns resulting in significant growth and increased support for vital social justice causes. Throughout her career, she has played a pivotal role in connecting donors with impactful projects that bring about meaningful change. 

Most recently, Fersan served as the Executive Vice President of Resource Development and Communications at the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), increasing yearly funding by more than 50 percent. Prior to that, she directed The University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law Immigrants and Global Migration Initiative. Elle is the founder of Global Nexus Solutions, a social impact consulting firm dedicated to driving philanthropy, and building organizational resilience. Elle brings over two decades of experience working with academic institutions, local governments, the U.S. Department of State, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and international organizations. 

Fersan is fluent in Arabic, French, and English. She holds a Master of Arts in Public Leadership from the University of San Francisco and both a Master’s and Bachelor of Arts in History from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon. 

“Joining East Bay Community Foundation is like coming home. I am privileged to work with the EBCF donors and partners to steer philanthropic dollars toward tried-and-true holistic investment strategies,” said Fersan. “With Brandi Howard’s leadership, and a team committed to creating economic justice, EBCF has a body of work, maturity, and wisdom about to be unleashed at a larger scale through the power of philanthropy and community trust. I am deeply honored to be part of this new journey with our vanguard donors and an incredible team of changemakers.” 


Founded in 1928, and supported by over 400 local donors, East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) connects donors with community-led movements to eliminate structural barriers, advance racial equity, and create an inclusive, fair, and just East Bay. Recognized as 2019’s “Boldest Community Foundation” by Inside Philanthropy, EBCF is committed to ensuring that all members of our community are treated fairly, with equitable opportunity and outcomes.  Visit ebcf.org for more information.