Director, Rockefeller Family Fund
Lee Wasserman was appointed Director and Secretary of the Rockefeller Family Fund in 1999. In that role, he is responsible for all programmatic and administrative operations of the Fund, which is best known for its creative and leveraged grantmaking, its role as a catalyst in the nonprofit and funding communities, and its record of policy innovation. He leads a staff that works to capture strategic opportunities to advance issues of national concern. The Fund’s approach has emphasized innovative ideas and citizen participation in the policymaking process.
Moreover, he is a leader within the larger philanthropic community, regularly developing strategic initiatives with many of the nation’s most respected foundations. He has repeatedly served in leadership roles with the Environmental Grantmakers Association, the nation’s premier environmental affinity organization.
Prior to the Family Fund, Mr. Wasserman worked with the Pew Charitable Trusts. While with Pew he undertook a series of special initiatives at the behest of Trusts’ President and head of its Environment Program.
In 1996, Mr. Wasserman was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 21st Congressional District. He was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and New York ChoicePac. In his first run for office, he achieved forty-four percent of the votes against an eight year incumbent.
Previously, he was the executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, one of the nation’s leading state-based environmental organizations. In that role Mr. Wasserman devised initiatives and issue campaigns that led to passage of several precedent-setting environmental laws.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Wasserman served as Assistant Counsel to then Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Stanley Fink. He also served on the Transition Team Governor George Pataki. He is a board member of Environmental Advocates, Riverdale Neighborhood House, and a past president of the Environmental Federation of New York.
He is a graduate of Union College and Albany Law School.