Simon Greer (born 1968) is an American labor and community organizer and social change leader. He is the current President and CEO of the Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ). Starting in January 2012, he will head the Nathan Cummings Foundation, an American foundation funding the social justice sector, as President and CEO. Greer holds position seven on 2011′s “Forward 50”, The Jewish Daily Forward′s list of the fifty most significant Jews in the United States.
Early life and education
Greer is the son of Jewish parents who emigrated to the USA from the United Kingdom. He grew up in New York on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He attended Ethical Culture Fieldston School and graduated from Vassar College in 1990.
After his graduation Greer went to Poland, the country his grandparents had fled from, to work for Solidarnosc. Back in the United States after two years, he continued his activities as a labor and community organizer and social change leader, working for unions in South Carolina, the nonprofit organizing group Jobs with Justice in Washington, D.C. and New York, and founded the volunteer group Jews United for Justice in Washington, D.C.
In April 2005, Greer became President and CEO of the Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ). He transformed the organization from a relatively small private charitable foundation into an organization with a $6.5 million budget, merging it with several other organizations. He expanded the foundation into more active areas such as leadership training and service learning.
Greer gained national prominence in the U.S. during JFSJ’s high-profile campaign against Glenn Beck, denouncing his allegedly anti-Semitic rhetoric and his invocations of the Holocaust on Fox News. The campaign ended with Beck’s leaving Fox News.
In August 2011, the Nathan Cummings Foundation announced that it has selected Greer as its new President and CEO. He will assume his post on January 1, 2012.
Greer is married to Sharna Goldseker, currently vice-president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. According to Greer, his relationship with his wife “has made some of the connections between social justice and mainstream Jewish philanthropies a much tighter connection because we’re paired”.