Joel Levy Named Director of Development

NEW YORK—The Vera Institute of Justice has named Joel J. Levy as director of development. Levy most recently served as New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations. At Vera, he will be responsible for developing and managing major gift partnerships with Vera’s funders.

“Joel brings a breadth of experience and expertise to Vera, and we’re delighted to have him join our team,” said Michael Jacobson, Vera's director. “I am confident that Joel’s background will prove invaluable as he begins to work with Vera’s broader constituency.”

Levy comes to Vera with more than 25 years of fundraising and management experience. During his eight years at ADL, Levy was responsible for all the organization’s work in New York State, including raising $12 million for annual operations and programs. From 1996 to 2000, Levy served as chairman for Germany of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, where he developed a national Jewish educational program and raised funding from the German government and Jewish communities in Germany. Simultaneously, he was co-managing director of Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Visual History Foundation’s European headquarters in Berlin and raised money from German corporations. From 1974 to 1996, he served as a United States foreign service officer, with postings in Romania, Tanzania, Malta, Washington, DC, and Berlin, where he served as principal officer in the U.S. Embassy.

“I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to Vera’s meaningful work, making justice systems fairer and more effective,” Levy said. “I’m looking to build on my experience to expand Vera’s current fundraising efforts and develop ongoing relationships with key Vera constituents.”

As director of development, one of Levy’s first projects is guiding Vera’s Fourth Annual Benefit, which will honor New York County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau the evening of October 8 at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

In addition to his work at Vera, Levy is the founding president of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and a founding member of the RIAS Berlin Commission and the Friends of America House, Berlin. Levy also serves on the board of directors of YouthBridge-NY. He holds degrees from Columbia University and Franklin and Marshall College, and he also studied at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Levy succeeds Anna Kornilakis, who left Vera after five years to join New York University’s Child Study Center as a director of development for major gifts.