Emily Tow Jackson
Executive Director and President
Emily Tow Jackson is executive director and board president of The Tow Foundation, a private foundation with $220 million in…
Emily Tow Jackson is executive director and board president of The Tow Foundation, a private foundation with $220 million in assets and approximately $12.5 million in annual giving. She joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1988 and has been in the executive position since 1994.
Emily’s leadership has been vital in advancing the Foundation’s vision. As Board President, Emily leads the Foundation’s policy-setting and financial stewardship. She stewards the Foundation’s Investment Committee, ensuring that the investments advance the Foundation’s mission. As Executive Director, Emily oversees all foundation operations, including supervision of staff and consultants, as well as board and strategy development. Under her leadership, the Foundation instituted a results-based grantee online application and reporting process. Emily’s focus on evaluation elevated the Foundation’s ability to measure grant performance. She is continuously identifying strategic partnerships and collective impact approaches that advance the Foundation’s vision.
Emily speaks about the Foundation’s work on a regular basis. These engagements highlight the Foundation’s commitment to advocacy, collective impact as a key to achieving social change, and the value of family philanthropy. She regularly speaks on these topics nationally and has also presented recently in Australia and New Zealand.
Emily is currently a board member of her alma mater, Barnard College, and New York Public Radio. She is currently the foundation liaison to the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, and is a member of the steering and executive teams of the New York State Juvenile Justice Strategic Plan Action Committee. Emily also serves on the Executive Committee of the New York Juvenile Justice Initiative, is an advisor to the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and an active member of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Exponent Philanthropy. Emily is a former chair of Philanthropy New York.
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy awarded her the 2002 John H. Filer Award for her creative leadership in philanthropy. In 2012 Barron’s magazine lauded her as a standout among “The Giving Generation.” Emily also serves on numerous local, state and national committees and coalitions in order to advance the Foundation’s priorities.
Emily earned her B.A. in History from Barnard College.