Valerie Conn is the executive director of the Science Philanthropy Alliance. She brings 25 years of experience working with philanthropists, foundations, and corporations to fund science, medicine, engineering, and education initiatives. Her work for the Alliance concentrates on building the community of funders for basic science by advising individuals and foundations on how to strategically support basic science as a significant portion of their philanthropic portfolio. As an objective advisor, Valerie works with members and advisees on customized science philanthropy strategies and, due to her extensive network, serves as a connector to both the science and philanthropic worlds.
During her decade at the University of Chicago, Valerie led teams in the Physical Sciences Division, as well as university strategic initiatives, including mapping and implementing the strategy for partnership development, resource development, and marketing for the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Computation Institute. Prior to joining the Alliance, Valerie was Vice President of Strategy for the B612 Foundation. Valerie began her career at the Illinois Institute of Technology, after which she led a campaign for medical research at Children’s Memorial Medical Research Center in Chicago. Valerie holds a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University, and has been an active volunteer for her alma mater.