Joe Goldman is the President of Democracy Fund, an independent foundation that champions the leaders who defend American democracy and challenge our political system to be more open and just. As the foundation’s president, Joe is an outspoken advocate within philanthropy for creating a more effective and powerful field to ensure that our democracy is worthy of the trust of the American people.
Joe incubated Democracy Fund for three years inside Omidyar Network — Pierre and Pam Omidyar’s philanthropic investment firm — where he was an Investment Director. He then launched Democracy Fund as a private foundation in 2014, alongside Democracy Fund Voice, a sister 501c4 organization for which he also serves as president. Since its inception, Democracy Fund has invested more than $150 million to support organizations that are working to create a more vibrant and diverse public square, free and fair elections, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society.
Joe is also the co-founder and chair of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, a research collaboration of more than two dozen analysts and scholars from across the political spectrum examining and delivering insights on the evolving views of American voters. Most recently, Joe has co-authored a series of reports on public attitudes about democracy and authoritarianism.
Previously, Joe was Vice President of Citizen Engagement at AmericaSpeaks, where he directed and facilitated large-scale public deliberations across the country, including the Unified New Orleans Planning Process after Hurricane Katrina and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site after 9/11. Joe has also led citizen engagement programs from inside government, including Mayor Anthony Williams’ Neighborhood Action initiative in Washington, D.C., and the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission’s Common Ground regional planning process in Chicago.
Joe was a Public Service Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he received a master’s degree in public policy. He graduated with honors in political science from Vassar College. Joe serves on the Board of Directors of the US Climate Action Network.