Alvin Starks is a senior program officer with the equality team of Open Society-U.S., overseeing grant making related to racial justice and racial narrative.
Starks began his philanthropic career at the Echoing Green Foundation, awarding international fellowships to individuals starting new human rights projects. He joined Open Society in 2000, directing the New York City Community Fellowships and Initiatives programs, which focused on policy, organizing, legal reform, and arts and culture. He established U.S. Programs' first racial justice initiative and helped create the black male initiative, which addressed issues of discrimination and social exclusion. Following his first stint at Open Society, Starks developed the Racial Justice and Gender Identity program at the Arcus Foundation and served as program officer for racial equity at the WK Kellogg Foundation. Most recently, he was director of strategic initiatives at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which received a National Medal from the White House during his tenure. He sits on several nonprofit boards and has received numerous awards and fellowships for his leadership in philanthropy and racial justice.
Starks did his undergraduate studies at the State University of New York and graduate work at Columbia University.