Sustainable Cities

The Summit Foundation Appoints Nick Sifuentes as Director for its Sustainable Cities Program

WASHINGTON DC—The Summit Foundation today announced the appointment of Nick Sifuentes as Director for its Sustainable Cities Program, a role in which he will lead the foundation’s grantmaking for all city-centered climate change mitigation activities.

“We are very excited for Nick to lead our Sustainable Cities program,” said Summit Foundation President Alexis Sant. “His valued perspective and experience allow him to understand the capacities and ambitions of our program. His ability to assess and to support the people and institutions with a capacity for this work make him an ideal person to lead our grantmaking in this area.”

Most recently, Nick has been the program director for Northeastern U.S. campaigns at the Energy Foundation, where he led more than $16 million in annual grantmaking. Before that he spent four years as executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, focused on sustainable mobility in transit, transportation and infrastructure in the New York metropolitan area. In that role, he advocated for the nation’s first congestion pricing policy in New York, billions of dollars of federal investment in transit during the COVID-19 crisis, and state funding for both the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit capital plans.

Sifuentes steps into the role vacated by long-time program director Darryl Young, who, in his more than 14 years at the Summit Foundation, created and advanced the goals and strategies of its sustainable cities work, which has been mainly focused on electrification and transit. Though Sifuentes will have the discretion to modify the program’s strategies and goals, the foundation retains its commitment to climate mitigation in its sustainable cities work.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the Summit Foundation and leading its sustainability and climate work in the U.S.,” said Sifuentes. “Whether threatened by sea level rise, pollution, or heat waves, our cities are on the front lines of the climate crisis—but they’re also the solution: transit, electrification, and sustainable development are integral to a healthier future. As a former advocate, I’m excited to help support the critical work of organizations working at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change across the U.S.”

Prior to his work at the Energy Foundation and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Nick was the deputy director of the Riders Alliance, a public transit advocacy organization in New York City, where he was instrumental in winning the city’s first low-income fare discount program; a senior associate in national issue advocacy at BerlinRosen Public Affairs in New York; and the press secretary for the northeastern U.S. at The Sierra Club. A native of California, he began his career in economic justice and labor organizing in Los Angeles.

The Summit Foundation, based in Washington DC, makes grants in service of “a world where people can thrive and nature can flourish.” Its three areas of grantmaking are in ocean conservation, where it has been focused on the restoration of the Mesoamerican Reef; equality for women and girls with particular attention to leadership development and reproductive health rights in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and portions of Mexico; and in radically improving the sustainability of cities in North America.

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