Emily Tow Jackson has been The Tow Foundation’s Executive Director since 1994. The Tow Foundation funds projects and organizations that offer transformative experiences to individuals and create collaborative ventures in fields where they see opportunities for breakthroughs, reform, and benefits for underserved populations. Investments focus on the support of innovative programs and system reform in the areas of juvenile and criminal justice, groundbreaking medical research, higher education, and cultural institutions.
Under Emily’s leadership The Tow Foundation has developed a playwright residency program. The year-long residency offers playwrights a full-time salary and immersion into their sponsoring New York based nonprofit theater’s day-to-day operations. The goal is for each playwright to gain experience and insight into all aspects of the nonprofit theater world, culminating with a full production of their play by their sponsoring theater company. The Tow Foundation has also supported linking New York based institutions of higher education with nonprofit theaters for collaborative partnerships. Emily is currently a Trustee of Barnard College of Columbia University and New York Public Radio and has previously served on the Board of Directors of Philanthropy New York and Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Emily was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York State Commission for Youth, Public Safety and Justice and the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. She was named the 2016 Bartels Fellow by the University of New Haven. Emily regularly speaks about The Tow Foundation’s work, its commitment to advocacy and collective impact as keys to achieving social change, and the value of family philanthropy.