Cindy Mercer

Member, US Board

Cindy Mercer is captivated by the power of partnership! She is deeply passionate about learning from and connecting an extraordinary network of entrepreneurial philanthropists, investors, business leaders, and social change makers to solve problems together.

With Addison Fischer, Cindy Co-founded Planet Heritage Foundation (PHF), a grant making and impact investing foundation focused on climate change, marine conservation, biodiversity, animal welfare and sustainable agriculture.

In climate change, PHF launched the Aligned Intermediary, an investment advisory group that helps institutional investors accelerate and increase the flow of private capital into climate infrastructure projects including clean energy, water, and waste-to-value. To date, AI’s members have committed to deploy $1.3 billion of capital. PHF also launched Energy Options Network (EON), an advisory partner to AI, focused on earlier stage technologies and industries (i.e. advanced nuclear, fusion, ccs, liquid fuels), as well as the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan group of industry leaders committed to transportation electrification in the US at mass scale.

In marine conservation, PHF launched Oceans 5, a global funders’ collaborative seeking to protect the planet's five oceans. There are currently twelve Oceans 5 partners including PHF, Oak Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Waitt Foundation, Packard Foundation, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. PHF also sponsored several strategic TED initiatives, including two Mission Blue voyages.

PHF works with 49 prince street to design and build the social enterprises it supports. Together, they take a systems approach to addressing social issues, mobilizing a variety of stakeholders and their collective assets -- capital, knowledge, networks, influence -- towards large scale solutions.

Early in her journey, Cindy worked with President Carter to help establish the Carter Center, followed by a career as a lawyer and entrepreneur. Following an IPO, Cindy established and spent down a family foundation. A decade of “writing checks to learn” afforded her a deep learning curve and appreciation for the power of collaboration and high leverage grant-making. Cindy serves on the board of Oceans 5, The Philanthropy Workshop, the National Center for Family Philanthropy, and she is an advisor to several primary donor education initiatives including the Johnson Center for Family Philanthropy and the Raikes Foundation Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative.

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