John W. Bernstein is Vulcan’s Chief Financial Officer leading the Finance, Operations, and IT departments. He is responsible for Vulcan’s long-term financial plans and strategies across the entire philanthropic portfolio, helping to guide the organization’s commitment to its vision to make and leave the world a better place.
Before joining Vulcan in 2019, John served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Ford Foundation, a New York based, social justice foundation working to disrupt the drivers of inequality worldwide. In his capacity at Ford he oversaw all areas of operations, technology, risk management, capital projects, and finance globally. Prior to that, John was the founding President of the Leon Levy Foundation, dedicated to the arts and humanities, human rights and civil liberties, understanding the ancient world, and neuroscience research. As the foundation’s first president, he oversaw its creation in 2004 working closely with trustees to set goals for all areas of the foundation’s philanthropy and administration, including its governance, financial management, and grant making. Earlier in his career, John served as Vice President for Finance and then as Senior Vice President for Institutional Development at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, and began his nonprofit career working in systems analysis and design at the New York Public Library.
John holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and also did his undergraduate work at the university, where he earned a combined degree in computer science, economics, and the history and sociology of science.