Vice President & Program Director
Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, helps the President oversee and improve all aspects of the Foundation’s programs and plays a leadership role in Sloan’s broader philanthropic efforts with the foundation community.
For more than 20 years, Mr. Weber has run the program for the Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics at Sloan, which uses diverse media—books, radio, television, film, theater, and new media—to bridge the “two cultures” of science and the humanities to give people a keener appreciation for the increasingly scientific and technological world in which we live and to convey some of the challenges and rewards of the scientific and technological enterprise. This seminal program has been recognized with many awards, including an award from WNYC “for providing transformative support for work at the intersection of science, technology, and the arts” and the National Science Board’s Public Service Award “for its innovative use of traditional media—books, radio, public television—and its pioneering efforts in theater and commercial television and films to advance public understanding of science and technology."
Mr. Weber also directs the Foundation's efforts to promote Universal Access to Knowledge through the Digital Information Technology program, which seeks to harness advances in digital information technology to facilitate the openness and accessibility of all knowledge in the digital age for the widest public benefit under fair and secure conditions. His grantmaking has helped to start the Digital Public Library of America, a consortium of over 4,000 research and public libraries, archives, and museums in 50 states, and to scale Wikipedia into the largest encyclopedia in human history and the fifth largest web site in the world.
Mr. Weber has been actively involved with the Science Philanthropy Alliance and its efforts to increase private support for basic research, including the 2016 Chan Zuckerberg Initiative that pledged $3 billion to basic science. His support for the Scholar Rescue Fund helps save endangered scientists in nations under siege such as Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Iran and transfers them to safe, academic posts.
Mr. Weber’s work at Sloan has been profiled in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Fortune, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The New York Observer, American Theatre, Filmmaker Magazine, and The American Way. Among his awards for foundation support, Mr. Weber has received the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, the Ebert Center Empathy for the Universe Award, the PBS Leadership Award, the Nielsen Impact Award from the Hollywood Reporter, and, the Communicator Award for “Sloan at 75,” a documentary about the Foundation’s history.
Prior to joining Sloan in 1995, Mr. Weber served as Director of Communications at The Rockefeller University and Director of Communications for the Society for the Right to Die. Earlier, he worked as a senior editor for The Reader's Catalog, a speechwriter for the United Jewish Appeal, and a screenwriter for both television and film. He has also been a teacher, tutor, taxi driver, romance novelist, busboy, and boxer.
In 2012, Mr. Weber published Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir (Simon & Schuster), named one of the 50 Notable Works of Non-Fiction by The Washington Post, selected for Paperback Row by The New York Times, and voted an Amazon Best Book of the Month, an Indie NEXT List pick and a Chautauqua Circle winner. Mr. Weber has previously coauthored three nonfiction trade books: Safe Blood: Purifying the Nation's Blood Supply in the Age of AIDS (Free Press), The Complete Guide to Living Wills (Bantam Books), and Final Passages: Positive Choices for the Dying and their Loved One (Simon & Schuster, Fireside). His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Barron's, Science Magazine, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, and the Boston Review. His first novel, The Deserters, was excerpted in the fall 2003 issue of Kinder-Link.
Mr. Weber was educated at Brown University (BA), the Sorbonne, and Oxford University (MA), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also received a Fulbright. He served for ten years as secretary of the New York State Committee for the Rhodes Scholarships and in 2016 was appointed the first National Secretary for the new Israel Rhodes Scholarships. He currently also serves as President of The Writers Room Board of Trustees, Trustee of Shakespeare & Co, Director of the Jimmy Wales Foundation, Advisory Board Member of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, Mentor for 92nd Street Y Women in Power, and Board Visitor of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Association of Corporate Directors, U.S.A. Triathlon, and the Century Association.