Ethan Frey began his journey into philanthropy at a young age. This led him to student organizing in college, followed by employment with a series of political and labor campaigns, and eventually into philanthropic work with the Ford Foundation, where he served on the Cities and States team until early 2023.
Ethan joined Ford in 2013 as a program associate on the Civic Engagement and Government team. He worked primarily on the foundation’s organizing, voting rights, census, and voter engagement programs during his tenure. In his role with the Cities and States team, Ethan collaborated with programs across the foundation to develop and implement tailored grant-making strategies in six states— Texas, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, and Minnesota. These programs were designed to build the capacity of people-centered ecosystems seeking long-term, statewide change.
Previously, Ethan served as a regional field director in Columbus, Ohio, for the 2012 presidential campaign and before that as a field organizer in Toledo during the 2008 general election campaign. He also worked to unionize low-wage workers in Miami, Florida, as an organizer for the international trade union Unite Here, which represents food service, hotel, and gaming employees. At Project Renewal, a nonprofit social service provider, he worked to protect public benefits for low-income New Yorkers as a non-attorney civil legal advocate.
Ethan is a 2010 graduate of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, James.