Meet Sylvia Pérez
Sylvia Pérez joined United Way on January 3, 2017 as Vice President of Strategic Programs and Knowledge. Pérez leads United Way’s public policy, CMSD wraparound and knowledge/data initiatives. She also oversees United Way 2-1-1, a 24/7 free and confidential health and human service helpline. Her role will leverage the knowledge emerging from the organization’s work to enhance external impact and internal performance, and identify opportunities for strategic grantmaking.
Prior to joining United Way, Ms. Pérez was with the Cleveland Foundation as Vice President of Corporate Governance and Governmental and International Affairs. In this role, Ms. Pérez was responsible for steering and ensuring delivery of foundation objectives pertaining to corporate governance, select local and national initiatives, and public policy and international priorities. She served as the Chief of Staff to the President and CEO, corporate secretary of the foundation, and the key liaison to the Board of Directors. As a member of the six-person executive committee, she helped set strategic priorities and policies pertaining to all other areas of the foundation.
Ms. Pérez’s background is in international and national community development and nonprofit management. She was a National Urban Fellow and Atlas Service Corps Fellow, in Cleveland, OH, and Bogotá, Colombia respectively. Previous positions include serving as the Development Manager for Give to Colombia and the Contracts Manager for Living Cities, Inc.
Ms. Pérez holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Sociology from Columbia University and a Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York. She is Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine and the Board of Directors of Esperanza. She is also a member of Independent Sector’s board policy committee, Council on Foundation’s board policy committee, Philanthropy Ohio’s board policy committee, and the Advisory Board of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Commission on Economic Inclusion. She is a proud member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.