With an unwavering commitment to social and cultural change, Alice Jacobs uses innovation and creativity to expand the vision for what is possible. As an author, speaker, and strategist, Alice is inspired by the deep and impactful philanthropy of her family to invest in the community. She is honored to be the current Board President of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum during a historic transformation and campus expansion. Alice’s leadership is felt in many facets of the Museum from spearheading an Inclusion, Diversity, Accessibility, Equity initiative, to strategic planning, fundraising events, the capital campaign and the establishment of a National Council. Sure to bring many visitors to our region the Museum is set to open in June 2023.
With the great belief in the value of museums to share our stories and foster mutual empathy, together with New York State Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Alice co-founded and co-chairs the WNY Women Making History Committee in support of the new Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. As a founding board member and Chair Emerita of the WNY Women’s Foundation, Alice led the transition to an independent Foundation while achieving an organizational shift from a focus solely on program support to collaborative program design and public advocacy geared towards systemic change. She served as the founding Co-Chair of the ALL IN WNY initiative, which empowers women and their employers to engage in pathways to leaderships while moving the needle on gender equity. Economic empowerment through education is central to much of her work, including as a Board Member of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Past board work includes The Maria Love Convalescent Fund, The Buffalo Seminary and Elmwood Franklin School.
Alice is the Founder of the Innovation Philanthropy Initiative, which aims to realize transformative solutions by encouraging the use of creative thinking processes in non-profit organizations and stewarding philanthropy to prioritize innovation. The principles of Innovation Philanthropy serve as the umbrella for Alice’s extensive community investments. The Initiative recently sponsored WNY’s first visual arts focused podcast, The Art Dôme: A platform for conversation and connection for the creative community as well as a unique art installation experience, Resource Art’s PLAY/GROUND. Alice believes that focusing on community collaborations is essential to a vibrant future for Western New York.
Alice earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, after which she practiced corporate and business-related immigration law at Hodgson Russ LLP. She then evolved her career to focus on family and community work, serving on numerous boards and in a variety of volunteer leadership roles. She also holds an MS degree from SUNY Buffalo State in the field of Creativity and Change Leadership. Recognized by Buffalo/Niagara’s Business First with a Women of Influence Award, as well as numerous years on their Power 250 and Women’s Power 125 lists, Alice was also honored for her Leadership in the Arts by the NYS League of Women Voters. Originally from Westchester County, NY, Alice has since made Western New York her home, residing in East Aurora, with her husband and dogs. The Jacobs have two children who have launched into the world to begin creating their own pathways to impact.