Sadia Kalam, who joined the Foundation in 2014, is a program associate supporting RWJF’s efforts to strengthen vulnerable children and families.
She praises the Foundation’s values, mission, and organizational dedication to building a Culture of Health for its staff, community, and grantee partners. Inspired by the idea that “no one is excluded” from the Culture of Health, Kalam views RWJF as a catalytic force in creating systems-level change, especially for those who are most vulnerable to the toxic stress and trauma of poverty and racism.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Kalam was a project manager at Cause Effective, a nonprofit fundraising consulting firm based in New York City. Kalam managed and supported business development, marketing, and consulting services that ranged from intake to evaluation for clients. Previously, she worked on youth workforce development at the Philadelphia Youth Network, intergenerational women’s programming and leadership development with the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, and youth-led social change grantmaking at the Cricket Island Foundation. She served as the Finance Chair of the NYC Steering Committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, and a member of the Leadership Council for Sadie Nash Leadership Project. She also spent four years on the board of directors for South Asian Youth Action, a community- based youth organization where she was first exposed to issues of board governance, and the fiduciary challenges of running a grassroots organization. She cites her proudest achievement as creating an intergenerational women’s creative arts program, Remembering Forward, in Piscataway, where she used expressive arts to build relationships between senior women at Francis E. Parker Memorial Home and public school girls. Throughout her career, she has been committed to strengthening the capacity of young people to achieve their potential.
A native New Yorker, Kalam grew up in an entrepreneurial family with multiple businesses, including fast food, law, accounting, and pharmaceuticals, that instilled in her a strong sense of service and the power of creating opportunity for others through entrepreneurship and social services. She pursued a career in social change as a way to bridge her desire to serve and be part of creating a better future for others.
Kalam holds an MS in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies from New York University.
She lives in North Brunswick with her husband and enjoys mentoring, traveling, and good conversation with family and friends.