MDRC Mourns the Passing of Susan Sandler, Former MDRC Board Member

The Board of Directors and the staff of MDRC mourn the passing of Susan Sandler, a member of MDRC’s Board of Directors from 2004 to 2009. Susan Sandler was a philanthropist and a long-time national leader in education reform. She died on December 16 at the age of 58 from complications from brain cancer.

Sandler was co-chair of the Sandler Foundation and founder of the Susan Sandler Fund, which makes grants focused on racial justice. The Sandler Foundation was created in 1991 by Susan’s late parents, Marion and Herb Sandler, business executives and philanthropists who were long-time supporters of MDRC. Marion Sandler had also served as a member of MDRC’s Board of Directors.

MDRC greatly benefited from Sandler’s devotion to the people affected by education and social policies and programs, particularly marginalized communities of color. She never lost sight of the ultimate objective of public policy: to tangibly improve the lives of otherwise disadvantaged constituencies and to give them voice in the institutions created to serve them and their children. Sandler consistently represented those voices in every Board discussion, encouraging us to not overlook the implications of our work for the people who would be served by the policies we study.

Susan Sandler is survived by her husband, Steve Phillips. MDRC extends its sympathies to him and the whole Sandler family.