Ethan Frey got his start in political and labor organizing before working at the Ford Foundation for 10 years on its state and local racial and economic justice grant-making. He concluded his tenure at the Foundation in March 2023 and now advises partners including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Four Freedoms Action Fund moving resources to state and local justice campaigns.
At the Ford Foundation, Ethan designed and led a unique cross-departmental funding approach to combine unrestricted five-year funding with dedicated resources for collective action campaigns in states across the country. This included support for efforts to boost social investment (Invest in Our New York and Fund Excluded Workers) and restore rights to immigrants, returning citizens, and low-income communities (driver’s licenses for all and rights restoration campaigns).
Previously, Ethan worked in Pennsylvania and Ohio on the 2008 and 2012 Presidential election campaigns. 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. His first job in New York before joining the Ford Foundation was with Project Renewal, Inc., a nonprofit social service provider, where he worked to protect public benefits for low-income New Yorkers as a non-attorney civil legal advocate.
Ethan is originally from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is a 2010 graduate of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He serves on the Boards of the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund and Color of Change PAC. He currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with his husband, James.