Almost 60,000 people sleep in NYC homeless shelters each night, 24,000 of which are children. Approximately 79,000 NYC public school students were homeless at some point this year. (Source: Coalition for the Homeless)

Photo credit: Adopt-A-Family

Board & Staff

Our Board

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Chairman

Mr. Gerstner was chairman of the board of IBM Corporation from April 1993 until his retirement in December 2002. He served as chief executive officer of IBM from 1993 until March 2002.

Dr. Elizabeth Gerstner, Vice President

Dr. Gerstner is a clinical neuro-oncologist at the Mass General Cancer Center. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Brown University and pursued her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she served as Chief Resident in Neurology while completing her residency training. Dr. Gerstner then attended Harvard Medical School to earn her Masters in Medical Science.

Dr. Gerstner’s research accomplishments have been recognized by a number of prestigious awards, including the Clinical Research Scholar, awarded by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and the Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award. She has been featured in many notable medical journals highlighting her research in collaboration with colleagues at Mass General and various physician-scientists from other prominent medical institutions.

Lea Carpenter

Ms. Carpenter graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Her first novel, Eleven Days (Knopf 2013), was about American special operations forces and she is working on a second book about the intelligence community. Her 2003 Harvard University commencement speech, “Auden and the Little Things,” addressed the importance of poetry in wartime.

Sandra Horbach

Ms. Horbach is a Global Partner and Managing Director at The Carlyle Group where she serves as the Head of the Consumer and Retail group. She is involved in all of Carlyle’s consumer investments and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Acosta Sales & Marketing, CVC, Dunkin’ Brands, NBTY, and Vogue International. Ms. Horbach serves as Chair of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Advisory Council and is a Trustee at Rockefeller University.

Prior to joining Carlyle in 2005, Ms. Horbach served as a General Partner at Forstmann Little, a private investment firm. She received an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Stanley Litow

Mr. Litow is Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs at IBM and President of IBM’s Foundation. Mr. Litow and IBM have won many awards due to Mr. Litow’s work, primarily for efforts to improve education.



Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Litow’s career in public and nonprofit leadership included service as Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools, founder and CEO of Interface, a nonprofit think tank, and as both a City and State Official appointed by the Mayor and Governor of New York. He currently serves as the Governor’s appointee to the board of the State University of New York.


our staff

Kara V. Klein, Executive Director

Ms. Klein is the Executive Director of the Gerstner Family Foundation.  She joined the Gerstner family office in 2006, prior to which she was a management consultant.

She holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia University.

Sarah D. Persily, Senior Program Officer

Ms. Persily’s experience includes philanthropy, development, and law.  She has worked for Tiger Foundation, Pro Bono Partnership, IBM, Proskauer, and The New York Public Library.

She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Jacalyn Raguso, Grants Manager

Ms. Raguso began working for the Gerstner Family Foundation after a long career with IBM in a variety of roles and departments, including Finance, Accounting, and Shareholder Relations.

She earned her B.S. from Mercy College and an MBA from Long Island University.

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Kara Klein, and Sarah Persily with students at a Partnership school.