Past Fellows

Erika Seth Davies


Ms. Davies has engaged in extensive efforts to advance the field on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She designed the SMART Investing initiative, the first philanthropic effort to incorporate a racial equity lens in foundation endowment practice through increased access for minority- and women-owned investment management firms. She authored white papers promoting policies and practice in support of this approach, including Foundation Investment Management Practices: Thoughts on Alpha and Access for the Field and Diverse Managers: Philanthropy’s Next Hurdle. Ms. Davies also managed Leverage the Trust, a national initiative to identify and support black trustees of foundations in advancing racial equity within their institutions, and Catalyzing Community Giving Institute, a project aimed at increasing strategic giving among black Greek-letter organizations, professional and civic organizations.

Ms. Davies speaks frequently and facilitates conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion through a race lens and has presented during conferences and convenings for Mission Investors Exchange, the Council on Foundations, the National Association of Securities Professionals, and Confluence Philanthropy among many others.

Erika is the founder of The Racial Equity Asset Lab (The REAL), a venture supported by Common Future where she is a Social Entrepreneur in Residence, that centers racial equity in impact investing by leveraging the networks, data, education, and strategies needed to shift capital to close the persistent racial wealth gap.

She was a member of the inaugural class of the ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellowship program, a recipient of the NYU Wagner School of Public Service IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector, and a member of the class of 2017 for Executive Leadership Institute of CFLeads. Ms. Davies enjoys volunteering as a member of the Impact Hub Baltimore Advisory Board and a member of the board of directors for the Baltimore Algebra Project. She earned a B.A. in English and Certificate of African Studies from Georgetown University.