Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Health Guidance

Masking is strongly recommended in all indoor settings. New students and faculty and staff are required to sign an updated version of the Columbia Community Compact. Learn more.
Close alert

Henry L. Berman

Lecturer; CEO, Exponent Philanthropy

As CEO since 2010, and a member since 2003, Berman leads Exponent Philanthropy, a vibrant membership organization that amplifies and celebrates the vital work of philanthropists who give big while keeping their operations lean. As co-trustee of a private foundation committed to supporting programs which foster the development of children with the intellectual, social and emotional skills necessary to achieve their full potential and become competent, happy and productive adults, he brings a firsthand understanding of the needs of philanthropists with few or no staff and a wealth of experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

Recognizing that funders increasingly use a variety of giving vehicles, in 2014 Berman led the organization through a strategic rebrand from the Association of Small Foundations. His current focus is on ensuring all members—public, private, and community foundations, philanthropic families, and individual donors—connect with others in the organization’s nationwide network, engage with a wide range of resources, and participate in high-quality and cost-effective programming. He is also fully committed to ensuring diversity among, and inclusion of, all funder and recipient voices in promotion of full inclusion.

Before joining Exponent Philanthropy, Berman had a long career in educational media and technology. He served as a board member, volunteer, fundraiser, and marketer for several organizations including the American Society for Training and Development and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. He continues to serve as a founding board member of the Museum of Broadcast Technology, as well as serving the National Council of Nonprofits and the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund. 

Berman earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Ithaca College, a master’s and doctorate in education from Boston University, and a certificate in business and management from the Harvard University Extension School, where he also taught fundraising, development communications and philanthropy. He has also taught classes on the role of nonprofits at Columbia University.



  • Ed.D., Boston University
  • Ed.M., Boston University
  • Certificate in Special Studies (CSS), non-profit management, Harvard University Extension School
  • B.S., Ithaca College