Chappaqua’s Harriet Schleifer has made history as the first woman to be elected president of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a global Jewish advocacy organization founded in 1906.
Schleifer began her career as an attorney focused on education and representing special needs students. She became an AJC member in 2004 and president of the AJC Westchester/Fairfield Regional Office in 2006. She joined AJC’s national board of governors in 2007 and served as board chairwoman from 2016 to this year. From 2014 to 2016, she was chairwoman of Project Interchange, AJC’s educational program that brings leaders from around to world to Israel.
Schleifer is married to Leonard S. Schleifer, the founder and CEO of the biotechnology company Regeneron. The Schleifers are active in the Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, a residential school and organization in New Haven that provides services for people with developmental and social disabilities.
“I am deeply honored, and thankful, to be entrusted with leading over the next three years, in partnership with AJC staff and lay leaders, the most dynamic, pioneering and effective organization in American Jewish life,” Schleifer said in a statement. “I am a great believer in the value of Jewish advocacy. AJC is helping transform and ensure the Jewish future.”