Text reads Supporting Sustainable and Compassionate Solutions Field Workers at Njoro, Kenya - Photo Credit: Petr Kosina/CIMMYT

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Co-Founder Nancy Brach


Nancy Brach, cofounder of the Brach Family Charitable Foundation, has a long history of philanthropic involvement. In 1970 she began her career as a volunteer for the National Council on Alcoholism (NCA) in Essex County, New Jersey. In the late 1970’s Nancy became their Assistant Director. In the early 1980’s she became the agency’s Executive Director, a position she held until retiring in 1996.

Nancy was widely viewed as being very successful during her years at NCA. She worked in conjunction with others to set up a NCA affiliate in every county across the state. This broad-based advocacy power, combined Brach’s organizational skills, dedication and support from influential people, led to a number of important advancements in the state’s treatment of alcoholism and drug dependency.

Perhaps most importantly, it was the first time that New Jersey’s legal system acknowledged alcoholism as a disease and not a crime. State officials from policemen to policy makers were instructed to help offenders seek treatment rather than penalties for alcohol abuse. For the first time, New Jersey established state licensing for those wishing to become certified alcohol and drug addiction counselors. One of Nancy’s proudest accomplishments was her participation in establishing Turning Point, a large drug and rehabilitation center that is still actively treating patients today.

Before, during and after her work with NCA, Nancy pursued many other philanthropic and political initiatives. In her early years she assisted her husband in advancing civil rights. She has been a longtime generous donor to many causes that advance social justice, opportunities for the underserved, women’s reproductive health, childhood education, environmental protection, eldercare and more. She also sat on a number of boards including NCA, Planned Parenthood, The League of Women Voters and Shared Housing.

In 1997, Nancy co-founded The Brach Family Charitable Foundation with her late husband William Leon Brach. Both founders worked at advancing environmental education, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, family planning, social justice and the reduction of poverty locally and internationally. Nancy and William Brach strongly supported agricultural research and implementation to assist some of Africa’s poorest farmers.

What is most difficult to put in words about Nancy is the authentic kindness and concern for humanity that she so wonderfully embodies. Those close to her know her as a woman who is often grieved when hearing about the unfortunate plights of others, particularly children. Nancy and other members of her family are committed to continuing to advance the work that she and her late husband began. The Brach Family Charitable Foundation supports a range of causes, with an emphasis on advancing wise and caring philanthropy, particularly for the poor and underserved.

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