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AJC Chicago has selected Sarah van Loon as its next Director, Advancement & Engagement

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AJC Chicago, a regional office of the leading Jewish advocacy organization AJC Global, has selected Sarah van Loon as its next Director, Advancement & Engagement.  

Sarah van Loon is a passionate, mission-driven development professional and former Associate Director for AJC Chicago, where she grew her skills in fundraising and development in the Jewish philanthropic community.

Most recently, Sarah served as the Director of the Sustaining Fellows at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she oversaw the success of the museum’s leadership donor society and $4 million in annual unrestricted giving. Sarah joined the Art Institute in 2018 after nearly five years with AJC Chicago, serving first as Development Coordinator and then ultimately Associate Director.

Sarah’s passion for development is built on her background in the performing arts, including her early career in opera as a classically trained soprano, before transitioning to work in the Chicago Jewish community with the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF). Sarah specializes in connecting donors to their passions through intentional gift making, and she is looking forward to continuing this work in her return to AJC.

“AJC’s mission to enhance the wellbeing of the Jewish people and Israel has always resonated with me on a deeply personal level. As a Jewish person, to be able to come to work each day and know that I’m making a difference—whether I’m working with others to combat antisemitism, advocate for Israel, or grow our relationships with interfaith partners—brings meaning to my work, especially in our rapidly changing world.”

-Sarah van Loon

Sarah is an active member with the Chicagoland chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and serves on the AFP Chicago Continuous Learning Council. From 2015 to 2016, Sarah was an Annual Fellow with the Development Leadership Consortium, and in 2017, she was named one of Chicago’s “Jewish 36 Under 36” emerging leaders by JUF and Oy!Chicago. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Jewish Professional Studies from the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, a bachelor’s degree from North Park University, and a certificate in accounting from City Colleges of Chicago.

AJC Chicago retained KEES as its executive search partner in February 2020. A comprehensive search was launched, attracting candidates from across the Midwest. The Interview Committee, led by AJC Chicago Executive Director Laurence Bolotin, ultimately selected Sarah van Loon from an impressive group of top finalists.

“I am so pleased to welcome Sarah back to the AJC Chicago family. Her commitment to our mission, magnetic and positive personality, and deep knowledge of nonprofit fundraising make her the ideal candidate to step into this role. AJC Chicago is poised for tremendous growth in our ability to impact the future of Global Jewish Advocacy, and I’m confident that Sarah will lead us in ensuring we have the resources needed to achieve our goals.”

-Laurence Bolotin, Executive Director, AJC Chicago

KEES is a retained executive search firm that builds transformative nonprofit teams and leaders. Founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search, KEES partners specifically with nonprofit organizations to provide an array of services including executive search, leadership development, succession planning, interim staffing and human resources consulting.

“It took a lot to recruit Sarah back to AJC! She was growing and thriving in her previous role, but elements of the mission allowed us to keep after her. The KEES team knew she would be a perfect fit for this role – and I am thrilled that our tenacity paid off. Sarah will be an incredible asset to AJC as it continues to grow and develop under Laurence Bolotin’s leadership. Nothing makes us happier than adding a great leader to a team!”

-Heather Eddy, President and CEO, KEES

The mission of AJC (American Jewish Committee) is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. The Evelyn R. Greene AJC Chicago Regional Office connects the local Chicago community with AJC’s global advocacy work. With access to diplomats, elected officials, and interfaith leaders at the local level, AJC Chicago advances the broader priorities so vital to AJC’s global work: combating antisemitism, promoting Israel’s place in the world, and countering the spread of radicalism and extremism. To learn more about AJC Chicago, visit