Announcing the next phase of The New England Food System Resilience Fund. Learn More



  • Christine H. James
    Executive Director

    Christine James came to The John Merck Fund in 2008, after 20+ years working for small, community-based human service and environmental nonprofit organizations in Maine and Massachusetts. She has a BA in art history from Bowdoin College and an MA in public policy from Tufts University’s Urban & Environmental Policy program. Just prior to coming to JMF, she was executive director of EarthWorks, a small urban greening organization based in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. Her work in Maine included four years as executive director of an educational organic farm and two years working on clean energy and climate change issues. Prior to becoming Executive Director, she was JMF’s Director of Programs from 2008 to 2017, when she oversaw the foundation’s environmental grants programs: Clean Energy, Health and the Environment, and Regional Food Systems.

  • Nancy Stockford
    Director of Operations

    Nancy Stockford has been working at The John Merck Fund since 1992. She previously worked at the Winston Foundation for World Peace and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Nancy received a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As Director of Operations, she oversees the daily operations of the Fund, including financial and grants management. She also serves as the program officer for the Developmental Disabilities Program.


  • Karen R. Harris
    Clean Energy Program Consultant

    Karen R. Harris manages the Clean Energy Program at The John Merck Fund.  In addition to her work with JMF, Karen provides strategic planning, evaluation, and facilitation services to foundations and nonprofit organizations. She has worked on a range of issues including climate and clean energy, land conservation, food systems and international security. Other clients have included Doris Duke Foundation, Rockefeller Family Fund, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Land Trust Alliance and Alaskans for Energy Freedom. Karen was the executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, a foundation that supports international security and nonproliferation policy.  She was a program officer in the Conservation Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Karen has a degree in environmental policy, with a focus on energy and land conservation, from the University of California at Berkeley.  She lives in Norwich, Vermont.

  • Marsha R. Mailick, PhD
    Developmental Disabilities Program Consultant

    Dr. Marsha R. Mailick is the former Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). She received her PhD in social policy from Brandeis University and became an associate professor at Boston University before joining UW-Madison. Starting in 2002, she served as the director of the Waisman Center and principal investigator of the Waisman Center’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Core Grant, awarded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The focus of Dr. Mailick’s research is on the life course trajectory of developmental disabilities. She is interested in how the behavioral phenotype of specific developmental disabilities, including autism, fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome, changes during adolescence, adulthood and old age. In addition, she studies how the family environment affects the development of individuals with disabilities during these stages of life, and reciprocally how parents and siblings of individuals with disabilities are affected.


  • Olivia H. Farr
  • Robert Gardiner
  • George Hatch
  • Whitney Hatch, Chair
  • Ruth Hennig
  • Roger McFadden
  • Frederica Perera
  • William Roberts
  • Anne Stetson
  • Serena H. Whitridge