Chief Operating Officer, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
Nicole Sherard-Freeman is chief operating officer at Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. She oversees donor services, finance, grantmaking services, IT, program teams, and the New Economy Initiative (NEI). Sherard-Freeman has more than 25 years of experience across corporate, nonprofit, and government entities. She has served as an expert witness for the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee and recently testified before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP) Committee. Previously, she led the City of Detroit’s economic development and workforce development ecosystem, which produced industrial land readiness and large-scale employment and small and midsize business strategies that help enable thriving communities and grow Detroit’s middle class. Born and raised in Detroit, Sherard-Freeman is a proud graduate of the Detroit Public School system. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has completed graduate studies in Organizational Management and Development at Fielding Graduate University. She was a lead researcher and co-author of Detroit’s Untapped Talent: Partnerships and Pathways to Success, and Detroit’s Untapped Talent: Jobs and On-ramps Needed. She is a Crain’s Notable Women in Nonprofits alumni, a 2018 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence, a member of the 2021 class of Crain’s Most Influential Women in Michigan, and is an Axios Detroit 2022 Power Player.