Board of Trustees

Karim Merchant, Board of Trustees

Karim Merchant


  • Vice President of Strategic and Major Giving, Cancer Support Community


  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law
  • BA, Vanderbilt University

About Karim Merchant

Karim Merchant is the vice president of Strategic and Major Giving at the Cancer Support Community (CSC), the largest nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

Prior to joining CSC, Merchant was the director of Development and Volunteer Engagement at the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), U.S.A., a private, not-for-profit international development organization. Merchant’s knowledge of philanthropy, network of industry professionals, and years of volunteering experience enabled him to bring new ideas and best practices in raising funds and leveraging talent in the organization.

Prior to transitioning to fundraising and nonprofit leadership, Merchant practiced as a corporate finance attorney with Chapman and Cutler LLP and then with Baker & McKenzie. He now applies his legal and client service training to proactively identify potential issues, deliver creative solutions to complex problems, and seize new opportunities to advance nonprofit organizations’ missions.

Merchant also has many years of experience in volunteer leadership, serving as Chairman of the Aga Khan Education Board (AKEB) Midwest Region and then Honorary Secretary of AKEB U.S.A. He has collaborated with teams of volunteers to arrive at a shared vision, developed strategy with stakeholder buy-in, created tactical execution plans with attention to risks, agreed on performance metrics, and executed and troubleshooted, all while ensuring volunteers felt respected, valued, and appreciated.

Merchant earned a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctor from University of Virginia School of Law. He is married to his husband and lives in the greater Washington D.C. area.