Matthew Ornstein Memorial Foundation Announces Appointment of Dr. Jessica Berenson as Acting Executive Director

September 10, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The Board of Directors of the Matthew Ornstein Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jessica Berenson as Acting Executive Director of the Matthew Ornstein Memorial Foundation, founded 4 ½ years ago by Matthew’s family, following his tragic death. According to Judy Harris, Matthew’s Mother and President of the Foundation, “we couldn’t possibly be more thrilled by Dr. Berenson’s willingness to join us on this journey. Along with having had a personal friendship with Matthew, Jess possesses a combination of traits and a wealth of relevant experience that we never dreamed we would be able to find all in one person!”

Dr. Berenson first met Matthew almost 22 years ago when he served as a mentor for her on their high school debate team. Dr. Berenson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago and completed a medical degree at George Washington University. Since then, in addition to becoming a board-certified pediatrician and completing a chief year in pediatrics, Dr. Berenson has worked on many social causes. These include health care for the homeless, mental health care for veterans and childhood literacy. Her experience with foundations of different sizes and ages will make her an invaluable addition to the Matthew Ornstein Memorial Foundation at this time in its lifecycle. Finally, Dr. Berenson brings with her a business background as well. She is currently a venture capital associate overseeing the health care portfolio at an early stage venture firm and completing a Masters of Business Administration at Johns Hopkins University. When not working, Dr. Berenson enjoys volunteer debate coaching, reading, hiking, ballet dancing, swimming and spending time with her husband (who also went to high school with Matthew),

Says Dr. Berenson, “the opportunity to join the Matthew Ornstein Memorial Foundation is a dream come true. I’ve always aspired to work to make the world a better place; the opportunity to do that in my friend’s name is an honor and a privilege.”

To learn more about the Matthew Ornstein Memorial Foundation, please visit or email

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