Ana Marie Argilagos
Hispanics in Philanthropy
Urban Swirski and Associates
Jarrett Tomás Barrios
California Community Foundation
President & CEO
Ana Marie Argilagos is guiding HIP with a bold vision: to usher in a new generation of philanthropy that is for, by, and about the Latino community. Under her leadership, HIP has spearheaded rapid responses to the biggest challenges facing Latinos today. HIP is coordinating a regional response to the migration crisis in the U.S. and Central America, supporting Puerto Rico’s long-term recovery from Hurricane Maria, and investing in nonprofits to fight for an inclusive and accurate 2020 Census, among other critical efforts.
Ana Marie is an entrepreneurial thinker bridging diverse agendas with a track record of working within the philanthropic, public, and nonprofit sectors. Previously Ana Marie was a senior advisor at the Ford Foundation, where she focused on urban development strategies to reduce poverty, expand economic opportunity, and advance sustainability in regions across the world. She also served as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she created the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) to deepen and scale collaboration between public and philanthropic sectors. Previously, she taught international urban planning at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service; and was a senior program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, director of the New Workplace for Women Project at the National Council of La Raza (now UNIDOS US), and deputy director of Ayuda, a community-based legal clinic serving immigrants in Washington, DC.
Ana Marie currently serves on the board at Foundation Center and Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors. She received her master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree in international relations from American University.
Sara Barba is Vice President at Urban Swirski and Associates, LLC, where she manages clients in the government relations practice. She is known for her coalition-building expertise and substantive tax policy knowledge.
At Urban Swirski, Sara represents corporate and nonprofit tax interests on Capitol Hill and in the Administration, developing and executing strategic advocacy efforts to advance clients’ priorities in the tax code. Her experience includes regulatory and legislative analysis, local engagement with Members of Congress, bill writing, and coordination of sector-wide advocacy campaigns.
Prior to joining Urban Swirski, Sara held several positions with Members of Congress, including Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). She worked both in district and in Washington, DC, where she supported policy, communications and field staff.
Sara graduated with honors from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Political Science. She is a skilled writer and editor, and her work is featured in Wealth Management where she provides insightful analysis of breaking financial issues and policy trends to watch for in Washington.
SVP of Strategic Community and Programmatic Initiatives
Jarrett Barrios serves as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Community & Programmatic Initiatives for the California Community Foundation. At the Foundation, he oversees organizational strategy and leads all CCF programs, communications, policy and advocacy.
Prior to CCF, Barrios served as CEO of American Red Cross of Los Angeles, of GLAAD and of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. From 1999 to 2007, he served in the Massachusetts legislature with a focus on progressive policy issues including affordable housing, health access and consumer protection. Barrios is the immediate past president of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, and serves on the boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York City, the Center on Law and Social Policy in Washington, DC and the Online Progressive Engagement Network (OPEN) in Barcelona, Spain. He has previously served as vice-chair of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in New York, and on the boards of Families USA, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, and Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.
Barrios earned his A.B. magna cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard College and his J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He is currently a candidate for an M.A. in Spanish Language & Literature from California State University in Los Angeles.
The Bauman Foundation
Council of Michigan Foundations
Gary D. Bass became the Executive Director of the Bauman Foundation in July, 2011. In 1983, he founded OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization promoting greater government accountability and transparency and increased citizen participation in public policy decisions, and directed it until moving to the Bauman Foundation. In 2016, OMB Watch folded into the Project On Government Oversight, another national nonprofit organization.
An expert on federal budgetary, program management, regulatory and information policy issues, Gary has published extensively, testified before Congress, appeared on national television and presented to groups across the country. Gary has led many advocacy campaigns—often in coalition with local, state and national groups—in pursuit of a government that promotes social justice and responds to community needs. He led OMB Watch and broad coalitions in successfully stopping proposals that would have undermined government’s role is serving people in need: a “no money, no mandates” measure that would have resulted in state and local governments being exempted from complying with federal laws; a constitutional amendment to balance the U.S. budget that would have seriously harmed human service delivery; a variety of regulatory provisions that would have undermined health, safety and environmental protections; proposals to eliminate the estate tax on wealthy individuals; and various efforts to silence the advocacy voice of charities across the country.
Paul Beaudet, Executive Director, leads the foundation’s program and administrative teams to implement the Foundation’s strategic framework. Paul originally joined Wilburforce in 1999 as Program Officer for Evaluation, and served as Associate Director between 2002 and 2016. Prior to his work at Wilburforce, he was Associate Director of the Pride Foundation, strengthening the LGBT community in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked at a variety of nonprofit organizations in fundraising and programmatic roles, including the League of Conservation Voters, the Music Center of Los Angeles, Pacific Science Center, and the University of Washington. Paul served on the Advisory Board for Center of Effective Philanthropy starting in 2008, and was elected to its Board of Directors in 2017. Paul served for seven years as Chair of the Program Strategies Committee and Vice Chair of the Board of the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Paul earned a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University in 1996, and later served on the program’s Visiting Committee and as adjunct faculty. He, his husband, and a beloved mutt split their time between Seattle and Guemes Island.
Director of Government Relations and Public Policy
Regina currently serves as the Policy Director for the Council of Michigan Foundations. At CMF, Regina works in partnership to shape and move a shared proactive public policy agenda that allows philanthropy to leverage its collective voice in meeting sector needs and advocating for policies that positively impact the constituents you serve. This includes facilitating connections with policymakers and members on advocacy engagement efforts.
Prior to her role with CMF, Regina was a program officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to that, she served as chief of staff and special advisor to the president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. She was the first mobility manager for the City of Detroit under the Job Access Reverse Community Program and served as field director for Education Trust-Midwest. Her previous roles also include director of government affairs for a premier communications company and director of community-based initiatives for a Michigan software developer.
United Philanthropy Forum
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders
The Partnership Funds
President & CEO
David Biemesderfer is a President and CEO of United Philanthropy Forum, a role he began in January 2016. Since starting at the Forum, David has led the organization through a period of notable growth and transformation. He was named to the "2018 NPT Power & Influence Top 50" list by The NonProfit Times.
David is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience in the philanthropic sector and deep expertise in communications, public policy, research and association management. Prior to his role at the Forum, David served as President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN), a statewide network of philanthropic organizations working to strengthen and grow philanthropy in Florida. He joined FPN in 2009 as Vice President and served as FPN’s President & CEO starting in June 2010. Under David’s leadership, FPN’s membership grew sevenfold, its budget grew fourfold and its statewide presence increased significantly. He served on the Forum’s Board of Directors for six years.
David’s past experience also includes working for 10 years at the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF). He left MCF in 2004 as its Vice President of Communications and Information Services. David has also served as a consultant for a variety of foundations and other philanthropic clients in the areas of communications, public policy and accountability.
David has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota.
Traci Bruckner serves as SAFSF’s Policy Program Director, and joined the SAFSF team in October 2018. Traci comes to SAFSF with nearly two decades of experience in public policy. Traci spent 15 years with the Center for Rural Affairs, leading their federal and state policy efforts around agriculture, conservation, and beginning, women, and socially disadvantaged farmer issues. She also worked on state health care and tax policy issues. During her tenure at the Center, Traci served as a member and chair of the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. This Advisory Committee provides recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on policies and programs that create and foster opportunities for a new generation of farmers and ranchers. Traci also served on and chaired the governance council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, a national grassroots coalition advocating federal policy reform for the sustainability of food systems, natural resources and rural communities. Before joining SAFSF, Traci was with the Northeast Nebraska Behavioral Health Network as a community outreach director, working to build community supports to foster a pipeline of behavioral and mental healthcare professionals. Prior to that, Traci was the policy director of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, working on a host of policy issues that impact women and girls. Traci holds a bachelor’s of science from Wayne State College in political science and sociology. She is based in Nebraska, where she lives with her husband, Brian. They recently moved their son, Sam, to CU Boulder, where he is studying vocal performance and opera.
Erin Dale Byrd is the executive director of The Partnership and Partnership Action Funds. She joins TPF after 12 years leading Blueprint NC. Erin took Blueprint from an organization of 4 staff and a budget of 900,000 to an organization with over 20 staff and a 4 million dollar budget in 2018.
Erin is the board chair of Fertile Ground Food Cooperative. Her deepest passion is to build a cooperative economy where her people can own their own labor and live in their purpose. Fertile Ground is an effort to build a multistakeholder (workers, consumers, producers) grocery store and cultural center in southeast Raleigh. The core focus of Erin's work is building power with the people most impacted at the center. She believes that a winning strategy for transformative change must be rooted in deep relationships and unlearn white supremacy colonizing culture from the inside out. She is the former treasurer of Advance North Carolina - a black led c4 organization focused on building power for Black communities.
She has been awarded the Ella Baker Award from the Youth Organizing Institute, Women to Watch from Women AdvaNCe, SiStars Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Annie Mackie Ward from NC Women United, the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, Local Hero Citizen of the Year for 2015 from Indy Week magazine and recently won Community Leader Award from the NC A. Philip Randolph Institute.
Miller & Chevalier
National Urban Indian Family Coalition
President and CEO
Dan Cardinali is president and CEO of Independent Sector, the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good.
Before joining IS in 2016, Dan served on the IS Board of Directors and several IS member committees. He also led IS member, Communities In Schools, the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization, for 12 years after working in other positions at the organization.
As a thought leader in the field of public education, Dan was credited with fostering the growing national trend toward community involvement in schools through partnerships with parents, businesses, policymakers, and local nonprofit groups. As the president and CEO of IS, he believes strongly in the power of nonprofits, foundations, and other organizations to work collaboratively to improve life and the environment for individuals and communities around the world. Dan is known for his commitment to performance management to drive evidence-based programs and high impact organizations.
Early in this career, Dan worked as a community organizer in Guadalajara, Mexico organizing a squatter community to secure land rights, running water, and public education. He then returned to Washington, DC for a research fellowship at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
Dan was a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow, serves on the board of Child Trends and the advisory boards of Harvard Business Schools’ Social Enterprise Initiative, the Conference Board’s Center on Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy, and Project Evident. He is also a trustee of The Fetzer Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.
Jorge Castro has more than 15 years of experience practicing tax law, including a decade of high-level government experience working on domestic and international tax issues at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Congress. He is well-respected across the political spectrum both domestically and internationally, earning high praise for his intellect, collegiality, effectiveness, and collaborative approach. His practice focuses on tax policy, regulatory, and compliance matters. He also has extensive experience working closely with foreign governments from all regions on a variety of global tax and economic issues, particularly at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Mr. Castro served as Counselor to the IRS Commissioner from 2010 to 2013. In that role, he served as a senior advisor to the Commissioner and collaborated with the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) on a variety of priority guidance projects, including the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). He advised the Commissioner on tax reform initiatives and legislative proposals and worked closely with senior IRS and Treasury officials to advance the agency's domestic and international objectives.
From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Castro served as Senior Counsel and Lead Economic Policy Advisor to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. He was lead counsel and provided policy and technical analysis to Senator Rockefeller during the consideration and negotiation of significant economic legislation in the 110th and 111th Congress, including the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (TARP legislation), the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act. Mr. Castro advised Senator Rockefeller during the Finance Committee mark-up and floor consideration of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, and played a key role negotiating the revenue provisions in those pieces of legislation.
From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Castro served as Tax and Trade Counsel to the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He advised Congresswoman Tubbs Jones on tax, international trade, pensions, and retirement security issues.
In 2008, Mr. Castro served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, Economic and International Agency Review Working Group.
In 2010, Tax Notes magazine profiled Mr. Castro as one of the top "Congressional Staffers Shaping Tax Policy."
She is Quinault and Oglala on her father’s side and Hesquiaht and Kwakiutl First Nations on her mother’s side. Comenote is the founding Executive Director of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC). The NUIFC is a national coalition representing 38 urban Indian centers in 26 cities and more than two million Native Americans living away from their traditional land base. The NUIFC remains one of only a few national organizations dedicated to “Making the Invisible Visible” and providing a platform and voice for this underrepresented population in America.
Janeen is a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow, a regional leadership program, is a 1999 alumni of the prestigious American’s for Indian Opportunity Ambassador program and was chosen and highlighted in O (Oprah) magazine for her participation in Women Rule; 80 Women Who Could Change America. She is a recipient of the Potlatch Fund Fran James Cultural Preservation award and the prestigious Eco Trust Indigenous Leadership award for her work with urban Indians. She has presented urban Indian issues at the White House, United Nations and as a keynote speaker at numerous conferences.
Additionally, she has been a Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Seattle and is currently a board member for Praxis and sits on the External Diversity and Inclusion Council for Charter Communications. She worked for 16 years at the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in child welfare, juvenile justice, poverty reduction and as a development officer.
Council on Foundations
Matthew L. Evans
United Philanthropy Forum
President and CEO
Widely respected for her role in creating a more robust, effective philanthropic and nonprofit sector over two decades as a mission-driven leader and coalition builder, Kathleen Enright joins the Council after 17 years as President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). During her tenure, she guided GEO to a programmatically strong and financially healthy position, experience she brings to her new role leading the Council on Foundations.
Previously, Ms. Enright served as the group director of marketing and communications for BoardSource, a project manager for the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation, and communications specialist for Lexmark International. In 2007, Ms. Enright received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the George Washington University Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, a public administration honor society. She holds a bachelors degree in English from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s of public administration from The George Washington University.
Ms. Enright co-chaired the Vision Design Group of the United Philanthropy Forum (formerly the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers) and has served on the advisory boards of The Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness. She previously served on Independent Sector’s Building Value Together Committee and the selection committee of the Washington Post Nonprofit Excellence Award.
Ms. Enright speaks and writes regularly on issues of non-profit and grantmaker effectiveness at national and regional gatherings of executives and trustees.
Director of Public Policy
Matthew L. Evans is the Forum’s Director of Public Policy. Evans brings to the Forum more than 14 years of public policy, government relations, and external affairs experience. Before joining the Forum he served as Director of Public Policy & Special Projects for the Southeastern Council on Foundations in Atlanta, where he has worked to ensure the legislative and regulatory success of the philanthropic sector in the South.
Prior to that, he was Senior Manager, Government Relations for SmithBucklin in Washington, D.C., where he directed the legislative and regulatory affairs efforts of multiple clients from a diverse group of industry sectors. Most of Matthew's professional career has been shaped in Washington, D.C., having held multiple positions that gave him direct experience in working with elected officials, corporate groups, and associations, where he led advocacy efforts for several national organizations. He currently sits on the Public Policy Committee of Independent Sector. Evans holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Tennessee State University.
Adam Meyerson Distinguished Fellow in Philanthropic Excellence
Joanne Florino is The Philanthropy Roundtable's Adam Meyerson Distinguished Fellow in Philanthropic Excellence. She is also a consultant to The Atlantic Philanthropies Archives at Cornell University. Ms. Florino previously served the Roundtable as vice president of philanthropic services, and also as senior vice president for public policy.
Ms. Florino has worked in philanthropy for over 30 years. Previously, she was executive director of the Triad Foundation in Ithaca, New York, from April 2003 through March 2013. She was also executive director of the Park Foundation and a program associate at The Atlantic Philanthropies.
Ms. Florino served as a strategy committee member for the Alliance for Charitable Reform from 2006 until 2013, chaired the public policy committee of Grantmakers Forum of New York, and served as a member of the Ethics and Practices Committee of the Council on Foundations. She currently serves as a board member of the Legacy Foundation in Ithaca, New York, the Network of Enlightened Women, the New York Council of Nonprofits, and the Paleontological Research Institution.
Ms. Florino earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in American history from Cornell University.
Darrin Goss, Sr.
Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina
Tiffany Gourley Carter
National Council of Nonprofits
Executive Vice President
Lisa Gilbert is Public Citizen’s executive vice president. Previously, Lisa served as Public Citizen’s vice president of legislative affairs, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and deputy director of that division. She is a strong advocate of government transparency and integrity, financial reform, civil justice and consumer protection.
Lisa has built and managed large coalitions of progressive groups. She founded and co-leads the 100-plus member Not Above the Law coalition, designed to push back on the Trump administration’s rule of law abuses; founded the 160-member Declaration for American Democracy coalition, which successfully pushed for passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) (a raft of democracy reforms); and runs the Clean Budget Coalition, a 120-plus member coalition that has helped keep poison pill policy riders out of the budget.
Lisa has been named one of D.C.’s top lobbyists by The Hill and an under-40 rising star by Washington Life Magazine every year since 2017.
Prior to joining Public Citizen, Lisa was the democracy advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, where she focused on good government, ethics and campaign finance reform. She also worked as a campaign director who organized outreach campaigns to pass legislation on social justice and environmental issues for organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, Sierra Club and Environment Washington.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Darrin is a leader across sectors, including government, nonprofits, higher education and private industry. Before joining Coastal Community Foundation, Darrin worked as President & CEO of Capital Area United Way in Baton Rouge, LA and Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Greenville County. Darrin participated in The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Institute in 2010 and is a Class of 2018 Liberty Fellow. He serves on the boards of MDC, Inc. in Durham, NC and the Lowcountry’s Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative. In his spare time, Darrin enjoys reading, writing and playing golf. A U.S. Army veteran, Darrin received his undergraduate degree from Wofford College and his masters from North Greenville University.
Tiffany Gourley Carter is the Policy Counsel at the National Council of Nonprofits and works to advance the public policy priorities for the nation’s largest network of nonprofits. Working in all three levels of government and all three branches of government, she tracks and spots trends of policy threats and opportunities for nonprofits. Tiffany covers a broad range of issue areas, including taxation, budget and spending, employment, government grants and contracts, advocacy rights, and regulations.
Tiffany moved to Washington, DC from Honolulu in 2016 and has experience with state associations of nonprofits – the Hawai`i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, nonprofit law enforcement from the Hawai`i Office of the Attorney General, and policymaking in the Hawai`i State Legislature where she was a Legislative Attorney. A native of small-town Western Pennsylvania, she earned her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado and her law degree at the University of Hawaii, receiving the CALI Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Organizations. In her free time, Tiffany loves surfing, skiing, traveling the world, and chasing after adventure with her husband and pup.
Nathanson & Hauck
University of Chicago Law School
Director, Policy Development and Analysis
Allison Grayson joined Independent Sector as director of policy development and analysis in 2013, where she develops public policies to increase the capacity of nonprofits to fulfill their missions. Prior to joining Independent Sector, Allison served as a legislative analyst with the Administration for Children and Families, where she worked with Congress to support $23.5 billion in federal programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start, and the Social Security Block Grant. Her experience with state and local nonprofit organizations began in in 2003, working with state nonprofit associations in Minnesota and Alabama on sector-wide issues. She then joined United Way, where she led coalitions that secured $11 million in federal funding to prevent chronic health conditions, delivered 4,600 services in one day to people experiencing homelessness, and served 10,000 Hurricane Gustav evacuees. Allison holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota. When she is not crusading on behalf of nonprofits, you can find Allison painting, hiking with her husband D.J., and pursuing her Ph.D. in public policy at George Mason University.
Megan Hauck has spent her career shaping public policy and advising officials at the highest levels of government. She has developed a unique skill set combining in-depth knowledge of policy, Senate procedure, and the complex budget process.
Prior to launching Nathanson+Hauck, Megan served most recently as Health Policy Advisor to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). She worked directly with members of the Republican Conference to develop health policy addressing Medicare, Medicaid, and FDA reauthorization. Megan was the chief architect of the Senate Republican Conference strategy on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
From 2005 to 2007, Megan served as a Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to President George W. Bush. She advanced the President’s agenda on Capitol Hill with respect to legislation arising in the Senate Finance (health and welfare), Budget, Health Education Labor and Pensions, and Agriculture Committees, and guided several key appointees through the confirmation process.
Professor of Law, Ronald H. Coase Research Scholar
Daniel Hemel’s research focuses on taxation, nonprofit organizations, administrative law, and federal courts. His academic work has appeared in the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Journal of Legal Analysis, National Tax Journal, NYU Law Review, Supreme Court Review, Tax Law Review, Texas Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, and Yale Law Journal, and has been cited by the US Supreme Court as well as the Ninth Circuit and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. His op-eds and other writing have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, Politico, Slate, TIME Magazine, and Vox. He also has provided on-air legal analysis for CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.
Daniel graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and received an MPhil with distinction from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He then earned his JD from Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. Before joining the University of Chicago Law School faculty, he was a law clerk to Associate Justice Elena Kagan on the US Supreme Court. He also clerked for Judge Michael Boudin on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Sri Srinivasan on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and served as visiting counsel at the Joint Committee on Taxation. He has held visiting professorships at Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School.
Council on Foundations
Director of Public Policy and Advocacy
Guided by a passion for advancing opportunity, equity and inclusion for all communities, Meredith connects with and collaborates across Philanthropy Northwest’s broad network to strengthen the sector’s leadership and advocacy work on public policy issues.
A fourth-generation Seattleite, Meredith brings a decade of experience in public policy, legal advocacy, cross-sector coalition-building, and engagement with diverse communities to her role as Senior Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy at Philanthropy Northwest. Meredith began her career in Washington, DC, as an attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a national civil rights organization. She also helped lead policy initiatives for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. After returning to the Northwest, Meredith most recently was a partner with the VENG Group, a Washington, DC-based public affairs firm, working with non-profits and civic leaders around communications and advocacy strategies. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and law degree from the University of Washington.
She is admitted to practice in Washington and the U.S. Supreme Court. Meredith enjoys spending free time traversing old haunts and discovering new places, especially coffee shops, in the many Seattle-area neighborhoods she considers home. She is also an avid Seahawks fan and loves the connection that brings with so many different people across the region. Go Hawks!
Director, Government Affairs
Jenn Holcomb is the Council on Foundations' Director of Government Relations. Prior to joining the Council, Jenn worked at 1,000 Days, a D.C. based non-profit focused on the nutrition, health and wellbeing of moms and young children in the critical 1,000-day window. As Director of U.S. Advocacy and Policy, she led the organization’s domestic policy, research and advocacy efforts. Prior to 1,000 Days, Jenn worked on a range of policy issues both on Capitol Hill as well as state government. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Senior Vice President & Chief Policy Officer
Danette Gerald Howard, Ph.D. is senior vice president and chief policy officer at Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on increasing student access and success in postsecondary education. Howard oversees several of Lumina’s key strategies to increase Americans’ attainment of high-quality postsecondary degrees and credentials, including strategic work in both state and federal policy and efforts to leverage states as the drivers of credential attainment. She also leads the Foundation’s Equity First efforts to embed racial equity and justice in all aspects of Lumina’s strategic work and operations.
Prior to joining Lumina, Howard served as Secretary of Higher Education in Maryland, leading the state’s postsecondary education coordinating agency, the Maryland Higher Education Commission. As secretary, she oversaw Maryland’s statewide financial aid program, approved new academic programs and institutions seeking to operate in the state, and advised the governor and legislators on higher education policies and initiatives.
A nationally regarded analyst and thought leader, Howard previously served as director of research and policy analysis at the Maryland Higher Education Commission. She also held positions as the assistant director of higher education policy at the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., as a researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, and as a student affairs administrator and admissions counselor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Howard earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Howard University. She also received her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her Ph.D. in higher education policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2015, she was honored for her outstanding success and national distinction in the fields of education and policy with Howard University’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.
Howard currently serves as a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, and as a trustee of the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Senior Vice President for State Fiscal Policy
Nick Johnson serves as Senior Vice President for State Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C-based research and policy institute. He directs the Center’s State Fiscal Policy division, which works to advance equity, accountability, and economic opportunity through stronger state budget and tax policies.
Over his more than 20-year career as a researcher at the Center, Johnson has written extensively on a range of state fiscal policy issues. He also serves as an advisor to the members of the State Priorities Partnership, a network of independent state-level policy organizations.
In 2004 Johnson was awarded an Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy and served as an advisor to the New Zealand Treasury and the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, conducting analysis of that country’s programs of tax relief and cash assistance for low-income families.
In 2014 Johnson was named to the Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50. In 2010 State Tax Notes magazine named Johnson to its “All Decade State Tax Team.”
Vice President of Programs
Edward Jones is the Vice President of Programs and Philanthropic Advising Services at ABFE – A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, where he deeply embraces the organization’s vision. In his role, he leads philanthropic professional development & convening activities as well as supports the design and implementation of the organization’s racial justice and equity program initiatives for over 900+ members and partners across the globe. Prior to joining ABFE, he was the Director of Conference Programming at the Council on Foundations, before joining ABFE. Edward is a founding member of Black Benefactors, a social investment club/giving circle comprised of individuals, local businesses and organizations that are dedicated to addressing the societal ills facing Black people in the DC region. He is also a founding member of Black Philanthropic Alliance and board member of Us Helping Us, People into Living, Inc. a regionally-focused HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, overall health and well-being organization. Jones also serves as a board member with Weissberg Foundation. He serves on the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers Racial Equity Working Group, an active member/volunteer of Zion Church in Maryland and founding member of its Justice League. Edward is a commissioner of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Serve DC Commission for volunteerism. Born in Los Angeles, Edward is a graduate of the University of Akron, OH and long time resident of D.C.
Director, Public Policy and Government Relations
Ben Kershaw is Independent Sector’s director of public policy and government relations, where he works to advance a policy agenda that protects and promotes nonprofit organizations’ ability to serve their communities. Before joining Independent Sector in 2018, he was the director of policy and legislative affairs at the American Alliance of Museums. Ben also served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and to U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, advising them on a wide range of issues including tax and budget policy. He has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and enjoys traveling with his wife and daughter, visiting museums, and watching any New England sports team.
Council of Michigan Foundations
David L. Thompson
National Council of Nonprofits
Alliance for Justice
Knowledge Insights Expert in Residence
Dr. Brittany Kienker is Principal and Owner of Kienker Consulting LLC and Knowledge Insights Expert in Residence at CMF. Brittany brings more than 10 years of experience in foundations, nonprofits and higher education. Brittany leads Ask CMF, answering hundreds of questions every year from grantmaking organizations across the state of Michigan and beyond. She also supports the curation and development of CMF’s Knowledge Center resources and Sample Documents Hub.
In collaboration with Dr. Eugene Tempel at the Indiana University Foundation and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Brittany developed nationally-recognized research, presentations, and publications on philanthropy, board governance, and best practices in the nonprofit sector, including on behalf of The Fund Raising School at Indiana University. Throughout her career, Brittany has served as both a practitioner and scholar of philanthropy. She has played an integral role in strategic and master planning initiatives, leadership transitions, organizational restructuring, and implementation of best practices in philanthropy at such institutions as the Anthem Foundation, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana University Foundation, Michigan Aerospace Foundation, St. Mary Mercy Hospital, and The Henry Ford. At CMF, Brittany regularly develops cutting-edge educational resources and presentations designed for grantmakers, in addition to generating the annual Midwest Salary Survey Report. Her work has also been featured by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy (GVSU) and the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.
Vice President of Public Policy
David L. Thompson is Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations. The organization is active at the local, state, and federal levels advancing nonprofit policy priorities in the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Through its member state associations and nonprofit allies, the Council of Nonprofits amplifies the voices of America’s local community-based nonprofit organizations, helping them engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions, and achieve greater impact in their communities.
Thompson has served in all three sectors over the course of his career. He practiced law for 17 years specializing in labor relations, employment law, government contracting, and subsequently directed federal and state advocacy for a government relations firm. He served in the public sector from 2001 to 2007 as a Senior Counsel and as Policy Director to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, notably as Counsel to the Pension Protection Act conference committee. Those experiences have served him well in guiding advocacy efforts for the network of the National Council of Nonprofits. He was honored as one of the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 for 2019 and 2020.
David Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a law degree from the University of Georgia Law School.
Director, Bolder Advocacy
Abby Levine serves as Director of the Bolder Advocacy Program at Alliance for Justice. She provides legal guidance that encourages grantmakers to support advocacy and other nonprofit organizations to participate in policymaking decisions through an understanding of federal tax and election law. Abby’s work includes creating curriculum, teaching workshops, providing technical assistance, writing plain-language legal guides, and describing federal legislative and regulatory developments that impact nonprofits.
Prior to joining Alliance for Justice in 2004, Abby served as the Public Policy Analyst at the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA). At NCNA, Abby monitored and analyzed issues affecting the nonprofit sector, such as challenges to nonprofit tax exemptions and advocacy, state budget cuts, government grants streamlining, and corporate governance.
Before working at NCNA, Abby was an associate in the tax department at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio.
(B.A., American University; J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law)
Arizona Grantmakers Forum
The California Endowment
President and CEO
Laurie serves members through strategic leadership of Arizona Grantmakers Forum, creating and sustaining relationships with aligned philanthropic, nonprofit and community partners. She works closely with the Public Policy Committee and board of directors to elevate Arizona philanthropy’s voice through public policy advocacy and community engagement.
Before joining Arizona Grantmakers in 2015, Laurie worked to improve policy outcomes for Arizonans for more than 25 years. She began her career as a research analyst for the Arizona House of Representatives before joining the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, where she served as senior vice president of public affairs and as president and chief executive officer, among other roles. In 2014, Laurie was a Washington, D.C. correspondent for Cronkite News, producing more than 30 stories covering politics, immigration and Indian affairs for Arizona news media outlets.
Laurie has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Mass Communication degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is active in United Philanthropy Forum and is a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Cover Kids Coalition and the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits Policy Council.
Senior Program Manager
Margarita Luna joined The California Endowment in June 2007. As Senior Program Manager for the Eastern Coachella Valley under TCE’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative, Luna manages a grant portfolio focused on improving community health through community engagement in policy/advocacy and systems change.
Prior to joining The Endowment, Luna served as a Keck-Vivian Weinstein Child Advocacy Fellow and Senior Social Worker for Public Counsel, Pedro Zamora Fellow with AIDS ACTION, and many other positions advancing the health and well-being of the most underserved.
Luna earned her B.A., M.P.H. and M.S.W. from UCLA. Luna is also a Certified Professional Coach and lives in San Dimas with her husband and two young sons.
Dr. Michael McAfee became President and CEO of PolicyLink in 2018, seven years after becoming the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. His results-driven leadership, depth of knowledge about building and sustaining an organization, and devotion to serving the nation’s most underserved populations made him the obvious choice to lead the 20-year-old PolicyLink as Angela Glover Blackwell transitioned to founder in residence.
During his time at PolicyLink, Michael has played a leadership role in securing Promise Neighborhoods as a permanent federal program, led efforts to improve outcomes for more than 300,000 children, and facilitated the investment of billions of dollars in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty. He is the catalyst for a new and growing body of work — corporate racial equity — which includes the first comprehensive tool to guide private-sector companies in assessing and actively promoting equity in every aspect of their company’s value chain. Michael carries forward the legacy to realize the promise of equity — just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
Michigan Nonprofit Association
Nathanson & Hauck
Ann is the Executive Director of the Agua Fund. She has focused on conservation with an emphasis on protecting water resources for more than two decades. From 2009 to 2017 she served as Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she oversaw the Natural Resources Conservation Service and collaborated with farmers, ranchers, federal and state leaders, and other partners to restore large ecosystems across the nation. In that role, she also served as co-chair of the National Drought Resilience Partnership. She has held senior positions at American Rivers and with U.S. Senator Tom Daschle and California Lt. Governor Leo McCarthy. Most immediately Ann has served as a senior fellow at The George Washington University Sustainability Collaborative and Food Institute. She earned a BA in Political Science from Tufts University and an MPA from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School.
President and CEO
Donna Murray-Brown is the president and CEO of Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), a statewide membership organization dedicated to serving the diverse nonprofit sector through advocacy, training, technology services and civic engagement. Murray-Brown is the driving force behind MNA’s strategic direction and operations.
Prior to being named president and CEO in 2013, Murray-Brown served as director of the Metro Detroit Partnership Office and senior director of capacity building at MNA where she led a successful strategic alliance program for arts and culture organizations in metro Detroit and led the merger negotiations of four organizations to create the Belle Isle Park Conservancy. She also attracted national program partnerships and investments to the region including New York-based National Urban Fellows and Wisconsin-based Public Allies.
Additionally, Murray-Brown was vice president and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) director for Charter One Bank, where she developed and executed strategy for CRA compliance. She helped strengthen the company's business and corporate citizenship with key partnerships of more than 100 civic and community-based organizations.
Murray-Brown is the past chair for the National Council of Nonprofits, and vice chair for the Board of Trustees for Detroit Public Television. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on December 18, 2019 for a term that will end on December 31, 2026. Murray-Brown was also named to the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees in December 2019 for a term that ends in 2026.
Melanie Nathanson has two decades of experience advancing health policy priorities in the public and private sectors.
Before launching Nathanson+Hauck, Melanie was a Managing Director at The Glover Park Group, with responsibility for the firm’s health care government relations practice. She provided strategic planning and public policy counsel to clients on a range of health related issues, secured inclusion of key provisions in legislation, administered and bolstered coalitions, and advanced strategic alliances with legislators, their staffs, and influential outside organizations.
Melanie was a leading policy expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, first as a Senior Health Policy Analyst, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP issues, and later as the Director of the group’s Federal Budget Initiative. Between her two stints at CBPP, Melanie was the Administrative Director for Strategic Planning and Public Policy at Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida.
On Capitol Hill, Melanie served as Senior Policy Advisor for Health and Income Security to Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. She also was a senior legislative assistant to Representative Sandy Levin (D-MI), covering health, human resources, and social security issues before the House Ways and Means Committee.
National League of Cities
The Heinz Endowments
The Center for Effective Philanthropy
Miki S. Noguchi is a connector... of dots, people, and ideas. She focuses on the risks and opportunities at the intersection of global business, security, and development. Miki helps entrepreneurs and organizations think creatively about responsible policy and program design, investment, and engagement to promote stabilizing growth in emerging and frontier markets. She is a program manager at National League of Cities and senior consultant at impl.project, which provides data-driven solutions for international development. Miki holds a Master of Public Administration in Development Practice from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in International Service from The American University in Washington, DC.
Grant Oliphant has been President of The Heinz Endowments since 2014 and has been a positive force in philanthropy and public service for nearly three decades. A leading proponent of the idea that philanthropy must be vocal in the defense of its values, he has written and lectured extensively on issues of equity, race and social justice, and championed principles that address critical community and societal issues in Pittsburgh and beyond.
Following a six-year term as President of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Grant joined the Endowments where he reshaped the foundation’s grantmaking around three key strategic areas based on the core ethos of a ‘just community,’ supporting commitments and initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all.
Under Grant’s leadership, the Endowments refocused its work on advancing a sustainable and equitable future, locally and globally; creating equitable opportunities that benefit families and individuals, especially those living in vulnerable neighborhoods; and building a culture of engaged creativity for all citizens.
Naomi Orensten, Director, Research, leads research initiatives at CEP. She speaks about CEP’s research at regional and national conferences, facilitates workshops about effective funder practices, and has co-authored reports such as Foundations Respond to Crisis, Policy Influence: What Foundations are Doing and Why, and The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective.
Prior to this role, Naomi was a director on CEP’s Assessment and Advisory Services team, in which she led relationships with funders using CEP’s assessments and customized advisory services, and supported foundation staff and leadership on topics related to philanthropic effectiveness.
Previously, Naomi worked as a nonprofit and philanthropic consultant, providing clients with a range of evaluation, strategy-planning, and capacity-building services that helped programs and organizations reach their goals. Her professional experience includes serving in program and grantmaking roles for a number of nonprofit organizations in the fields of education, human services, and civic engagement. Naomi also brings experience working in the Jewish community.
Naomi holds an EdM in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA from Brandeis University. She serves on the board of an international human rights nonprofit, volunteers with a career coach/mentorship program for first generation college graduates (of which she is one herself), and is a member of a nationwide giving circle. Naomi grew up on the shores of Lake Superior in rural northern Wisconsin and currently lives in Cambridge with her spouse and their two sons. She enjoys hiking, baking, a good cup of tea, and is often chasing after two surprisingly fast kids.
Maggie Gunther Osborn
United Philanthropy Forum
The Brookings Institute
Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer
Maggie Gunther Osborn is a seasoned social sector practitioner with more that twenty-five years of experience holding positions from across the entire continuum of philanthropy and leadership. She is known for her presentation skills, direct and sharp thinking, generosity and sense of humor. Ms. Osborn currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer and Sr. Vice President of United Philanthropy Forum. She joined the Forum in July 2016 after serving as President of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.
Before joining the Council, Osborn served as Vice President of the Florida Philanthropic Network, Grant Director for the Conn Memorial Foundation, Vice President of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and Chief Development Officer for The Florida Aquarium among other posts following an early career in the designer fashion industry. MGO Partners, Osborn’s consulting firm from 1998-2013, provided training and capacity building support to the social purpose sector acting as a liaison between grassroots organizations and grantmakers.
Maggie holds a master's degree in Leadership & Philanthropy from Antioch University and a BA from Notre Dame of Maryland University, where she was a Morrissy Scholar. She is a member of the Washington National Cathedral Racial Justice Task Force and the Nonprofit Vote Leadership Council and serves as a mentor and resource to many.
Senior Manager, Public Policy and Advocacy
As an Indian immigrant from Zambia, Ankita has had exposure to social and economic inequities affecting people, families and communities. She has dedicated her career to transforming public policy and advocacy efforts to addressing those inequities so that community leaders and communities can create bold visions for change and work towards making a sustainable impact. Ankita brings her life experiences, a law degree from Seattle University School of Law and over a decade of experience working on various issues including gender-based violence, poverty alleviation and immigrant justice to her role as Philanthropy Northwest’s senior manager of public policy and advocacy. Her strong leadership, team-building and relationship skills have allowed her to successfully build collaborative cross-sector partnerships and engage closely with communities to improve systems and create safe, thriving environments. In addition to her work with Philanthropy Northwest, she is currently appointed as a commissioner for the City of Seattle’s Immigrant and Refugee Commission and serves on the Board of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center.
Ankita enjoys photography and was featured as one of the top five South Asian artists at the Seattle Asian Art Museum in the 2010 South Asian Film Festival, Tasveer. She recently took up snowboarding and is constantly humbled by 5-year-olds who magically find ways to stay upright.
Andre M. Perry is a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a scholar-in-residence at American University, and a columnist for the Hechinger Report. He is the author of the book Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities, which is currently available wherever books are sold. A nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education, Perry is a regular contributor to MSNBC and has been published by The New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, TheRoot.com and CNN.com. Perry’s scholarship has been featured on HBO, ABC, CNN, PBS, National Public Radio, NBC and in the Wall Street Journal. His research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. Perry’s recent scholarship at Brookings has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment.
His research has spotlighted the struggles of Black businesses—including artists and art institutions, restaurants, and barbershops and beauty salons—as they await federal relief from COVID-19’s economic impact. In education, he explained how college campus closings put housing-insecure students at risk during the pandemic. He's also written on the unrealized value of teachers’ work that’s been made apparent by COVID-19, and has commented on the potential loss of Black teachers as a result of an impending recession.
Chynna A. Phillips
Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
University of California – Riverside
Director of Policy
Chynna A. Phillips, MSW, MPH, leads the Foundation’s public policy and advocacy work, collaborating with leadership to strategically set policy priorities and bring awareness to systems-level poverty drivers. Chynna provides hands-on support to and interaction with community, state and national stakeholders. She is a member of the Foundation’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which is charged with leading internal and external activities that hold the Foundation accountable for the intentional deepening of knowledge and commitment to practice in this area. Also, Chynna leads the South Carolina Statewide Kinship Care Council, which raises awareness on the challenges kinship families face.
Chynna serves as an advisory board member for the South Carolina Collaborative on Race and Reconciliation, is a national advisory group member for Generations United, and serves as the chair of the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee for the City of Columbia. Chynna received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Xavier University, and she received her Master of Public Health with an emphasis on Health Service, Policy and Management and Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina.
Professor and Associate Dean School of Public Policy
Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside, and founding director of its Center for Social Innovation. He has published many articles and 7 books, including most recently, Citizenship Reimagined (Cambridge, 2020) and Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016). He has written dozens of opeds and has appeared in over 1,000 news stories. Ramakrishnan was named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently working on projects related to racial equity in philanthropy and regional development. He holds a BA in international relations from Brown University and a PhD in politics from Princeton.
Ramakrishnan serves on the Board of The California Endowment and the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, chairs the California Commission on APIA Affairs, and serves as director of the Inland Empire Census Complete Count Committee. Ramakrishnan directs the National Asian American Survey and is founder of AAPIData.com, which publishes demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Vice President for Advocacy and Public Policy
Sue Santa is one of the nonprofit sector’s leading experts on advocacy, policy, legislative and regulatory issues. Her knowledge of policy, government relations and law is broad and diverse, with professional experience in for-profit, nonprofit and government. She currently consults several nonprofit and for-profit clients on a wide range of issues policy, strategic design and leadership issues. Sue joined the faculty for the M.S. Nonprofit Management, School of Professional Studies, Columbia University, in 2016 as a part-time lecturer. She co-designed and teaches Nonprofit Policy and Advocacy and co-developed a new workshop series, Nonprofits & Election 2020: Policy and Advocacy in Action during the National Election Cycle, that will run from November 2019 through early 2021.
Sue served as Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal affairs at the Council on Foundations, where she provided executive leadership, vision and oversight for its strategic public policy agenda. She also oversaw the Council’s legal team, ensuring close coordination between legal and policy work.
Prior to joining the Council, Sue was senior vice president for public policy at The Philanthropy Roundtable, where she led efforts to expand philanthropic freedom and enhance discussions of charitable giving and public policy.
Before her work with philanthropic organizations, she spent nearly a decade with NASCAR/International Speedway Corporation, working on government relations, legal and business development. Sue practiced law at a leading D.C. law, government relations and lobbying firm. Her first experience in Washington D.C. was on the staff of United States Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and she retains her standing in the New Mexico Bar.
Congressman David Scott (D-GA)
House Agriculture Committee
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Senate Agriculture Committee
Urban Swirski and Associates
Chairman, House Agriculture Committee
Congressman David Scott (GA-13) was approved by the Democratic Caucus to serve as the first African American Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. The committee is empowered with legislative oversight relating to the U.S. agriculture industry, forestry, nutrition, and rural development.
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee,” said Congressman Scott. “I was born on my grandparents’ farm in rural Aynor, South Carolina, during the days of segregation, and the hardships, of those, on whose shoulders I now stand. I owe this historic selection as the first African American Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to a diverse coalition of members from across our nation. And I will use this critical opportunity to represent the values of our entire caucus and advance our priorities for trade, disaster aid, climate change, sustainable agriculture, SNAP, crop insurance, small family farms, specialty crops, and rural broadband. The fault lines dividing our rural and urban communities are running deep, and climate change is now threatening our nation’s food supply. As Chairman, I will lead the fight to rise up and meet these challenges.”
Congressman David Scott has served as a Member of Congress and the House Agriculture Committee since 2003. In his various leadership roles on the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman Scott has chaired the Subcommittees on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit as well as Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Scott played a key role in ushering through the three last Farm Bills, including by serving as a conferee, securing critical disaster aid for our farmers, strengthening the food and nutrition programs that help our families, seniors and school children and securing $80 million for new scholarships for students attending 1890 African-American land-grant colleges and universities.
Chairwoman, Senate Agriculture Committee
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow made history in 2000 when she became the first woman from Michigan elected to the United States Senate. She is known for her ability to build coalitions to get things done for Michigan and our nation.
As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Budget Committee, and a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, she has a powerful and unique role to play in shaping our nation’s health care, manufacturing, infrastructure, environment, and agriculture policies.
Senator Stabenow is laser focused on standing up for Michigan families, expanding affordable health care and lowering the costs of prescription drugs, helping Michigan businesses create good jobs here at home, and protecting our Great Lakes and outdoor heritage. She is a true champion for Michigan.
Ms. Sandra Swirski is an attorney with almost three decades of public policy experience. Ms. Swirski advised two senior U.S. Senators, was an executive at Mobil Corporation, counseled multinational clients at EY, and founded two government affairs firms in Washington, DC, including Urban Swirski & Associates.
Her practice focuses on advising Fortune 500 executives and leaders of nonprofit organizations on federal, state, and local advocacy, strategic positioning, crisis communications advice, and political strategy direction.
She is a frequent guest speaker both nationally and internationally on public policy and political strategy, and is a regular contributor to Wealth Management, recently receiving the Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award as part of the 2018 Burton Award for Distinguished Writing. Ms. Swirski and co-author Mr. Alexander Reid, partner at Morgan Lewis were honored for their article, “Tax Reform May Harbor Some Surprises for Non-Profit Boards,” which was published by Wealth Management in July 2017.
Ms. Swirski holds law degrees from Georgetown University and George Washington University and an undergraduate degree from Emory University. She sits on several local and national boards and advisory councils.
United Way Worldwide
The Generosity Comission
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Senior Vice President and Counsel for Public Policy
Mr. Taylor leads United Way Worldwide’s public policy advocacy strategies, serving as the chief liaison between the United Way network, the United States Congress and the Executive Branch. Additionally, Mr. Taylor’s public policy team works with hundreds of local United Ways to guide their advocacy strategies at state and local levels of government. Focused on building United Way’s grassroots network, Mr. Taylor’s work is integral to United Way’s individual engagement strategy. Mr. Taylor has been with United Way since 2007.
As a member of United Way Worldwide’s senior team, Mr. Taylor is a primary liaison between United Way and the national charitable sector in Washington, D.C. He develops messaging and advocates on behalf of the nonprofit sector, helping to favorably position the sector with the public and lawmakers. He has served on the public policy committee for Independent Sector, as well as the public policy committee for the National Council of Nonprofits. He has previously served on the boards of Nonprofit Vote, the Coalition on Human Needs and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
Prior to joining United Way, Mr. Taylor spent more than 10 years in various capacities as a staff member for four U.S. Senators, most recently serving for two years as General Counsel to then Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE). He was Senior Counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights for six years, and served as Chief Legislative Analyst for the Minority Leader in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from University of New Mexico, and a juris doctor from the University of New Mexico School Of Law. He is licensed to practice law in New Mexico.
As Executive Director of the Generosity Commission, Yvonne guides and supports the work of the Working Committee in preparation for the launch the full Commission. Yvonne has spent more than two decades working across philanthropy, communities, education, business, and government. She is the founder and principal of Proximity, a philanthropic advising firm that works to ensure that the goals and values of people who want to give are well matched to the needs and interests of the people, communities and issues they care about.
Prior to founding Proximity, Yvonne spent nineteen years in a variety of roles within Microsoft Philanthropies. Most recently, as the director of global programs for Microsoft Philanthropies, she was responsible for global strategy, programs, and partnerships across more than 40 countries. Before joining Microsoft, Yvonne worked in the nonprofit sector, with a focus on youth development.
President & CEO
Marcus F. Walton joins GEO with over a decade of practice in both nonprofit management and the ontological learning model. He specializes in operationalizing conceptual frameworks; racial equity facilitation and training; leadership and management strategy; stakeholder engagement; program development and navigating philanthropy.
In his previous role as Director of Racial Equity Initiatives for Borealis Philanthropy, Marcus lead the Racial Equity Initiatives team and worked in partnership with 18 nationally-networked, philanthropy-serving grantee organizations to move past the “transactional” nature of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to a unified movement which prioritizes strategies that close gaps in access to opportunity, resources and well-being (across all categories of gender, identity, sexual orientation, class and ability).
Before that, Marcus served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), where he oversaw its operations, HR and staff development functions, including the overall strategy, conceptualization and administration of racial equity programming. Prior to ABFE, he combined his organizing experience and passion for public service in the role of Program Officer of Community Responsive Grantmaking with the Cleveland Foundation and Sr. Program Officer with Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
Marcus is a Newfield Network-trained ontological coach, with additional training in the Action Learning systems coaching model. He promotes coaching as a tool for personal mastery, racial equity & systems change, social sector excellence and transformation within marginalized communities.
Marcus received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Bowling Green State University and has continued graduate studies in public administration at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Public Policy as well as Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership
Southern Education Foundation
US Program Director
Ted Wang is the Director of Unbound Philanthropy’s US Program. Before joining the foundation, Ted had a public policy consulting practice, advising a mix of foundations, advocacy organizations, and elected officials. From 1990 to 2004, he worked at two nonprofit organizations, Chinese for Affirmative Action and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Ted litigated discrimination and voting rights cases and drafted local and state laws promoting immigrant rights, racial justice, and small business development.
Among the recognition he received for his community work include the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus’ Legislative Hero Award and the Asian American Bar Association of the Bay Area’s Outstanding Leadership to the Legal Community Award. Ted received his bachelor’s degree from Reed College and his law degree from Yale Law School. Ted is originally from Taipei, Taiwan.
Director, Community Data and Research Lab
Jeff Williams joined the Johnson Center as the director of the Community Data and Research Lab (CDRL) in February 2020. In this role, he leads a team of researchers, evaluators, database experts, and web developers who provide insights into nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and activities. With expertise in operations, strategy, data analytics, and public policy, Jeff is passionate about connecting data to people to action. He oversees CDRL’s annual research agenda, as well as relationships with partner organizations and communities. Jeff also serves as a member of the Johnson Center’s leadership team.
Previously, Jeff served in executive leadership roles at a nonpartisan public policy firm, Public Sector Consultants, and at Michigan Saves, a nonprofit dedicated to making energy improvements easier. He currently serves on the boards of directors for Michigan Virtual, the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, and the Capital Region Community Foundation. He is also a member of the Research Advisory Network of the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Michigan State University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He holds professional certifications in project management (PMP) and information systems security (CISSP).
Chief of Staff & Director of Leadership Development
Kenita Williams joined the Southern Education Foundation in 2017 and serves as the Chief of Staff and Director of Leadership Development. In her role, Kenita works to strengthen existing programs, leads on key strategic initiatives/new pathways for impact, supports the President & CEO in the development and management of organizational strategy and operations, and represents SEF’s values and efforts to key external stakeholders and the public. Additionally, Kenita oversees SEF’s leadership development portfolio, creating and managing a cadre of fellowship programs and resources designed to cultivate a constellation of change agents to enact policies and practices that lead to a more equitable education system throughout the South. Kenita brings a wide range of knowledge and critical experience to SEF, having held positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Over the course of her career, Kenita served as the Partnerships Manager for Atlanta Public Schools, Senior Program Manager for Public Policy at the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF), spent several years as a consultant for JFM Consulting Group, and worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative correspondent for then-Senator Barack Obama. Kenita is also a Teach for America (TFA) alumna and spent three years teaching third-grade in Atlanta.
Kenita earned her B.A. in Political Science and History from Yale University, her Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan–Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and a teaching certificate from Georgia State University. She is doctoral candidate earning a Doctor of Education from Johns Hopkins University.