Arielle Brousse

Grading and Project Feedback

Arielle Brousse is a nine-year veteran of the Philadelphia nonprofit scene, with her work focusing on development and donor communications. She believes strongly in the efficacy of using storytelling principles to connect philanthropists with causes and projects that appeal to them, encouraging a sense of organizational stewardship. She currently serves as the Assistant Director for Development at Kelly Writers House, and as a Teaching Team member for the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy; prior to that, she worked at The Franklin Institute as a Grantwriter and Development Communications Coordinator. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a volunteer with Philly Give & Get, the secretary of The Spruce Foundation, and a 2014 Penn Social Impact Fellow. In her spare time, Arielle enjoys yoga, knitting, talking up the importance of children’s books, and especially telling and hearing stories.

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Jay Gilman

Grading and Project Feedback

A graduate of Penn’s Nonprofit Leadership M.S., Jay Gilman is currently Associate Director for Programs & Productions at Philadelphia Young Playwrights. Using his interdisciplinary background as a theatre director/producer and social entrepreneur, Jay has blended social impact and theatre-making through fellowships, staff positions, and as a consultant and freelance artist for the last decade. He serves on the executive committee of the alumnae/i association board of Goucher College, and is a nominator for the 2017 Theatre Philadelphia Barrymore awards.

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Jennifer Ginsberg

Grading and Project Feedback

Jennifer Ginsberg earned her master’s degree in nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her social work degree from The Catholic University of America.  She has experience in direct-service, research, and program management in the U.S., South America, and Asia. While at Penn, Jenny carried out a Fellowship through which she received training and mentorship in creating compelling, solution-based journalism within the social sector.  She currently works for the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, an immigrant workforce and economic advancement organization.  Jenny teaches Yoga in and around Philadelphia, plays music, and enjoys the great outdoors!

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Erica Sokol

Grading and Project Feedback

Erica was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. Erica has vast experience serving in variety of leadership roles within nonprofit organizations, such as Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, Camp Boggy Creek, and Cancer Support Community Greater Miami. She most recently served as the Director of Internal Operations at Global Medical Training, helping to arrange student medical mission trips to Central America. Erica is also the founder of StudentsCare, a nonprofit organization which provides support to hospitalized children.

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Marta Michelle Colón

Alumni Mentor

Innovative Entrepreneurial Strategist and Diversity Inclusion Driver focused on large-scale social impact with vast experience in Government, Business, For-Profit Social Enterprise and the Non-Profit sector.

Founder of Buena Gente – a leading performance driver consulting group, that enables individuals and organizations to achieve greater success by building their performance skills, optimizing productivity, and improving competitive advantage. Buena Gente has impacted over 100 clients representing more than $3 billion in revenues combined in the corporate, academic, and government sectors. Interventions include: identifying opportunities in the areas of: creating organization culture to drive diversity, accountability, performance; human capital development; sustainable strategic planning; business retention and continuity; internal and external customer experience; and audience development.

In the private sector, Mrs. Colón has specialized on program design and development to drive positive customer experience, leading systematic change initiatives, and identifying new business opportunities. She has established non-profit and for-profit social innovation programs promoting self-economic sustainability, as well as funding strategies, raising over $50M.

Her passion is to serve as mentor and sponsor for businesses in the start-up phase. Collaboration is focused on robust planning development and visibility strategies for market penetration, resulting in sustainable, economic moats and significant growth for companies. These success stories have fueled the spark to found AccessLatina, the first multi-market accelerator for Latina entrepreneurs to enable their economic potential by opening new channels to capital, knowledge and resources. She is also actively involved in angel and impact investing serving as a Managing Director at Golden Seeds and a Mentor at the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Marta Michelle has also served in numerous Boards and Advisory Boards for private, government, and non-profit organizations; judged many entrepreneurship competitions including Project American Dreams from Home Shopping Network; and keynoted over 300 conferences.

Earlier in her career, she dedicated fifteen years to establishing service programs in the federal, state, and municipal government to promote efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability. Mrs. Colón completed doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology, concluded an Executive Education Program of Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania, was selected Scholar at The Aspen Ideas Festival and is a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

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Eli Eleff

Alumni Mentor

Eli Eleff specializes in nonprofit and social impact administration, having worked and volunteered in higher education and community-based organizations. Currently he serves as Head of Consumer Relations at OU Kosher, the world’s largest kosher certifying agency. OU Kosher (a nonprofit agency) maintains a global presence in over 90 countries, certifying some 10,000 manufacturing facilities and over 1 million products. Eli also serves as an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership at a New York-based university system, teaching students and providing nonprofit organizational consultation services.

Eli holds a BA in communal studies, an MS in Educational Leadership, an MBA in Marketing and Finance, and a certificate in Social Impact Strategy. He has also done an advanced fellowship in community and cultural operations.  Eli sits on the board and committee of several nonprofit and professional organizations, including the New York Chapter of the American Marketing Association, of which he is a founding member of their mentorship program. Eli is also a proud alumnus of UPenn/CSIS’s 2016 Executive Cohort.

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Susan Grossman

Alumni Mentor

For the past twenty years Susan has worked closely with university faculty, students, community organizations, government, and business leaders, to launch and sustain university-community partnership initiatives. She is a professional educator, community engagement specialist, and strategic leader. Susan is currently Director of the Centre for Community Engaged Learning at the University of British Columbia. Prior to UBC she worked at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland Law School, and Reed College. She holds a Bachelors in History from Kenyon College, a Masters in Education from the University of Michigan, and a Certificate in Social Impact Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.

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BT Irwin

Alumni Mentor

Apprentice and student of Jesus Christ. Husband. Father. Pilgrim. Citizen in business. Learning and teaching how to do good better. My best work should happen after I’m gone.

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Christopher Waters

Alumni Mentor

Christopher Waters is currently the program manager for the Urban Affairs Coalition’s Community and Economic Development Department. He is a native of Wilmington, DE. Chris has earned a BA in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a MS in Public Administration from Wilmington University, where he is an adjunct professor in the College of Business. Chris has a background in political outreach and strategy, nonprofit leadership and program implementation. He continues to serves on multiple boards and leadership positions including Stepping Stones Federal Credit Union, Peer Grant Reviewer for the Corporation for National and Community Service and has advised the White House’s My Brother Keeper Initiative through Public Allies’ Black Male Achievement Initiative.

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Ariel SchwartzAriel.Headshot

Postdoctoral Fellow and Director of Learning, CSIS

At CSIS, Ariel is devoted to making sure that students get the most out of the Center for Social Impact Strategy’s Executive Program. She works on curriculum development for the Executive Program and the Center’s Coursera courses, and is a research mentor for Penn Impact Lab. Ariel’s research focuses on how grassroots social sector organizations can make good use of donor-funded computing technology. During her dissertation data collection in 2013 Ariel was based at the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research, India, to study ten Indian deployments of a mobile application to groups of female community health workers. Previously, Ariel was Research Development Specialist at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), and Program Manager at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, both at Columbia University. In 2008 Ariel co-founded Maria’s Libraries, a US-based not-for-profit organization striving in Kenya for information access and social, political, economic, and cultural development through community libraries. Ariel received her BA and MPA from Cornell University, and her PhD from the University of Texas.

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Debi Spindleman

Social Entrepreneurship Coaching

Debi Spindelman is a capacity development enthusiast, former professional surfer, and California native based in Key West, Florida.

She comes to CSIS from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs where she produced hundreds of consulting projects in international development with social enterprises, incubators, international and local NGOs, multilaterals, and governments. Before that, Debi consulted on projects ranging from literacy capacity development in the Dominican Republic, to community education training in Tanzania, to advising the government of Nepal on nutrition governance.

She holds degrees in public administration, development practice, anthropology, and women’s studies. Debi is passionate about connecting ideas, people, resources, and needs– and high quality chocolate.

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Lindsay LitowitzLitowitz PSIH

Social Entrepreneurship Coaching

Lindsay has 12+ years experience directing organizations focused on social innovation. She earned a Masters of International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University with a focus on Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development.

She is an active member of the ROI Community for Global Innovators, a n Ashoka-American Express Emerging Innovator and an active member of the TEDx community having produced events in Jerusalem, at the United Nations and at Columbia University. Previously, she was the Director of Strategic Communications for Jerusalem Venture Partners and built the first NEXT office in South Florida, working with young adults to create sustainable micro-communities.

Lindsay co-founded Terranga, a social enterprise connecting travelers to locals for unique, off-the-beaten path experiences – supporting dreams along the way. She is currently working with CSIS to bring their innovative models of convening and social impact education to the world. She is an alumna of the Center’s programs, as the first Penn Social Impact Fellow from Columbia. She facilitated the partnership between Penn and Columbia while serving as a Social Enterprise Special Advisor at her alma mater for the successful Penn-Columbia Social Impact House.

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Dr. Ezekiel Dixon-Román

Faculty, Data Science for Social Innovation

Ezekiel Dixon-Román, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and chairs a new Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate. Dr. Dixon-Román’s research rethinks and reconceptualizes the use of quantitative methods from a critical theoretical lens (broadly conceived), particularly for the study of social reproduction in human learning and development. Dr. Dixon-Román co-edited Thinking Comprehensively About Education: Spaces of Educative Possibility and Their Implications for Public Policy (Routledge) and is the author of the forthcoming Inheriting ImPossibility: New Materialisms, Quantitative Inquiry, and Social Reproduction in Education (University of Minnesota Press). He is currently working on two book projects: Handbook of Critical Inquiry and Quantitative Methods and Measurement, Data, & Society.

Jed Emerson

Faculty, Impact Management

Originator of the concept of Blended Value,  Jed  has  extensive  experience leading,  staffing,  and  advising  funds,  firms,  social ventures,  and  foundations  pursuing  financial performance with social & environmental impact.



Dr. Peter Frumkin

Founder & Faculty, CSIS

Peter Frumkin is Mindy and Andrew Heyer  Chair  in  Social  Policy,  Director  of  the  Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership Program, and Faculty  Director  of  the  Center  for  Social  Impact  Strategy,  all  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania.  His  research  and teaching  focus  on  nonprofit  strategy,  philanthropy,  and  social  entrepreneurship.  He  is  the  author  or  co- author of six books, including Strategic Giving: The Art  and Science of Philanthropy, On Being Nonprofit, and  Serving Country and Community.

Dr. Femida Handy

Faculty, Ethics and Social Impact

Dr Femida Handy is Professor of Nonprofit Studies at the School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania. She currently completed her six-year term  as the Editor-in-Chief of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the leading journal in the field. Dr. Handy obtained her PhD in 1995 from York University, Toronto. Her dissertation received the 1996 Award for excellence from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). Dr. Handy publishes on topics in the nonprofit sector including philanthropy and volunteering. She is a four-time award recipient from three journals for ‘best research paper of the year’ award. More recently her co-edited book The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy was selected for the Virginia A. Hodgkinson Research Book Prize. Recent contributions to the area of philanthropy include a co-authored book Philanthropy in India: Promise to Practice (2016), and she is currently co-authoring a book on Ethics for Social Impact.

Eileen R. Heisman, ACFRE

Faculty, Nonprofit Fundraising

President and CEO of National Philanthropic Trust, Eileen is a nationally  recognized  expert  on  charitable  and  planned  giving. She was named in 2011 and 2014 by Nonprofit Times  among  the  Power  and  Influence  Top  50,  an  annual  listing  of the 50 most influential executives in the philanthropic sector.

Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson

Faculty, Community & Collaboration

Senior Advisor to the Kresge Foundation, consultant to national and regional foundations and government agencies, and Obama appointee (2013) to the National Council on the Arts, Maria is an expert in the fields of urban planning, comprehensive community revitalization, and arts and culture.


Dr. Sherrie A. Madia

Faculty, Introduction to Social Media Strategies

Associate Vice President,  Communications at New Jersey City University, and former Executive Director of Communications, External Affairs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Lecturer at Wharton and Drexel, Sherrie’s most recent book is The Social Media Survival Guide for Nonprofits and Charitable Institutions (2011).

Sara Olsen

Faculty, Impact Management

Founder and CEO of SVT Group, an  “impact  accounting  firm”  whose systems  have  been  used  to  account  for  the  social  and  environmental  value  of  some  $9Bn  in  assets since 2001. Sara was recognized twice by Bloomberg BusinessWeek  as  one  of  America’s  Most  Promising Social  Entrepreneurs.  Sara  holds  professorships  at  Hult  International  Business  School  and  the  Monterey  Institute  of  International  Studies,  where  she  teaches social  impact  assessment  and  management  for  entrepreneurs and investors.

Jim Rosenberg

Faculty, Marketing for Social Impact

Founder of Workbench Services, Jim works  with  mission-driven  organizations on  innovation,  strategy,  and  new  ventures  for nonprofit  and  commercial  organizations,  including startups,  mission-driven  nonprofits,  and  Fortune  500 corporations.

Nadya Shmavonian

Faculty, Nonprofit Governance

An independent consultant who served  as president of Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), vice president for strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation, and executive vice president and director of administration at The Pew Charitable Trusts, Nadya provides strategic direction and counsel to private foundations and nonprofit organizations. She was awarded the Kathleen McDonald Distinguished Alumna Award from Wharton Women in Business in 2011.


Suzi Sosa

Faculty, Business Models for Social Enterprise

Co-founder and CEO of Verb, Suzi has been involved in the social entrepreneurship space for more than 10 years. She has advised hundreds of start-ups, non-profit and for-profit companies, led the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, taught courses in social entrepreneurship, and has been Founder and President of MPOWR.