Meet the Students!
Adela Poudratchi is an international development professional experienced in program and grants management of community stabilization projects. Currently based in Islamabad, Pakistan with the International Organization for Migration, Adela designs and manages small grant activities awarded to local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in the sectors of peace-building, civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, and livelihoods. Previously she has worked with international and local NGOs in Washington DC, Iran and Yemen. Her passions lie in economic empowerment programming for women and youth. Adela studied International Relations at Florida International University.
Placentia, United States
Professional athlete turned social entrepreneur, Alex is passionate about creating opportunities for innovation and social impact through productive collaborations. She is determined to use the grit, hustle, perseverance, and competitive drive she learned in the professional golf world to impact change in her communities.
Alexey is a managing director at the Eurasia Competitiveness Institute (ECI), not-for-profit think and action tank with the team located in Brussels and Moscow, and a partner at Strategy Partners Group there leads Public Sector Practice. For the past decade, he has participated in advisory engagements and research and multi-stakeholder policy initiatives with focus on competitiveness, economic & social development and public & social sector productivity issues. He has worked with sub-national (regions and city level) and national government organizations, international organizations, leading business associations and private companies on regional & city economic development strategy; cluster/ sector competitiveness; entrepreneurship & SME policy; industrial park & free economic zone; technology & Executive Program 2016 Cohort innovation policy; social sector productivity. He coordinates the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Program in Russia. He was also advising international organization, including World Bank, UNCTAD, and OECD. He is co-founder and board member of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, a new global network of leaders from competitiveness councils around the world.
Alia Poonawala is of mixed Swiss and Indian origin and joined the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in 2013 as part of the Maternal Infant and Young Child Nutrition team, bringing more than 10 years of experience in increasingly responsible roles in marketing, global brand management, advertising development and sales both at Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. At P&G, Alia was most recently Market Development Manager for North and West African expansion models. She also designed and implemented social marketing campaigns in Water and Sanitation while working for PSI in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. During her academic career, Alia received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Psychology from Princeton University, USA and earned a Marketing and Communications degree from ESCP-EAP, France. At GAIN, Alia now leads the fundraising, design and supports the implementation of infant and young child health promotion campaigns, innovative delivery models and women empowerment projects across multiple countries, with a special focus on South East Asian geographies.
Philadelphia, United States
Alyssa Thomas is currently the manager of Kiva Zip Philadelphia for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce, where she has been responsible for the launch and development of the program among many stakeholders. Prior to this role, she studied International Business and Marketing at Qunnipiac University where her extracurricular activities included a microfinance conference hosting Muhammad Yunus, a microlending trip to Nicaragua, and a research paper on Corporate Social Responsibility. She is joining the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy to bring planning, measurement, and accountability into the social endeavors she is involved in.
Amy E. Dahm
Washington, D.C., United States
Amy Dahm is a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. State Department and was selected by State as an American Political Science Association (APSA) Fellow. While serving as a Press Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs, she briefed the Spokesperson daily on U.S. government policy positions regarding European issues, including Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe. She advanced the Secretary of State’s visits overseas and worked in the Department of State’s Operation Center. Ms. Dahm served as the Assistant Public Affairs and Political Officer at U.S. Embassy Nicosia in Cyprus and as ViceConsul at U.S. Embassy San Jose in Costa Rica. Before joining the State Department, Ms. Dahm worked for eight years as an international business consultant with such firms as Bain & Company in the areas of technology, aerospace, and energy before earning her MBA from The Wharton School.
Wenatchee, WA, United States
We provide affordable housing solutions by acquiring and operating multifamily assets that outperform industry returns on a risk adjusted basis.
Anne L. Chamberlain
Brooklyn, NY United States
Anne Chamberlain manages faculty and staff recruiting, diversity, and equity programs at The City University of New York, the nation’s largest public urban university system. Previously, she was a management consultant in corporate change and information technology at major global firms. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University (BA/Music) and New York University (MBA/IT) and holds professional certifications in IT, Human Resources, and Compensation. She is also an avid writer and photographer and sits on the board of the NYC Sierra Club Photography Committee.
Provo, UT, United States
Arturo holds a degree in Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic. His previous experience includes development-based research, project evaluation, and secondary development programs in Latin America, SE Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. Arturo was also an Arabic instructor at BYUs department of Near Eastern Languages. Ultimately Arturo hopes to engage in postconflict development efforts in war-torn areas of the MENA region.
Austin, TX, United States
Austin serves as Executive Director at College Forward, where he is responsible for executing the organization’s strategic plan and longterm vision. Austin joined College Forward in 2010, where he developed and managed program services for firstgeneration college students, including launching an oncampus peer mentor program. Between 2011 and 2013, Austin served as Director of Strategic Growth. Under his management, the strategic growth team developed a custombuilt student information system (now called “CoPilot”), revamped College Forward’s business model, and formalized strategic partnerships with high schools, colleges, and other community-based organizations. Austin is excited to explore strategies with other social entrepreneurs to create lasting change for our nation’s first-generation college students.
Flushing, NY, United States
Eli has many years’ experience advising clients in both the food industry and the nonprofit sector. Currently, he serves as a senior executive for OU Kosher (the world’s largest kosher certifying agency), as well as program director of the Nonprofit Leadership MBA program at Touro University. A firm believer in community involvement Eli is an active member of the New York American Marketing Association, where he is a director of their mentoring program, and is also actively involved in several local nonprofits. When not engaged with all of above, he is busy spending time with his family, learning new things, reading, and coaching his son’s little league team. Eli is passionate about empowering community-based and nonprofit organizations.
Versatile, goal-oriented graduate from three-year joint-program from UCL and LSE: Mechanical Engineering with Business Finance. Has balanced a demanding academic background, with early hobbies of playing piano, singing, and music composition. Interests include art history, literature, screenwriting and filmmaking. Fitness and yoga enthusiast.
New York, NY, United States
Catherine Sun is a freelance copywriter, enthusiastic traveler, yogi, lover, and maker. The majority of her days are spent freelancing at advertising agencies, but hopes to change that soon with a shift into a social impact career. She sits on the board of the nonprofit, Art Start, volunteers with the nonprofit, Human Needs Project, and has founded and operated a small business. She is passionate about figuring out ways to provide education and basic resources to children in developing countries. She’s always taking classes to appease her curious nature, most recently with a glass blowing class. Catherine graduated in 2006 from Boston University’s College of Communication, and like every other breathing being in the world, loves dogs and ice cream.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
As president and founder of Green Dandelion Marketing and Sales, Inc., Cherron has demonstrated her aptitude of the natural industry by partnering with exceptional brands. These collaborations have proven to be to an industry success working with natural product distributors, chain and local stores. For the past 11years, she has lead help direct her midAtlantic team in sales. She is a respected speaker, advocate, and educator of plant base nutrition with a focus on organic, Fair Trade and biodynamic. Cherron enjoys Bikram Yoga and running marathons with her husband and two daughters in Philadelphia.
Cindy Work Abell
Austin, TX, United States
Cindy is a nonprofit strategist who loves working with changemakers of all stripes. She has assisted a variety of nonprofits for over 15 years in Austin, Texas and has been an active board member and strategist with I Live Here, I Give Here since 2010. In that role, she has helped bring innovative online charitable giving tools to Central Texas resulting in over $16M in donations to over 500 local nonprofits. After graduating from UT Law school she worked in telecom and environmental legal/policy positions with the federal government in DC. Family and the good life drew her back to Austin to raise her kids and give back to help her favorite community be a better place for all its citizens. She is excited to see the growing commitment to real solutions to some of our challenges and the range of new tools available to today’s problem solvers.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Claire Robertson-Kraft is the Director of Operation Public Education and a professor at the Fels Institute of Government and the Applied Positive Psychology Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and consulting work focuses on evaluating the implementation and impact of new policies and programs in urban schools. Claire is also very active in the Philadelphia civic community, serving as the Board Chair of Russell Byers Charter School, Co-Founder and President of PhillyCORE Leaders, and on the boards of Youth Build Philadelphia, Leadership Philadelphia, and the Sunday Breakfast Club. Previously, she worked as a third grade teacher and program director supporting elementary and special education teachers with Teach For America. Claire holds a BA in Urban Studies and Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Education Policy, both from the University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not teaching or helping organizations measure their impact, you can find her at a Fins swim practice, biking on Kelly Drive, or eating out at one of the many delicious restaurants in her South Philly neighborhood.
Le Mont-sur-Lausanne, Switzerland
Claudia is a very dynamic Engineer with a strong interest in learning about positive social impact creation in practical terms. Born in Argentina, she completed her Bachelor degree in Systems Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering in Internetworking after moving to Canada. Her professional life has so far been in the corporate world and she’s very experienced in project and people management. She currently lives in Switzerland.
Detroit, IL, United States
David Chang graduated from Parsons School of Design in 2004. He has experience in product/furniture design, global sourcing, global marketing strategy, international trade and campaign activation. He currently lives and works in Detroit, MI. And is also a graduate student at the Oakland University with a MBA concentration in entrepreneurship. David is attending the Social Impact Strategy program to learn about social impact concepts, industry business best practices, meet students/professionals with similar shared interest and learn how to design social impact strategies so that the basics for living can reach more people, where business do more for the good of the people and work without harm to the planet.
McLean, VA, United States
‘Lola is a Senior Technical Advisor within the US Agency for International Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS, where she manages programs and research focused on improving the synergies between children’s health and social services. She has worked in various capacities with civil society organizations, government and multilateral institutions in Uganda and the United States, and advises several community based organizations. Her professional interests lie in developing, assessing, and scaling community interventions that effectively mitigate adverse childhood experiences and improve children’s health and developmental outcomes; and in improving coordination with the private sector to achieve these goals.
Ellen Rosner Feig
Nyack, NY, United States
Ellen is currently an associate professor of Composition and Literature at Bergen Community College in NJ where she also runs the Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation. In 2013 she founded Get BoxED, Inc. which creates educational systems for those without access to traditional schools. She is a reformed attorney and former television development executive who is determined to change the world of education.
New York, NY, United States
Emily Watson works at TIAA Charitable, a public charity supported by TIAA-CREF and launched in 2015. As member of the founding team, Emily helped build and launch TIAA Charitable. In her current role she leads the development of proprietary programs, oversees legal and governance matters, and manages executive communications through each stage of business development. Prior to this, she worked at the TIAA-CREF Institute, a think tank within TIAA-CREF, focused on financial security and organizational success in the education, charitable and public sectors. Emily also worked with the Clinton Foundation and Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management group. Originally from California, Emily earned her B.A. and M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Evelyne obtained her Pharm.D degree in 2014, along with her specializations in Industrial & Biomedical Pharmacy, and in Statistics applied to Medicine from several universities in France. During her residency in pharmacy, she completed the master course in Intelligence Marketing from HEC Paris, thanks to which she started to develop special interests to the potential applications of marketing in public health issues. Her extended background in the different private and public institutions of the French healthcare system allowed her to develop deep insights into its organization, and to apply directly her knowledge in marketing to work for a more optimal patient-focused vision. Her current desire is to go further through entrepreneurship, with the aim to help populations in developing countries to reach a safer and easier access to pharmaceuticals.
Florance M. McElroy
Mobile, AL, United States
Executive Director of the Cooper Foundation. Florance is known for her ability to build teams that make significant cultural shifts in both religious and nonprofit environments. A sought after speaker for faith initiatives and capacity building; she continues to use innovation, think tanks and collaboration to strengthen local resources and organizations.
Francis Oliver Asprec
New York, NY, United States
Francis Asprec is a proud Community Development and Education professional who specializes in Outreach and Engagement, Sustainable Partnerships, and Social Media Management. A graduate of both Rutgers University and New York University, he aspires to be a Social Entrepreneur through his deep passion for empowering communities, inspiring people, and promoting social impact. Francis discovered his true passion while working in Asia (Mainland China and Hong Kong) for three years within Higher Education. In early 2013, Francis moved back to NYC with the intention of pursuing a career where he can foster positive social change to communities and people including the youth. Currently, he serves as Director of Community Outreach for Geeks Rule, an NYC-based nonprofit organization that uses STEM as a tool to empower and engage underserved students throughout the tristate area. With this current role, Francis is discovering his greater love for social impact. In the long term, Francis hopes to work within Global Community Partnerships which promotes greater connectivity and collaboration in both America and the World.
After two years working around investment funds and consulting as a young professional, Mr. Rojo has embarked on a personal journey to work for people, improve society and follow his passions. Now he has switched to social enterprise and is currently working at a private Foundation coordinating an international programme on social entrepreneurship with more than 12,000 projects funded and 4,000,000 people impacted. Adrenaline addicted, he loves action sports and challenge himself. The best quote to describe him: “Never stop exploring.”
Fulvia Morales Velazquez
Mexico City, Mexico
Fulvia is a Community Relations Manager at Citigroup-Banamex – where she leads social entrepreneurship and youth employment projects. Previous to this role, Fulvia was part of the Strategic Planning team within Citigroup-Banamex, leading strategic business projects for Mexico and Latin America. Additionally, she worked with Vittana and Grameen Foundation to launch the first commercial student microloan in Ecuador. Fulvia is a StartingBloc Fellow and has worked in the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship fields for five years. She holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey.
New York, NY, United States
Hayley Droppert is a public health professional working as an access strategy consultant for major pharmaceutical clients. Her work focuses on expanding patient access to her clients’ infectious disease portfolio of products in low-resource settings, namely subSaharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. Prior to her current role, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, and worked with several NGOs including PATH and Malaria No More. Hayley has a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s from Tufts University.
Ignacio Inda is a bilingual investment banking professional with over 10 years of experience in La Paz, London, Madrid and New York financing and restructuring renewable energy and infrastructure (water and transportation), agribusiness and other projects. His emerging markets banking experience -mostly in Latin America- is complemented with an early trajectory as a strategy consultant for Internet start-ups and as a non-profit corporate fundraiser. Ignacio’s education includes a master’s degree from Columbia University, funded through a two-year Fulbright scholarship, and a six-year degree -equivalent to MSc/BSc- in Industrial Engineering from Universidad Pontificia Comillas’s ICAI engineering school in Spain. Throughout these years, Ignacio has striven to build a set of professional and inter-personal skills that would help him make more impactful contributions to the social sector. He is at this point of his career considering devoting part of his free time to the launching of social ventures in the fields of peer-to-peer financing in post-emergency contexts, involving refugees and other populations with restricted access to financial services.
Chapel Hill, NC, United States
Isa Watson is the Founder and CEO of Envested, a philanthropic platform targeted to the millennials. Prior to this role, Isa was a Vice President of Strategy at JPMorgan Chase; during her time at JPMC, she held strategy and business development roles across various lines of businesses including Asset Management, Consumer, Business Banking and Risk in both New York and Hong Kong. Before joining JPMC, Isa worked at Pfizer both as a research chemist and as a clinical trial strategy analyst. Isa earned an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Sloan School of Management, an MS in Pharmacology from Cornell University and a BS in Chemistry from Hampton University. In 2015, Isa was named top 40 under 40 in finance by the Toigo Foundation. In her free time, Isa enjoys traveling, playing piano and volunteering. She is the youngest-serving member of the MIT Sloan Executive Alumni Board and the Chairwoman of the Doval and Theresa Watson Foundation.
Itamar is an executive in the Israeli Ministry of Finance, where he acts as director on behalf of the government on the boards of 9 state-owned corporations. Itamar holds a BA in Cognitive Science and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Ella.
Jacob L. Fohtung
Cambridge, MA, United States
Jacob hopes to make a significant impact in the political and socio-economic statues in developing countries by incentivizing community inclusiveness in political processes; improving public health and infrastructures; and leveraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
Jeffrey C. Jones
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Jeffrey Jones is the BMe Community Manager in Philadelphia and CEO and founder of Greater Days Ahead, Inc. (GDA). GDA is a lifeskills training and professional development company that provides unique inspirational presentations, workshops and seminars on leadership and community development. These services help youth, families and adults transform their lives for the better. As BMe Community Manager, Jeffrey is the lead networker and organizer of the local BMe Community in Philadelphia. Jeffrey has also co-authored a book of daily devotionals called “Words of Encouragement”. He’s the current Vice President of Education at his local Toastmasters International Club in Philadelphia.
Jordana De Leon
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Jordana De Leon is originally from Manila, calls Washington, DC her home, and is now based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. For the past 10 years, Jordana has worked in public health HIV/AIDS programs. She is currently working at the U.S. Embassy, implementing the Executive Program 2016 Cohort U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the U.S. Government’s international HIV/AIDS program. Prior to this, she worked for PEPFAR for 8 years at the U.S. State Department, supporting global PEPFAR programs. Jordana has an MPH from the George Washington University. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Jordana is also an entrepreneur. In 2011, she founded Uncommon Jane Pearls, where she brought pearl jewelry from the Philippines to the U.S, allowing her to stay creative and connect back to her Philippine roots. Jordana is excited to be a part of the 2016 Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy. She plans to apply what she’ll learn to the social impact space in Manila, where she is moving back to in the fall of 2016.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Kate is a passionate leader with more than ten years’ experience serving as a youth mentor. She specializes in teen leadership training and engagement, volunteer management, and creating partnerships with other organizations working to change the world. Kate earned her B.A. in History from Saint Joseph’s University and credits her Jesuit education for providing her with more opportunities to learn, lead, and serve. She is currently in her fourth year as Program Director for Spark the Wave, a nonprofit organization that uses innovative educational programs to empower teens to be stronger volunteers and community leaders. Kate is looking forward to using the skills and tools of the Executive Program to help the students she serves increase their community impact. She was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs and currently lives in Philadelphia, PA.
Katrina M. Harrell
North Carolina, United States
Katrina Harrell is committed to the economic and personal development of women in poverty the US. She believes in the leadership potential in women of color in the US who live in communities under-served by opportunity and resources. Katrina has over 15 years of corporate, entrepreneur and non-profit experience which has led her to advising and mentoring women business owners all over the United States, write three best-selling books as well as serving in AmeriCorps leading community development initiatives that directly impact under-served communities. Katrina is a graduate of Saint Peter’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is a proud mother of two children. She currently resides in North Carolina.
Stamford, CT, United States
Liz Calby was born and raised in Darien, CT. She attended Dartmouth College and graduated with a degree in Government, a minor in Spanish and was a member of the Dartmouth Women’s Lacrosse team. Liz has spent the last year in the Financial Management Program at GE Capital as an FP&A Analyst. Liz is interested in pursuing opportunities in the non-profit sector and using her background to improve the global standard of financial literacy.
New York, NY, United States
Lyka Sethi is a Silicon Valley native turned Manhattan transplant working as a Brand Strategist at an NYC-based media planning agency. A graduate of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, she is fascinated by the intersection of profitability and altruism and believes that shared value is the way of the future. After gaining experience with large corporate clients like A&E Networks and Capital One Bank, Lyka is eager to develop her understanding of trends and challenges within the social sector. In her free time, she loves to learn languages, travel and volunteer with local organizations.
Detroit, MI, United States
Malia is a Social Innovation Fellow at the Skillman Foundation in Detroit. Previously, she worked at PwC doing global tax structuring for several years and interned at start-up microfinance organization in Honduras during college. Malia has a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Maria G. Arroyo
Garden Grove, CA, United States
Maria G. Arroyo is the Executive Representative at Miracoli Furniture, Inc. As the spearhead of the organization, she has focused on restructuring the company to become one based on excellence with more efficient systems of execution, enhanced product quality and most importantly, has transformed the company to
Executive Program 2016 Cohort become one that raises awareness in regards to environmental impact. Every year, her company saves thousands of pounds of metal from going to landfills in the State of California, as they recycle and refinish patio furniture at some of the lowest prices in the market without ever compromising the quality of their products. Maria has also taken part of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) as one of the youngest entrepreneurs in her cohort. She is also a proud alumna of University of California, Berkeley where she graduated with a major in political science and a minor in English literature.
María Beis Pachiarotti
María is always looking for new experiences. She comes from a very small country in South America called Uruguay, where there are more cows than people. She studied TV production, advertising, corporate communications and Design Thinking in Uruguay, Argentina, Ecuador and The Netherlands. Her grandmother called her when little “la hormiguita viajera” which means “the little traveling ant”. She is looking for a career change and social challenges are what she wants to focus on, using what she knows and her communication skills. She loves to work with entrepreneurs and teach at the university where she graduated from. She loves to travel and learn from different cultures. She speaks fluently 3 languages, plays the piano and dances tango. She was raised in a farm, has a big family and a dog called Coqui. She strongly believes that economic change and poverty overcome can be achieved if more people trusted they could become successful entrepreneurs.
Marika is a Canadian non-profit Marketing and Communications Manager with a background in international development, ethical product certification, and children’s rights. She also has a keen interest in environmental issues, gender equality and responsible consumerism. The documentaries “The Corporation” and “The Story of Stuff” changed her life. Marika speaks English, French and Spanish.
Marta Michelle Colón
San Juan, PR, United States
Founder of Buena Gente, a platform to promote competitive advantage, optimizing professional & social skills, positive attitude, and success. A passion is to serve as mentor, sponsor, and “connector” for Latina entrepreneurs in the start-up phase, fueling the spark to found AccessLatina, the first multi-market accelerator for Latinas to enable their economic potential.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Matt Sanner was born and raised in a big family in Indianapolis, Indiana. He gained small business experience working in his father’s Jiffy Lube franchise throughout high school and credits his father with instilling in him the drive and adaptability of an entrepreneur. Matt graduated from Princeton in 2013 with a degree in Comparative Politics, but his “AHA!” moment came in his Junior year when he took a class called “Special Topics in Entrepreneurship- Ventures to Address Global Challenges”, taught by John Danner. While at Princeton, he captained the Men’s soccer team and was a member of the University Cottage Club. Following graduation, Matt played professional soccer in Sweden and Malaysia. Today he works in Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley where he continues to develop his passion of Impact Investing. Matt is as comfortable in an outhouse as he is in a penthouse and is a lover of country music, Indiana sports and chance encounters with extraordinary people.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Matti Perilstein is an experienced management consultant with diverse experience leading key strategic, change, and operational initiatives for organizations with complex business issues. Matti has delivered exceptional business results within the public health, health plan, and life sciences sectors of the healthcare industry. She has worked extensively in designing organizational change strategies, analyzing customer feedback, and defining business readiness. In addition, she excels at developing performance management metrics to track adoption of change and in helping organizations navigate through the delivery of training and communications to facilitate organizational, process, and technology changes. Matti is passionate about creating healthy cultures in the workplace. At Vynamic, a Healthcare Industry Management Consulting firm, she is responsible for team engagement through the planning Thrive Live events with the purpose of cultivating a contagious company culture. Furthermore, she supports health and wellness programs designed to make being healthy (at work and at home) easy.
Lehi, UT, United States
Melissa is Founder and Executive Director for Musana International, a social enterprise that empowers Ugandan women through education and employment in handcrafting jewelry that is sold on the international market. With a Master of Public Health degree, she is particularly interested in the crossroads between health and development and is currently working as an adjunct instructor at both Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University in public health courses. She has implemented health and community development projects in China, Uganda, and India, spending nearly half of the past 5 years abroad. A serial social entrepreneur, she is full of more ideas than could possibly be carried out in one lifetime, but loves the adventure in attempting to.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Meridith Polin is a senior evaluation consultant and previously served as a senior program director at Public/Private Ventures. Ms. Polin prides herself on helping organizations create data driven cultures that inform their strategic decisions. Ms. Polin provides evaluation services, performance measurement oversight, strategic planning supports, and training to a variety of initiatives in the non-profit sector. Ms. Polin also presents across the country on performance management, including lectures at Focus Communities for Change conference, a United States Congressional Briefing, and the American Evaluation Association national conference. Adding to her rich professional background, Ms. Polin also served as the director of research and evaluation at Citizen Schools, and has years of experience working directly with youth. She is a co-author of Using Data in Multi-Agency Collaborations: Guiding Performance to Ensure Accountability and Improve Programs and Collective Ideas to Collective Impact: A Guide to Data Collaborations in Communities. Ms. Polin earned her BBA from Boston University and her Master’s in community resources and development from Arizona State University.
Kailua, HI, United States
Michelle is an entrepreneur with a passion for environmental issues and climate change. She was born and raised in the Philippines, spent her adolescence and adulthood in Vancouver, Canada, and currently resides in Kailua, Hawaii. She is the founder and president of Pure & True, a carbon-neutral organic cosmetics company. She co-developed one of the first LEED for Homes projects in the US, and the first LEED for Homes project in Hawaii. As a volunteer, she is one of the leaders of 350Hawaii and is the Chair of the Green Committee of Le Jardin Academy. Michelle loves being close to nature, playing on the beach and in the ocean with her children; she enjoys heartfelt connection, good food, yoga and meditation.
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Muhamed Bizimana is currently a senior governance advisor at CARE International UK. He has over 13 years of progressive experience in post conflict and development settings in Africa and Caribbean. Muhamed work includes providing technical backstopping to the development and implementation of innovative solutions to access to essential services and productive resources for under privileged people.
Lititz, PA, United States
Rebecca Caplan is the Director of Impact and Evaluation for the US PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Charitable Foundation, Inc., a separate, 501c3 public charity. She is responsible for purposedriven measurement and evaluation for learning and strategic decision making as well as for evidence that resources are responsible for the outcomes of joint efforts with NPOs and other charitable, collaborative relationships. Prior to her role in impact and evaluation, she served as the PwC Foundation’s Executive Director in helping to grow the organization’s assets by 60%, and tripling grant making and program-related investments in five years. Rebecca has been an active leader in volunteer activities for many years and serves on the Board of Trustees of CASA of Lancaster, a nonprofit organization that provides a voice for abused and neglected children in Executive Program 2016 Cohort the court system so they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. She graduated from Villanova University with a BA in Business Administration and Chinese and studied at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
San Francisco, CA, United States
Rina is passionate about healing the relationship between people and the environment that sustains us. She is dedicating her career toward solving global conservation issues through systemsscale innovation. Rina holds a Master of Science in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Management from the University of Oxford and is a StartingBloc Fellow. Inspired by the untapped potential of new technologies to empower and mobilize the public, Rina’s Master’s thesis generated original research and innovative conservation methodologies to leverage digital technologies and social networks. She is part of the founding group behind an environmental technology company and is a consultant to environmental organizations, helping to advance their social and digital media presence and accelerate their impact strategy.
Robert Andrews is currently the Executive Director of a not-for-profit organization whose mandate is the development of healthy and economically sustainable First Nation communities through the development of managerial and governance capacity within the communities’ public service. Robert is deeply committed to improving the social, spiritual, physical and economic health of indigenous populations in Canada and the United States. He is a member of the Blackfoot Tribe of Alberta, Canada. His current focus is on understanding the impacts of managerial educational programs on the individual, family and community within indigenous populations. He holds an MBA with Distinction from Cornell University, a BA in Philosophy from the University of Calgary and is a Chartered Professional Accountant & Certified Management Accountant.
Chicago, IL, United States
Roy Rao helps build better products through data metrics and process improvement at Avant, a personal lending technology startup in Chicago. He is passionate to create entrepreneurial communities through social innovation where he is an organizer of Chicago Startup Weekend, an Associate Board member & mentor for Goodcity Chicago and a fellow for Startingbloc’14 & Hive’15. Roy is originally from the Panda Town, Chengdu, China.
Durham, NC, United States
Russ Campbell joined the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in June 2005 and oversees the Fund’s external communication strategy. He also assists the N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center in creating communications strategy and developing marketing content. In 2014, he became the secretary for the Fund’s Board of Directors. He has worked in the news offices at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He holds a B.A. in English from Penn State University and a M.L.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He co-founded the Science Communicators of North Carolina and served as the chair of the NC Network of Grantmaker’s Communications Network.
Phoenix, AR, United States
Russell Goldstein is an Institutional Client Advisor at U.S. Trust, Bank of America with over 18 years of experience. He is responsible for identifying the needs, providing strategic direction, clarity, coordination, advice and solutions to private family foundations and public nonprofits. Russell is certified with BoardSource as a Certified Governance Trainer and has been a Mentor in the Arizona Endowment Building Institute program through the Arizona Community Foundation. Russell is also a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy through The American College. He serves on many boards in the community and is President of The Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona. His other board service includes the Advisory Board of The Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix Fashion Week, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Salvation Army and Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation Committee (Arizona).
Safiya Stephanie Musa
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Safiya Musa is finance and banking industry professional with strong track records of sales, marketing, and customer and public interface accomplishments. Her recognized leadership potential earned her a nomination as a Next Level Leadership Partner (a cohort of young professionals being developed for leadership assignments), as well as one of the Mentors in First Bank of Nigeria. Safiya is currently the Ag. Chief Representative Officer, International Banking at First Bank of Nigeria Ltd Abu Dhabi Representative Office UAE, where she provides strategic leadership, overall guidance and direction in the execution of the functions of the representative office. She’s responsible for promoting and increasing the bank’s visibility in the UAE, and also identifying business opportunities that will result in growth and income for the banking group. Safiya is passionate about youth and community development. She runs an NGO called AFFECT which focuses on Education and Health Care for the less privileged with a friend. She is also a Cancer Awareness advocate, and recently raised funds for the Institute of Cancer Research London.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
In 2009 Sandra founded and currently chairs Generocity Community Alliance (GCA), a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to strengthen Greater Philadelphia’s position as a leader in social innovation and enterprise. In 2015, under a PRI, GCA licensed the rights to publish Generocity.org, the nonprofit’s solutions journalism website, to Technically Media. Since 2003, Sandra has served as a volunteer, co-chair and trustee for several regional nonprofit organizations, which currently include the Paoli Hospital Foundation, the Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia Zoo, Opera Philadelphia, WHYY, The Episcopal Academy and the Abramson Cancer Center Director’s Leadership Council of Penn medicine. Sandra previously applied her finance, marketing and communications skills at Cephalon, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company, at BioAdvance, a statefunded organization dedicated to promoting the region’s biotech economy, and has consulted for Pennsylvania BIO, the statewide life sciences association. Sandra received her MBA magna cum laude from Drexel University majoring in finance and in marketing.
Salai Sangheetha Parthasarathy
London, United Kingdom
Sangheetha Parthasarathy is a management consultant at Accenture, working on digital transformation initiatives for UK’s largest Telco and Retail clients. In addition, she is also involved in various corporate citizenship initiatives and wants to fast track a career in social impact through this program. In her free time she travels, writes fiction and is also a trained Carnatic vocalist.
Scott Del Rossi
Austin, TX, United States
Scott currently serves as College Forward’s Director of Program Design and Evaluation. In this role, he oversees the organization’s major growth initiatives aimed at supporting nontraditional and underrepresented college students on their path to earning a college degree. His current projects include the development of Success Partnerships, College Forward’s social enterprise which partners directly with colleges to provide student support services to their most at-risk students, as well as, developing the Student Portal, a technology platform to help students better navigate their own college experience. Scott holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Philadelphia University. He held several positions as a designer, fabricator, and intern architect before transitioning to his career in the social sector. In his spare time, Scott coaches soccer at a local soccer academy in Austin, Texas.
Philadelphia, PA, United States
Sharon Gallagher is the co-founder and partner of a woman-owned business: Sage Communications, located in Philadelphia. She and her colleagues develop and implement strategic communications plans for nonprofit organizations. Gallagher also manages projects with foundations, city government agencies and departments, as well as for-profits focused on social good/ responsibility initiatives. Prior to creating Sage 13 years ago, Gallagher was a public affairs/communications officer at one of the nation’s largest foundations (now a public charity) – The Pew Charitable Trusts -for 7 years. She also has several years’ experience at ad agencies located in Philadelphia and Providence. Gallagher started her career in the nonprofit sector as a development and communications coordinator for the MS Society. She earned a Master’s in General Administration and Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies, and serves on several boards in the Philadelphia region. She is a volunteer for many organizations and politically engaged. Her #1 concern is addressing poverty. Her biggest accomplishment by far is parenting two awesome daughters.
For the past twenty years Susan has worked closely with university faculty, students, community based organizations, government, and business leaders, to launch and sustain a number of universitycommunity partnership initiatives. She is a professional educator, skillful relationship builder, community engagement specialist, capacity builder, and strategic leader. She believes post-secondary institutions have a key role to play in supporting and mentoring the next generation of changemakers and individuals who are passionate about tackling social problems and are motivated to take action. Susan currently works as Director at the Centre for Community Engaged Learning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In her role she seeks to work in partnership with community to uncover assets, tap into existing energy, and support change already underway. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Kenyon College and a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan.
Susan Langdon Loughman
Campbell, CA, United States
Former Attorney, ExPat (ARG and BRAZIL). Current Educator who spends much of her time in SFO/Bay Area. Current emphasis on personalized learning, deep study/mastery and online learning. Specialties include Home School curriculum design – self learning, college counseling, and Essays/storytelling. Co-Founder along with Tim Loughman of two teens, two dogs and two cats. Perpetual Wanderlust.
New Delhi, India
Suvankar Mishra is a social entrepreneur and Executive Director with eKutir Social Business. He engineers business solutions for social impact by creating a collaborative, ICT-enabled eco-system that allows public, private, and civil society players to participate in designing products and services that address different dimensions of rural poverty. eKutir has impacted thousands of smallholder farmers to increase incomes and secure livelihoods in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Macedonia, and is now responding to demand from Latin America and parts of Africa. The global scaling efforts are led by Suvankar Mishra with a team of Ashoka fellows to nurture partnerships for greater social impact. Suvankar is an engineer from BITS Pilani, Executive alum with Stanford Graduate School of Business, Harvard Kennedy School, Forbes 30Under30 2016 finalist, and table player/enthusiast.
Washington, DC, United States
I remember spending most of my final undergraduate days in the building of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, where I received my BS in Economics and Public Policy. Inscribed on the walls were the words of the Athenian Oath, an idea that would forever teach me an invaluable lesson: “We will transmit this city not only not less, but also greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us. This concept inspired me to learn more about social impact and introduced to me a passion for the intersection of education, technology, and philosophy. As I approach the end of two years into my business analytics and strategy consulting career at IBM, I am searching for opportunities on how I can positively impact the places I go and the people I meet. My dreams include building a school that redefines the education system, writing the score to a Pixar film, and traveling the world. During my free time, I enjoy piano composition, playing basketball, and exploring the great outdoors. I live in Washington, D.C.
William E. Jeffries, III, MCP
Norwalk, CT, United States
A community planner by training, William Jeffries is an innovative strategist and educator with extensive experience in fundraising, strategic and event planning, instructional design, and domestic and international partnerships and program design across the cultural nonprofit and academic realms. He currently serves as director of strategic initiatives at Stepping Stones Museum for Children located in Norwalk, Connecticut. In this capacity he is works with the President and CEO to creatively innovate, connect that innovation to the right investors at the right time, prototype and scale up these new approaches, and evaluate their impact. Mr. Jeffries recently published an article in the Association of Children’s Museum’s “Hand to Hand” Magazine disseminated to an international audience of children’s museum professionals which provided a blueprint for better aligning internal museum operations with increasingly multilateral relationships with funders and stakeholders. Another article that he co-authored was recently published in the American Alliance of Museum’s “Museum” Magazine concerning a model international project funded by the U.S. State Department he oversaw between museums and communities in both Romania and West Virginia.
Yvonne Lau Ribas
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Before joining Center for Collaborative Education in teacher preparation reform work through the Los Angeles Urban Teacher Residency (LAUTR) program, Yvonne Ribas served as a teacher, mentor, adjunct professor, and researcher. For fifteen years, she worked with students who were dual language learners (DLL’s). This valuable experience led her to focus her master’s studies on the education of DDL’s in historic and socio-political contexts, as well as do research on these students’ schooling experience and the beliefs of teachers working with them. She went on to complete required coursework in a doctoral program in Special Education to delve deeper into the topic. With greater understanding of how the public school system does not equitably serve all of its students, Yvonne became involved in school reform work when hired as the Recruitment & Placement Director for a teacher residency program, LAUTR. She has gained expertise in the teacher credentialing process in CA and first-hand knowledge of the challenges in retaining highly qualified teachers in urban schools. Yvonne is committed to improving under-served students’ learning outcomes.