The 2015 Summit has a dynamic list of speakers, including:
Karen Ansara, Ansara Family Fund
Karen Keating Ansara and her husband Jim co-founded the Haiti Fund at the Boston Foundation. In addition, Karen co-founded New England International Donors (NEID), is on the Board of Directors of MCE Social Capital in California, is a member of the Leadership Council of Oxfam America and Steering Committee of Opportunity Collaboration and Advisory Board of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The Ansaras make grants to end global poverty via a donor-advised fund at the Boston Foundation. She also served on the boards of Partners in Health, Essex County Community Foundation, and Harborlight Community Partners, an affordable housing organization.
Caroline Avery, Durfee Foundation
Carrie Avery is President of the Durfee Foundation in Los Angeles, which focuses on leadership by providing fellowships, grants to new organizations and sabbaticals to long-time nonprofit leaders. Prior to this, Carrie practiced law with the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., and with a private firm in San Francisco. Carrie received her B.A. from Stanford, her J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a Georgetown University Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. She is a board member of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, the RGK Foundation in Austin (as a non-family board member), Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and the Berkeley Repertory Theater. She has also served as board chair of Northern California Grantmakers, where she founded the Family Philanthropy Exchange.
Andrew Bentley, Global Health Corps
Andrew, who lives in NYC, is on the Community Impact Team at Google Fiber, Google’s startup high-speed Internet provider. In his role he forms partnerships with local community-based organizations, city governments, universities, and foundations to increase residential broadband adoption in underserved communities. An advocate for health equity, Andrew co-founded Global Health Corps (GHC), a six-year-old nonprofit that trains and mobilizes innovative, young leaders via a fellowship program in six countries to improve health access and outcomes. In 2008 Andrew took a leave of absence from Google to be a Get Out the Vote Field Organizer for the Obama campaign. He graduated from Northwestern University in 2006 and grew up in Madison, WI.
Sam Bonsey, The ImPact
Sam is the Director of Operations for The ImPact, a network of families who commit to make impact investments, track their financial performance and social impact, and share that data with others who have made The Pact. Sam is also cofounder of the 2Seeds Network, an NGO developing a network of community-based businesses in Tanzania. Sam is an active impact investor, and a member of the 100% IMPACT network, a community of asset owners who commit 100% of their assets to sustainable and impact investments. Sam is a member of Keller Enterprises, a family company committed to venture philanthropy and a healthy, sustainable food system in Central Louisiana. Sam was recognized by Forbes as a “30 Under 30” Social Entrepreneur. He graduated from Harvard and lives in New York.
Barbara Bush, Global Health Corps
Barbara Bush co-founded Global Health Corps (GHC) in 2009 to mobilize a global community of young leaders to build the movement for health equity. To-date, GHC has fostered 450 young leaders who believe health is a human right and who take an innovative approach to solving some of the world’s biggest global health challenges. In 2015, Barbara was recognized as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. Previously, she worked at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa, UNICEF in Botswana, and the UN World Food Program. Barbara is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and on the Board of Directors of Covenant House International, PSI, and the UN’s Social Entrepreneurship Council.
Robert Collier, Council of Michigan Foundations
Rob Collier has served as President of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) since 2000, however has been involved with CMF as a volunteer throughout his career in philanthropy, which includes: founding director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, Executive Director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City, Grants Director of the Gannett Foundation and Program Officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. His 33 years of experience covers every type of organized philanthropy and help to Michiganders in creating family and corporate foundations as well as many donor advised funds at community foundations.
Julie Fisher Cummings, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
Julie Fisher Cummings MSSW advocates for responsible policies on health, education, arts, volunteerism, and philanthropy on behalf of women, girls, children, and families. She leads by example through her own philanthropy as founder of Lovelight Foundation, focusing on domestic child sex trafficking, undeserved women and girls, and quality early childhood education for vulnerable children. She has forged effective public-private partnerships and new funding networks across the U.S. through board roles with Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Council on Michigan Foundations, Women Moving Millions, National Center for Family Philanthropy, Corporation for National and Community Service, Southeastern Michigan Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Ms. Foundation, Jewish Teen Funders Network, and Jewish Women’s Foundations in Florida and Michigan, among many others. Bridging academia, public service, and policy reform, Ms. Cummings teaches a graduate course on child policy at the University of Miami.
Tuhina De O’Connor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Tuhina De O’Connor is the Director of Donor Services at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors where she advises families on creating strategies for their philanthropic giving and grant making services. Before coming to RPA, Tuhina worked for 7 years at the Robin Hood Foundation, a large public charity in New York City whose mission is to fight poverty in the five boroughs. Prior to that, she served for 8 years as Executive Director for the New York Asian Women’s Center, a direct service provider of domestic violence services and shelter for Asian women and children. Tuhina actively participates in many philanthropic endeavors, including the Asian Women’s Giving Circle of New York. She is also on the board of the Lupus Research Institute and the Mental Health Association of New York City.
Abigail Disney, Daphne Foundation
Abigail Disney is a filmmaker and philanthropist. Her longtime passion for women’s issues and peace building culminated in her first film Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Abigail created the groundbreaking PBS mini-series Women, War & Peace, the most comprehensive global media initiative ever mounted on the role of women in peace and conflict. She has played a role in many film projects and is currently at work on a film highlighting the key role of women in the Arab Awakening, as well as taking her first stab at directing on a feature-length documentary about the gun culture in America. She founded the Daphne Foundation, Peace is Loud and co-founded, along with 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, the Gbowee Peace Foundation USA.
Kathleen Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Kathleen P. Enright is the founding executive director of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. A national coalition of grantmakers, GEO’s mission is to maximize philanthropy’s impact by advancing the effectiveness of grantmakers and their grantees. Previously, Enright served as the group director, marketing and communications for BoardSource, a project manager for the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation and communications specialist for Lexmark International. She holds a bachelors’ degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s of public administration from The George Washington University.
Robin Ferriby, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
Robin D. Ferriby is the Vice President, Philanthropic Services for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and its supporting organization, the Foundation for Detroit’s Future. The latter is the organization established to administer the “Grand Bargain” arising from the City of Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy. Robin served as a chair of the Foundation Funder’s Legal Committee that negotiated the Grand Bargain with the City, the DIA, Federal Mediators, and other stakeholders and established the Foundation for Detroit’s Future. At the Community Foundation, Robin is responsible for all new gifts, donor stewardship, professional advisor relationships and education, new market and product development, philanthropic planning for individuals, families and businesses, and foundation relationships. Robin is actively involved in legislative and regulatory affairs both at a State and Federal level, as well as numerous foundation and other board roles.
Melinda Fine, NEO Philanthropy
Melinda Fine is a strategic leader of mission-driven national and international initiatives with 30 years of engagement in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. As Vice President of NEO Philanthropy, Melinda helps lead a public charity that aligns and leverages the resources of individual and institutional donors to advance social change – supporting work in women’s rights, racial equity, immigration reform, criminal justice, and more. Previously, Melinda directed the Communities for Public Education Reform Fund, powering equity-focused education reforms through investing $34M from 76 funder partners – including many family foundations. The author of scholarly books and practitioner reports, Melinda’s commitment to progressive philanthropy seeks to blend passion, purpose, and strategic effectiveness. She holds a Doctorate from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Phillip Fisher, Mission Throttle and Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation
Founder of Mission Throttle, Phillip Fisher is passionate about capitalistic solutions to philanthropic impact. As a capitalist and philanthropist, he believes there are innovative and sustainable capital strategies to accelerate community impact. Mr. Fisher’s experiences span both for-impact and for-profit organizations. He is Vice Chairman of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and serves on the board and Investment Committee of The Fisher Group, a single-family office. Mr. Fisher is the Chairman of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a Board member of the Community Foundation and United Way of Southeast Michigan, the Council of Michigan Foundations, the United Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit, among other board roles.
Jason Franklin, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
Dr. Franklin was recently appointed as the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Community Philanthropy, the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy. In this new role, he is developing a program of research, teaching, service, and thought leadership to advance community philanthropy nationally and internationally. Prior to his appointment as the Kellogg Chair, he served as Executive Director of Bolder Giving, which he led through five years of major growth after Melinda Gates credited them as an inspiration for the Giving Pledge. He is also an award winning adjunct professor at New York University; on the boards of the Proteus Fund, Solidaire Donor Network, & 21st Century School Fund; and advisory boards of the Chartered Advisors in Philanthropy Program, WiserGiving, & Credit Suisse’s LGBT Equality Portfolio.
Nelli Garton, LeSar Development Consultants and Wilson Foundation
Dr. Elenore Garton is a Senior Principal at LeSar Development Consultants. Dr. Garton is working to develop an ecosystem approach to impact investing in the San Diego region and to direct more private capital towards the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors. In the past, she has consulted to a variety of clients, and served as a Partner at Keel Asset Managment, a Vice President at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, and a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University. She currently serves on the board of the Wilson Foundation, and is the former chair of the Juvenile Justice Workgroup of the Youth Transition Funders Group and of the Social Justice Philanthropy Collaborative.
Phyllis Glink, Irving Harris Foundation
Phyllis Glink is the Executive Director of the Irving Harris Foundation, a family foundation located in Chicago. Since 1996 she has worked closely with the Foundation’s partners in the non-profit, advocacy, philanthropy, and government communities to ensure that the Foundation’s grants are having optimal impact on the fields of early childhood development, children’s mental health, and public policy. In 2015, Glink became the co-chair of the Governor’s Early Learning Council. She is on the Steering Committee for the Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative, Co-Chair of the BUILD Initiative, and on the Core Advisory Group for the Early Learning Challenge Collaborative. Prior to joining the Irving Harris Foundation, Glink worked for the Chicago Community Trust and the Development Office of the University of Chicago.
Jim Greenbaum, Greenbaum Foundation
“Being a bystander to suffering is not an option,” notes Jim Greenbaum, the Founder and Managing Director of the Greenbaum Foundation. Jim’s approach to philanthropy is one of “Effective Altruism,” combining both the head and the heart while working to end suffering, human and non-human, by funding and assisting nonprofits that are the most effective and cost efficient. Moral philosopher Peter Singer writes in Earning to Give, “Jim has been quite deliberately earning money in order to be able to give money away for longer than anyone else I know.” A full-time philanthropist for the last 16 years, Jim has committed to contributing more than 85% of his assets to charitable projects during his lifetime.
John Hawkins, Surdna Foundation
John Hawkins, a fourth-generation member of the Andrus family who joined the board of the Surdna Foundation in 1999, lives in Strafford, Vermont, and has been a teacher, a cabinetmaker, a wooden toy designer and manufacturer, a software engineer and a college administrator. He also spent several years as a local elected ofﬁcial serving as a Selectman and the Town Moderator. John is a great-grandson of John E. Andrus, who founded Surdna in 1917. He has served on land trust, non-profit technology, community foundation, and environmental education boards in Vermont and New Hampshire and has helped start funder’s groups in both states. John consults to foundations to help them utilize data visualization and mapping tools to evaluate grantmaking and share information.
Annie Hernandez, Youth Philanthropy Connect
Annie Hernandez, Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director for the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation and has led the development of its special project, Youth Philanthropy Connect, which connects youth ages 8-21 involved in philanthropy through their families or a foundation with their peers, and provides educations programs that advance youth involvement in philanthropy and the professional skills of the next generation of philanthropic leaders. Previously, Annie led the next generation efforts and developed the Good Works Connect network of nonprofits in downstate Illinois for The Lumpkin Family Foundation. Annie has been trained by 21/64 and serves on the national board for Learning to Give as well as the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.
Emily Tow Jackson, Tow Foundation
Emily has been involved in philanthropy since joining the Board of Trustees of her family foundation, The Tow Foundation, in 1988. The Tow Foundation, established in 1988 by Leonard and Claire Tow, funds projects and collaborative ventures in fields where there are opportunities for breakthroughs, reform, and benefits for underserved populations. Emily has been The Foundation’s Executive Director since 1994. She has served as chair of the Board of Directors of Philanthropy New York, and currently serves on the Board of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, from which she received the Filer Award for Creative Leadership in Philanthropy. Emily is a graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University where she is also a Trustee.
Miki Kashtan, Bay Area Nonviolent Communication
Collaboration consultant Miki Kashtan has helped people work together better in nonprofits, family foundations, corporations and government agencies, among others. Miki aims to support visionary leadership and shape a livable future using the principles and practices of Nonviolent Communication, which she shares through mediation, meeting facilitation, consulting, retreats, and training for organizations and committed individuals. Her third book, Reweaving Our Human Fabric: Working Together to Create a Nonviolent Future, was published in February 2015. She is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley.
Sarah Koch, Case Foundation
Sarah Koch is Senior Director, Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, the family foundation of Jean and Steve Case. Sarah leads programmatic initiatives for the Foundation, focused on a mission to invest in people and ideas that change the world. Sarah’s work includes leading the Be Fearless campaign – encouraging experimentation in the nonprofit sector – and managing the Foundation’s entrepreneurship and civic engagement portfolios. With a background managing online nonprofit campaigns with Causes.com, Sarah also leads programs related to technology for social good and using prizes and challenges to foster innovation. Sarah earned a bachelor of arts in sociology and Spanish from Luther College. She has worked with Latin American immigrants to the U.S., particularly in the areas of culturally competent education and healthcare.
Maria Jobin-Leeds, Access Strategies Fund
Maria Jobin-Leeds likes to think at the systems level, asking questions about what’s happening upstream that produces so many hungry women and children in this rich country. With others she has launched and nurtured successful high-impact social change organizations to transform our structures, including two family foundations. Access Strategies funds community civic groups to use democracy to create equity by race, gender, and income. Schott Foundation for Public Education supports parents, students, educators, and policy makers together to create educational opportunity for all. Maria is also cofounder of the Jobin-Leeds Partnership for Democracy and Education, and produces “Maria’s List,” which combs the country for champions for public office who will promote bold social and economic policy that is inclusive by race and gender.
Darcel Madkins, PNC Enterprise Risk Management
Darcel Madkins is a Business Analyst for PNC Enterprise Risk Management. Her previous corporate career included positions at Bank of New York Mellon and PNC Advisors. Prior to her current PNC position, Darcel was the CEO of Umoja African Arts Company, a non-profit organization created to promote the indigenous culture of Africa in the United States. She also is Co-Founder of African American Leadership Association, a vehicle to promote, develop, and recognize the network of African American leaders. Darcel serves as a board chair for Community Investment Network, on the board of directors of Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and as a founding member of Sankofa Fund of Southwestern PA.
Cindy Mercer, Planet Heritage Foundation
As strategist and philanthropist committed to results-driven alliance building; Cindy Mercer co-founded Planet Heritage Foundation (PHF). PHF is an entrepreneurial grant making organization focused primarily on climate change, oceans, biodiversity, and sustainable agriculture. PHF’s initiatives include Oceans 5 — a global marine funder’s collaborative aimed at protecting our five oceans, Energy Options Network — a global network of energy sector experts committed to expanding the zero carbon technology toolkit to address climate change at scale, and the Electrification Coalition — a bipartisan alliance of industry leaders committed to facilitating electric vehicles on a national scale. Cindy serves on the board of several NGOs including The Philanthropy Workshop and the Jane Goodall Institute. Since early 1990s, she has managed private foundations, served as an advisor and board member to a variety of charities and has a background in non-profit law, advocacy, and mediation.
Nancy Meyer, Piper Fund Donor
Nancy Meyer has a 35 year history of involvement in the social justice philanthropy community with a special focus on women and girls and civic engagement. She was a co-founder of Crossroads Fund in Chicago, served on the Board of the North Star Fund in New York City, and has participated in a number of collaborative funding programs. SInce 2004, Ms. Meyer has served as a Trustee and is currently Board Chair of the Irving Harris Foundation, a family foundation based in Chicago. Ms Meyer has been involved as a donor with the Piper Fund since 2011. She has encouraged exploration of how gender impacts the work, and has facilitated connections between Piper and the women’s community.
Amir Pasic, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Amir Pasic became dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University in January, 2015. Prior to that, Dean Pasic was vice president of international operations at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), providing strategic leadership for CASE regional offices in London, Singapore, Mexico City, and overseeing CASE activities in Africa and other areas outside of the United States. Previously, Dean Pasic was associate dean for development and strategic planning at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, executive director of the Foreign Policy Institute, deputy vice president for advancement at George Washington University, a librarian at the Library of Congress, deputy director for the world security project of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and held faculty appointments at Brown University’s Watson Institute.
Elizabeth Sak, Cricket Island Foundation
Liz Sak is the executive director of the Cricket Island Foundation a private, family foundation. CIF funds youth-led social change programs nationally with a particular emphasis on emerging organizations that work with extremely marginalized populations. Liz came to Cricket Island 8 years ago after almost two decades of experience running non-profit organizations – from a Beacon School in the South Bronx to an arts and youth-led social change group in Manhattan. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Philanthropy New York and on the Executive Committee for the Just and Fair Schools Fund. She spearheaded an effort to analyze the impact of the recession on social justice philanthropy that resulted in release of Diminishing Dollars for Social Justice Philanthropy in partnership with the Foundation Center.
Surita Sandosham, Synergos
Surita Sandosham is Vice President, Programs at Synergos. She had led the efforts to build and support inclusive partnerships and Synergos networks including the Global Philanthropists Circle, Senior Fellows, and Social Innovators. She previously served as Director of the Partnership for Child Nutrition and was founding CEO of a multi-sectoral partnership to address child undernutrition in India called Bhavishya Alliance. Surita also worked for the Rockefeller Foundation as Associate Director of Working Communities directing the Next Generation Leadership Program, and held previous senior executive positions in leading international human and civil rights organizations including Lambda Legal Defense Fund, Equality Now, and Amnesty International USA. Born and raised in Singapore, she has practiced law in both Singapore and New York.
Jonathan Soros, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation
Jonathan Soros is Chief Executive Officer of JS Capital Management LLC, a private investment firm. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and co-founder of Friends of Democracy, a super PAC and advocacy organization dedicated to reducing the influence of money in politics. Mr. Soros is a member of the boards of New America, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and CARE Enterprises. He also holds several board positions affiliated with the Open Society Foundations. Mr. Soros previously served as President and Deputy Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams, worked for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ mission to Moldova, and co-founded the Fair Trial Initiative.
Melissa Spatz, Piper Fund
Melissa is the Program Director at the Piper Fund, a Proteus Fund initiative aimed at building a broader and more effective movement able to respond to the undue influence of corporate and special interest money on our democracy. Melissa has 25 years’ experience as a legal services lawyer, community organizer, nonprofit director, writer and consultant, working on many issues including media justice, housing rights, police accountability, health care, and gender equity. She has directed two award-winning Chicago-based organizations, and led national organizing campaigns through the National People’s Action network. Melissa has founded and co-founded numerous projects and organizations, including the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, the Women’s Rights Project at Human Rights Watch, the Chicago Freedom School, Chicago Youth United, and the Center for Emerging Leadership.
Clara Vondrich, Divest-Invest Philanthropy
Clara joined Divest-Invest Philanthropy as Global Director in June, 2015. Prior to that, Clara served as Account Director for Climate & Energy at Fenton Communications. There, she led client efforts on a range of campaigns, including the divestment and reinvestment movement, anti-fracking, carbon pricing, defending and promoting climate science, and the clean energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Clara was previously Director of Leadership Initiatives at the ClimateWorks Foundation, and she sits on the Board of Directors of 2 Degrees Investing Initiative as well as the Dogwood Alliance. She is a member Steering Committee of 350NYC. An attorney by training, Clara served as Counsel to the President’s Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and is a frequent speaker and writer on climate change.