Speaker Bios

Dimple Abichandani

Executive Director, General Service Foundation

Dimple Abichandani joined GSF in late August 2015 as the Executive Director, bringing two decades of experience advancing social justice as a funder, advocate and educator. She was previously the ED of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley School of Law, and the founding program officer for the Security & Rights Collaborative at the Proteus Fund.  Earlier in her career she was a legal services attorney and represented low-wage workers and low-income immigrants. Dimple earned a JD at Northeastern University School of Law, and a BA in English with Honors at the University of Texas at Austin. Outside of work, she finds joy in time spent with family & friends, gardening, and yoga. 

Joaquin Alvarado

CEO, The Center for Investigative Reporting

Joaquin Alvarado is the CEO of The Center for Investigative Reporting. Before joining CIR, he was senior vice president for digital innovation at American Public Media and founding senior vice president for diversity and innovation at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He also has been a strategic consultant for a number of leading media companies and nonprofits, including Univision, NBC News, the Ford Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He founded CoCo Studios, which promoted education and collaboration through game development for fiber and mobile networks. Alvarado was the founding director of the Institute for Next Generation Internet, which launched in 2005 from San Francisco State University. In 2004, he began the National Public Lightpath, advocating high-speed fiber-optic networks as the next generation of the Internet. Alvarado holds a bachelor’s degree in Chicano studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. A veteran of many nonprofit boards, he currently serves on the boards of TechSoup Global and Consumer Reports. He is the co-author of the two-volume “Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art.”


Judith Bell

Vice President of Programs, The San Francisco Foundation

Judith Bell is the Vice President of Programs at The San Francisco Foundation. Judith brings extensive experience in strategic planning and policy development, with a focus on economic and social equity to the Foundation. Previous to joining the Foundation, Judith was the President of PolicyLink where she had been since its inception, becoming President in 2004. As President, Judith worked to develop the organization into a national leader on a range of equity issues, with her particular focus being policy development and campaign strategy at the local, state, and national levels. Her leadership helped ignite a new national narrative around access and opportunity for all people with a focus on improving health and infrastructure, including increasing access to healthy foods.

Judith contributed to the successful establishment of the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative and the Convergence Partnership, which brings together some of the nation’s largest foundations to collectively advance healthy people and healthy places through the many touchstones of health and equity, including the food system, community economic development, and prevention. She also played a leadership role in launching and advancing the federal Promise Neighborhoods program and by helping to create the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink.

Before PolicyLink, Judith directed the West Coast Regional Office of Consumers Union where she engaged in efforts to improve the quality of life for all consumers, particularly in access to health care. She spearheaded a campaign to preserve more than $14 billion in charitable assets, resulting in the creation of several foundations in California and across the country. She is a regular writer for news outlets and academic publications and has authored several studies including, Why Place and Race Matter: Impacting Health through a Focus on Race and Place. She is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant on advocacy strategy.

She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s of public administration from Harvard University where she was a Lucius Littauer fellow.

Mia Birdsong

Co-Director, Family Story

Mia Birdsong is a family visionary who has spent more than 20 years fighting for the self-determination and pointing out the brilliant adaptations of everyday people. In her current role as Co-Director of Family Story, she is updating this nation’s outdated picture of the family in America (hint: rarely 2.5 kids and two heterosexual parents living behind a white picket fence). Prior to launching Family Story, Mia was the Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative (FII), an organization that leverages the power of data and stories to illuminate and accelerate the initiative low-income families take to improve their lives.

Mia, whose 2015 TED talk “The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn’t True” has been viewed over 1.5 million times already, has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation ReviewSlate, Salon, and On Being, and she speaks at universities and conferences across the country. Mia is also modern Renaissance woman. She has spent time organizing to abolish prisons, teaching teenagers about sex and drugs, interviewing literary luminaries like Edwidge Danticat, David Foster Wallace, and John Irving, and attending births as a midwifery apprentice.

Mia is a graduate of Oberlin College, an inaugural Ascend Fellow of The Aspen Institute, and a New America California Fellow. She sits on the Board of Directors of Forward Together and the North Oakland Community Charter School.

Drew Caputo

Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans, Earthjustice

Drew Caputo is Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans, leading Earthjustice’s expansive docket of litigation to protect the nation’s public lands and cherished wild places, irreplaceable species, and ocean fisheries and habitats.

Caputo served from 2006 until February 2014 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, California, where he investigated and prosecuted crimes involving public corruption, civil rights violations, national security matters, and other crimes. He began his legal career as an associate attorney in Earthjustice’s Rocky Mountain regional office in Denver, Colorado, working on cases to protect the public lands, rivers, and endangered species of the Rocky Mountain West. He then worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council for 13 years, first in Washington, D.C., and then in San Francisco, litigating a wide range of federal environmental cases. He led the development of an oceans litigation program in NRDC’s San Francisco office.

Caputo has been the force behind numerous monumental victories for the environment. Among many other successes, his litigation won protections for overfished Pacific rockfish and led to population increases for rockfish species; stopped the extension of a set of oil and gas leases off the California coast; and ended the use of Nationwide Permit 26, an abusive regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers that was the single biggest source of permitted wetlands destruction in the United States.

In his role as Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans at Earthjustice, Caputo leads a program that has been at the forefront of the United States’ most significant legal decisions protecting public lands, oceans, watersheds, and wildlife.

Ed Center

Senior Program Officer, Tipping Point Community

Ed Center is passionate about ending poverty through education and equity. From running a student support center in the basement of San Francisco’s Balboa High School to marshaling strategy and resources for United Way of the Bay Area, his career has consistently focused on helping low-income youth thrive. Ed believes that leadership is the key to social change, and is delighted that his work at Tipping Point centers on supporting great leaders. Ed brings innovation, thoughtfulness and laughter to his work. He plays and coaches soccer, loves running around Lake Merritt, and cooks a mean barbecue. He studied English Literature at UC Davis.

Cathy Cha

Vice President of Programs, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

As vice president of programs, Cathy oversees the Haas, Jr. Fund’s grantmaking and development of strategy for all its programs. Cathy’s work is driven by a career-long commitment to social justice and improving the lives of marginalized families and children. 

Cathy joined the Haas, Jr. Fund as a program officer in 2004. After working in the Fund’s family self-sufficiency and neighborhood development program areas, she led its Immigrant Rights and Integration program starting in 2009. In that position, Cathy managed the Fund’s grantmaking in support of efforts to increase immigrant civic participation, improve the climate for immigration policy reforms in California, and support public education for federal immigration reform. Cathy’s focus on alliance-building and collaboration helped strengthen the immigrant rights movement in California, leading to key policy wins such as scholarships for Dreamers, groundbreaking enforcement reforms, driver’s licenses for undocumented residents, and healthcare coverage for undocumented children. Cathy was instrumental in creating a new position in the Governor’s Office focused on immigrant integration.

Cathy is a leader in numerous funder collaboratives. She manages the work of California Civic Participation Funders, which is increasing voting and community organizing among disenfranchised populations in four regions of the state. In 2011, Cathy worked with the Carnegie, Knight and Grove foundations to start the New Americans Campaign, which has to date assisted more than 240,000 legal permanent residents to become U.S. citizens. In 2015, Cathy led efforts to create the African American Civic Engagement Project, an alliance of community leaders, funders and local groups across California that is working to increase voice and voter participation in Black communities.

Before joining the Haas, Jr. Fund, Cathy was a program officer at the Hyams Foundation in Boston. While working there, she helped establish the Home Funders initiative, which continues to unite Massachusetts funders in support of efforts to reduce family homelessness. Earlier in her career, Cathy developed affordable housing with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation in San Francisco. She also worked at the United Way of King County in Seattle, where she managed a grantmaking portfolio focused on strengthening safety net supports for low-income families and children. 

Cathy serves on the board of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) and was previously its co-chair. She is on the steering committee for the Four Freedoms Fund, a national collaborative of funders focused on immigration issues. Previously, she’s served on the boards of Chinatown Community Development Center, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Somerville Community Development Corporation.

Cathy is a frequent public speaker on civic participation, immigration policy, and the catalytic role of philanthropy in advancing social change. She received the Leader in Action Award from Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) in 2015, and the Immigrant Integration and Inspiration Award from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in 2014. 

Cathy has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington in Seattle. 

Caitrin Phillips Chappelle

Associate Center Director, Public Policy Institute of California

Caitrin Phillips Chappelle is associate director at the PPIC Water Policy Center, where she manages research and operations. Her own research focuses on natural resource management and California water policy. She has coauthored work on the statewide drought, funding gaps in
water management, and multiple ecosystem stressors in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Previously, she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey. She holds an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in ecology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Juliet Christian-Smith

Senior Climate Scientist, Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Juliet Christian-Smith is a senior climate scientist with the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), based in UCS's Oakland office. Dr. Christian-Smith is the lead author of the book A Twenty-First Century U.S. Water Policy (Oxford Press 2012) and an editor of the journal Sustainability Science. She is also a member of the Director’s Council for the University of California’s Water Security and Sustainability Research Initiative and a Board member of Ag Innovations. The focus of her work is providing California and U.S.  policymakers and the public with robust, timely, accessible, and policy-relevant information on climate science and climate impacts.

Prior to joining UCS, Dr. Christian-Smith and two colleagues received the Environmental Protection Agency's Award for Outstanding Achievement for their work on agricultural water management. Previously, as a graduate student, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to study the implementation of the European Union's innovative Water Framework Directive.

Dr. Christian-Smith holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Biology from Smith College.

Vanessa Daniel

Founder and Executive Director, Groundswell Fund

Vanessa Daniel is the founder and Executive Director of Groundswell Fund, the largest funder of the U.S. reproductive justice movement. Under her leadership, Groundswell has moved more than $32 million to the reproductive justice movement, with a focus on grassroots organizing led by women of color, low income women and transgender people. Ninety percent of Groundswell’s giving goes to work led by women of color. Daniel’s roots in labor and community organizing inspired a unique funding model at Groundswell: a program staff team of women of color who come directly out of grassroots organizing and who support grantees through grantmaking, capacity building, and funder organizing to raise the visibility of grantee work in the broader funder/donor community. Groundswell’s work includes the only fund in the country dedicated to supporting access to birth justice for women of color and transgender people, and the most robust women of color-led Integrated Voter Engagement training program in the U.S. Prior to Groundswell, Vanessa supported LGBT rights, economic and environmental justice grantmaking at Tides Foundation; organized homecare workers with SEIU; helped win a landmark living wage law with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE); and conducted research to support the organizing efforts of welfare mothers with the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward). Vanessa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Common Counsel Foundation and on the steering committee for the Health and Environmental Funder’s Network. She has a B.A. in American Ethnic Studies from Smith College and is a graduate of the Center for Third World Organizing’s Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program.

Pam David

Executive Director, Walter & Elise Haas Fund

Pam David is the Executive Director of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund (www.haassr.org), one of San Francisco’s most respected private foundations. Working within four primary areas of focus (public education, economic security, the arts, and Jewish life), the Fund’s mission is to help build a healthy, just, and vibrant society in which people feel connected to and responsible for their community. 

Prior to coming to the Haas Sr. Fund, Pam served in local government for over 12 years, working for three mayoral administrations in the areas of community and economic development, federal policy, and welfare reform.  During her tenure in the public sector, Pam spearheaded numerous innovative reforms and partnerships, many of which included philanthropy. Pam’s history includes being a community organizer and activist on a range of civil rights and equity issues. Pam also has extensive non-profit board experience, and has served as chair of the board of Northern California Grantmakers and co-chair of the board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Currently, she is a member of the board of the Campaign for College Opportunity and on the Steering Committee of Hope SF, an ambitious public-private partnership to rebuild severely distressed public housing.

Aaron DorfmaN

President and CEO, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Aaron Dorfman is president and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), a research and advocacy organization that works to ensure America’s grantmakers and wealthy donors are responsive to the needs of those with the least wealth, opportunity and power. Dorfman, a thoughtful critic, frequently speaks and writes about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, the benefits of funding advocacy and community organizing, and the need for greater accountability and transparency in the philanthropic sector. Before joining NCRP in 2007, Dorfman served for 15 years as a community organizer with two national organizing networks, spearheading grassroots campaigns on a variety of issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College, a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and serves on the board of The Center for Popular Democracy.

Roger Doughty

President, Horizons Foundation

Roger has been an activist and leader in the LGBT movement for more than 25 years, and he has led Horizons Foundation since 2002. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as the Executive Director of Horizons Community Services in Chicago, the Midwest’s largest LGBT social service and advocacy organization.

During his tenure, Roger led that organization’s expansion into the Chicago LGBT Community Center, known as the Center on Halsted. Before moving to Chicago, he was the Director of Programs for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where he oversaw the Center’s 40-plus programs and services. Roger’s San Francisco background includes his tenure in the law firm of Heller Ehrman, where he specialized in refugee, immigration, and asylum cases involving people fleeing from gender and sexual orientation-related discrimination.

Roger also has served as president of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance in Washington, D.C., and was Associate Director of the Coro Foundation. He serves on the boards of Northern California Grantmakers and the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). Roger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College, a master’s degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law.


Brian Eule

Director of Communications, Heising-Simons Foundation

Brian Eule is the director of communications at the Heising-Simons Foundation, and also oversees a journalism grant portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, he served as the director of communications at the James Irvine Foundation. Brian’s experience in philanthropy has included a focus on both strategic communications and grantmaking, and he has served as a program officer for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, as a communications officer, and as a journalist. He is the author of the nonfiction book Match Day (St. Martin’s Press) and holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a master’s from Columbia University.

Noreen Farrell

Executive Director, Equal Rights Advocates

Noreen Farrell is the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a national non-profit advancing the rights of women and girls through policy reform, litigation, community education, and movement building. Noreen is a nationally recognized leader and innovator on a variety of gender justice issues. From small courthouses to the U.S. Supreme Court, she has represented thousands of women and girls in groundbreaking impact litigation to end sex discrimination in school and the workplace. She also leads comprehensive reform efforts in schools to improve outcomes for girls, especially those of color and from low-income families.

Noreen leads ERA’s state and national policy reform campaigns to improve the lives of women and girls and their families. She chairs the national fair pay campaign Equal Pay Today, working in six states and at the federal level with 20 of the country's leading worker and women's rights organizations to close the pay gap, which costs women billions of dollars each year. ERA wins in California have spurred momentum for this multi-state effort, including passage of one of the strongest equal pay laws in the country as part of a campaign called Stronger California: Securing Economic Opportunities for All Women. Chaired by Noreen and led by ERA in partnership with dozens of state-wide coalitions and the Women’s Foundation of California, the campaign continues to drive comprehensive policy reform to address poverty, child care, fair pay and job opportunities, and family-friendly workplaces in California as a model for other states and federal law change.

Noreen lectures and publishes widely on civil rights matters. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, National Public Radio and various television outlets. She has been named one of the Top Women Leaders in Law, Top 100 Women Lawyers in California, and a Top Legal Innovator.

Charles Sidney Fields

Chief of Staff and Planning, The James Irvine Foundation

Charles Sidney Fields joined the Irvine Foundation’s San Francisco office in late August 2016. He has more than a decade of leadership experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, funding and supporting social change organizations to achieve greater impact.

He previously served as a Senior Program Manager for The California Endowment. There he was responsible for strategy development, grantmaking, and leadership activities in Southern California. He also co-developed and managed Sons & Brothers, the Endowment’s $50 million grantmaking and leadership program focused on improving the health, wellness, and opportunity of boys and young men of color. During his tenure there, he co-developed a $260 million public-private loan fund, the FreshWorks Fund, to increase access to healthy foods and spur economic development in underserved communities in California.

Prior to the Endowment, Charles was a grantmaker at the Marguerite Casey Foundation, managing a $29 million portfolio of grants focused on community economic development, civic engagement, educational equity, violence prevention, and family support.

Charles was also an Initiative Coordinator and Neighborhood and Community Development Fellow at the San Francisco Foundation, where he provided day-to-day management of the West Oakland Initiative. Other positions of note include: Social Action and Policy Coordinator for The National Community Building Network in Oakland; Empowerment Zone Coordinator for the Transportation Resource Information Project in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Organizer and Economic Development Specialist for Welcome House (Northern Kentucky Welfare Reform Task Force) in Covington, Kentucky.

Charles currently serves as the chair of the Edward W. Hazen Foundation and was recently awarded a German Marshall Memorial Fellowship to Europe.

Fields has his master’s in education and bachelor’s in organizational communications from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Matt Foreman

Senior Program Director, Gay and Lesbian Rights

Matt is a nationally recognized LGBT rights leader with a diverse background in political advocacy and civil rights. He joined the Fund in 2008 to oversee its /issues-impact/gay-lesbian-rights and immigrant rights programs. Under Matt’s leadership, the Fund played a critical role in advancing marriage equality across the country by supporting public education, research, litigation, and community organizing. Matt served as co-chair of the Civil Marriage Collaborative, a partnership of key marriage equality funders.

Matt also has overseen the Fund’s work to build bridges between gay and immigrant communities and to study and test ways to increase individual giving to LGBT organizations.

Before joining the Fund, Matt was executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Under his leadership, the Task Force’s budget and staff more than doubled, and it reestablished itself as a leading voice for LGBT rights in the nation’s capital.

Matt also served as executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda and the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. While working at the Pride Agenda, he led campaigns that resulted in enactment of a statewide gay rights law, a hate crimes law, and laws extending equal benefits to the surviving partners of those killed on 9/11. Matt’s leadership also was instrumental in securing $15 million for LGBT health and human services in New York State. During Matt’s tenure at the Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, the organization focused the city’s attention on anti-gay violence, resulting in important changes in police training, deployment and responsiveness.

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel

CEO, Latino Community Foundation

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel is the CEO of the Latino Community Foundation (LCF). The mission of LCF is to harness the power and unleash the potential of Latinos in California. It is the only statewide foundation solely focused in investing in Latino leaders.

Jacqueline recently served as Vice President of the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth). As a founding staff member, she served as a key advisor to the President and helped established the foundation as a credible resource for policymakers and community leaders across the State. She played a central role in developing the foundation's program areas, identifying emerging opportunities and strategic niches, and developing partnerships with national and local foundations. Prior to joining NYSHealth, Jacqueline served as Executive Director of the Northern Manhattan Community Voices Collaborative (Community Voices). The mission of Community Voices is to improve access and quality of care for vulnerable populations. In this role, Jacqueline implemented and evaluated health programs and mobilized national, state, and local resources to promote policy change.

Jacqueline has served as an NIH fellow for the Merida Department of Public Health in Yucatan, Mexico. She was appointed as an adjunct professor at the New York University Global Institute of Public Health and the Social Science Department of the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Jacqueline is a former Board Member of the Institute for Civic Leadership, NAMI-NYC Metro, and Grantmakers in Health. She also served as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable for Population Health.

Jacqueline has published extensively on issues related to health equity, vulnerable populations and community health workers. She holds an MPH from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. Jacqueline is passionate about elevating the voice of communities, pursuing equity for those who have been marginalized, and using philanthropy as a catalyst for tangible, enduring social change. 


Kris Hayashi

Executive Director, Transgender Law Center

Kris Hayashi has over 20 years of movement building, leadership and organizing experience. As a public transgender person of color, Kris has been a leader in movements for justice and rights for transgender and gender nonconforming communities for over 13 years.

Kris became Executive Director at Transgender Law Center, one of the largest organizations in the country advancing the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people, in February 2015. Prior to that, he had served over a year in the role of Deputy Director at the organization.

Kris took on his first Executive Director position at the age of 23 at Youth United for Community Action in California (YUCA).  YUCA is a grassroots community organization created, led, and run by young people of color, to provide a safe space for young people to empower themselves and work on environmental and social justice issues to establish positive systemic change through grassroots community organizing.  Kris took on his second Executive Director position five years later at the age of 28 at the Audre Lorde Project (ALP) in New York City.  ALP is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender nonconforming people of color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Kris served as Executive Director at ALP for over ten years. During his tenure at ALP, ALP launched one of the first organizing and advocacy projects in the country led by trans and gender nonconforming people of color, the annual NYC Trans Day of Action now in its 11th year, and won a monumental campaign getting NYC’s welfare agency to adopt community developed policies on serving trans and gender nonconforming people.

James W. Head

President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation

James W. Head is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the East Bay Community Foundation. Before coming to the Foundation in 2014, he served for 10 years as Vice President for Programs at The San Francisco Foundation, where he spearheaded initiatives on race, equity, poverty, housing, economic development, and youth development.

He has more than 30 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management and technical assistance; community and economic development; and public interest law. Prior to joining The San Francisco Foundation, he was president of the National Economic Development and Law Center for 18 years.

Additionally, he served as legal counsel of the California Community Economic Development Association and has been a member of foundation advisory boards, including the Open Society Foundation of New York and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation of Michigan. He has served on the Oakland Port Commission since 2009.

He holds a juris doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law. He is an adjunct professor at University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law, University of California at San Francisco’s Hastings School of Law, and University of Santa Clara’s School of Law.

He has lived in Oakland with his wife, Bernida Reagan, for more than 25 years.


Leah Hunt-Hendrix

Co-Founder and Director, Solidaire Network

Leah Hunt-Hendrix is the co-founder and director of Solidaire, a donor community dedicated to funding social movements. She has her PhD from Princeton University, where she studied political theory and philosophy. She is from New York, and has lived around the world, including in Egypt, Syria, and the West Bank where she did research on social movements and the effects of international aid. The focus of her work is on progressive political power, economic justice and racial justice.

Chinaka Hodge

Poet, Educator, Playwright, and Screenwriter

Chinaka Hodge s a poet, educator playwright, and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2006, and was honored to be the student speaker at the 17h Commencement exercise. Chinaka was a 2012 Artist in Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. In early 2013, Hodge was a Sundance Feature Film lab Fellow for her script, 700th&Int’l. Since its early days, Chinaka has served in various capacities at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation’s leading literary arts non­profit. During her tenure there, Hodge served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population ­­ as a teaching artist and poet mentor. Her poems, editorials, interviews and prose have been featured in wsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer Magazine, S, R, CNN, C­Span, d in two seasons of O’s Def Poetry.

Cristina Jiménez

Executive Director & Co-Founder, United We Dream

Cristina Jiménez is Executive Director & Co-founder of United We Dream (UWD). The largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. Originally from Ecuador, Cristina came to the U.S. with her family at the age of 13, attending high school and college as an undocumented student. She has been organizing in immigrant communities for over a decade and was part of UWD’s campaign team that led to the historic victory of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 that protects over one million young immigrants from deportation. Under Cristina’s leadership UWD has grown to a powerful network of 57 affiliates in 25 states and over 300,000 members.

Under Cristina’s leadership, UWD has grown to a powerful network of 57 affiliates in 25 states and over 300,000 members.

Cristina is one of Forbes’s 2014 “30 under 30 in Law and Policy;” was named one of “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who are Solving Problems of Today and Tomorrow” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy; and one of “50 Fearless Women” by Cosmopolitan.

She co-founded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the Dream Mentorship Program at Queens College, was an immigration policy analyst for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and an immigrant rights organizer at Make the Road New York. Cristina holds a Masters degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from the School of Public of Affairs at Baruch College, CUNY and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Queens College, CUNY.

Devin Katayama

Reporter, East Bay, KQED

Devin Katayama is a reporter covering the East Bay for KQED News. Previously, he was the education reporter for WFPL in Louisville and worked as a producer with radio stations in Chicago and Portland, OR. His work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Takeaway and Here and Now. Devin earned his MA in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago, where he was a Follett Fellow and the recipient of the 2011 Studs Terkel Community Media Workshop Scholarship for his story on Chicago's homeless youth. He won WBUR's 2014 Daniel Schorr award and a regional RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for his documentary "At Risk" that looked at issues facing some of Louisville's students. Devin has also received numerous local awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Nat Kendall-Taylor

CEO, FrameWorks Institute

Nat Kendall-Taylor is Chief Executive Officer at the FrameWorks Institute. Nat oversees the organization’s pioneering, research-based approach to strategic communications, which uses methods from the social and behavioral sciences to measure how people understand complex socio-political issues and tests ways to reframe them to drive social change. As CEO, he leads a multi-disciplinary team of social scientists and communications practitioners who investigate ways to apply innovative framing research methods to social issues and train nonprofit organizations to put the findings into practice.

An expert in psychological anthropology and communications science, Nat publishes widely in the popular and professional press and lectures frequently in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Science CommunicationHuman OrganizationApplied Communications Research, Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Annals of Anthropological Practice. He has presented at numerous conferences and organizations in the United States and around the world, ranging from Harvard University and the National Academy of Sciences to the Parenting Research Centre in Australia, the Science and Society Symposium in Canada, and Amnesty International in the United Kingdom. He is also a visiting professor at the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine and a fellow at the British-American Project.

Nat joined FrameWorks in 2008; since then, he has led work across the FrameWorks portfolio, with a special focus on issues related to early childhood development and mental health, criminal justice, and aging. He has also led the expansion of FrameWorks’ work outside the United States, working in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining FrameWorks, Nat’s research focused on understanding the social and cultural factors that create health disparities and affect decision-making. He has conducted fieldwork on the Swahili coast of Kenya, where he studied pediatric epilepsy, traditional healing, and the impacts of chronic illness on family well-being, and in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, where he studied child marriage and higher education. He has also conducted ethnographic research on theories of motivation in “extreme” athletes. Nat holds a B.A. from Emory University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Dr. Kendall-Taylor can be reached at nkendall-taylor@frameworksinstitute.org

Kate Kendall, Esq. 

Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Kate Kendell leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. NCLR’s legal, policy, and legislative victories set important precedents that improve the lives of all LGBT people and their families across the country. Projects and Legal Issue Areas Include: Asylum & Immigration; Elders; Employment; Family & Relationships; Federal Legislation & Policy; State Legislation & Policy; Hate Crimes; Healthcare; Housing; Low Income & Poverty; Prisons; Rural Communities; Sports; Transgender Law; and Youth.

Kate grew up Mormon in Utah and received her J.D. degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988. After a few years as a corporate attorney she was named the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. In this capacity, she oversaw the legal department of ACLU of Utah and directly litigated many high-profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, church/state conflicts, free speech, and the rights of LGBT people. In 1994 she accepted the position as Legal Director with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and made the move to San Francisco. In 1996 Kate was named as NCLR’s Executive Director. In that capacity, she assists in the development of litigation and strategy, and is responsible for all aspects of agency operation. She is also responsible for executing a broad and forward thinking vision around policy and project initiatives.

Kate acts as the primary spokesperson on behalf of NCLR to the media. She has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and dozens of on-line blogs. Kate is also a visible and vibrant social media voice.

Kate lives in San Francisco with her wife Sandy. They have two children Julian, 20 and Ariana 14.

Surina Khan

CEO, Women’s Foundation of California

Surina Khan is CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and non-profit social justice sector starting with local community-based publishing in New England and then shifting to national and global work on an array of social justice issues including women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and more.

Before being appointed CEO in 2014, Surina served as a Director in the Democracy Rights and Justice Program at the Ford Foundation where she shaped more than $30 million in annual grantmaking around the world to expand rights for women, LGBT people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and in the area of strengthening democratic participation and governance.

Before joining Ford in 2011, Surina spent six years at the Women’s Foundation of California, serving as Vice President of Programs and providing strategic direction for grant making, strengthening the organizational effectiveness of social justice organizations and overseeing the Women’s Policy Institute, a policy advocacy training program for community-based leaders.

Kate Kendell leads the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. NCLR’s legal, policy, and legislative victories set important precedents that improve the lives of all LGBT people and their families across the country. Projects and Legal Issue Areas Include: Asylum & Immigration; Elders; Employment; Family & Relationships; Federal Legislation & Policy; State Legislation & Policy; Hate Crimes; Healthcare; Housing; Low Income & Poverty; Prisons; Rural Communities; Sports; Transgender Law; and Youth.

Kate grew up Mormon in Utah and received her J.D. degree from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988. After a few years as a corporate attorney she was named the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. In this capacity, she oversaw the legal department of ACLU of Utah and directly litigated many high-profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, church/state conflicts, free speech, and the rights of LGBT people. In 1994 she accepted the position as Legal Director with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and made the move to San Francisco. In 1996 Kate was named as NCLR’s Executive Director. In that capacity, she assists in the development of litigation and strategy, and is responsible for all aspects of agency operation. She is also responsible for executing a broad and forward thinking vision around policy and project initiatives.

Kate acts as the primary spokesperson on behalf of NCLR to the media. She has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and dozens of on-line blogs. Kate is also a visible and vibrant social media voice.

Kate lives in San Francisco with her wife Sandy. They have two children Julian, 20 and Ariana 14.

She previously served as executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, where she worked to advance the human rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Earlier in her career, Surina was a research analyst for Political Research Associates, conducting groundbreaking research on the Right’s attacks on women and LGBT people.

She currently serves on the Boards of Alliance for Justice, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and OutRight Action International (formerly the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission). Surina is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Campaign for College Opportunity, the Ambassador Council for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and a member of the Public Policy Committee for Southern California Grantmakers. She previously served on the boards of directors with numerous organizations including Funders for Population, Reproductive Health and Rights and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Her writing and research have been published widely in print and online publications.


Roger Kim

Senior Strategy and Planning Officer, Democracy Alliance

Roger Kim is the Senior Strategy and Planning Officer at the Democracy Alliance, the largest network of donors dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States. Roger leads the Democracy Alliance’s strategy on climate change and directs the Climate Fund.

Roger brings extensive experience working in the public, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors on environmental and social justice issues. Before joining the Democracy Alliance, Roger was Senior Advisor to the Mayor of San Francisco where he was responsible for issues related to climate change, energy, and the environment, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. As Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), he led community-driven policy campaigns resulting in billions of dollars of investments to implement climate solutions in California’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods and also founded APEN Action to educate and mobilize Asian American voters in California. Roger also worked for the San Francisco Foundation, Global Green USA and has served on the board of several organizations including Center for Environmental Health. Among his honors include the Public Health Institute’s Change Champion Award and the Gerbode Foundation Fellowship.

Sally Kinoshita

Deputy Director, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Sally Kinoshita is the ILRC’s Deputy Director based in San Francisco. She has worked at the ILRC since 2001 and currently manages a number of ILRC’s programs, oversees the ILRC’s marketing and grants work, and leads collaboratives of legal services providers, community based organizations and other sectors. She has co-authored a number of publications including The U Visa: Obtaining Status for Immigrant Victims of Crime (ILRC), The VAWA Manual: Immigration Relief for Abused Immigrants (ILRC), Immigration Benchbook for Juvenile and Family Court Judges (ILRC), and Application of Protection Remedies for Victims of Domestic Abuse, Human Trafficking, and Crime under U.S. Law to Persons Physically Present in the U.S. Territories(Family Violence Prevention Fund).

Prior to working at the ILRC, Sally was a Staff Attorney at Asian Law Caucus and a consultant with ASISTA, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and Family Violence Prevention Fund/Futures Without Violence. During law school, she worked with the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic, Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights, ACLU of Northern California, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

Sally is currently a member of the Leadership Council of Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) and has served as a Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Section Advisory Board Member and Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC) Steering Committee Member.

Sally earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she majored in sociology. She is admitted to the California bar and is conversant in Spanish.

Marisa Lagos

Reporter, California Politics and Government Desk, KQED

Marisa is a reporter with KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk, which explores the latest news from California’s Capitol and the Golden State’s role in national politics. Marisa also appears on a weekly podcast analyzing the week’s political news. Before joining KQED, Marisa worked at the San Francisco Examiner and Los Angeles Times, and, most recently, for nine years at the San Francisco Chronicle where she covered San Francisco City Hall and state politics. In 2011, she won a special award for her coverage of California justice issues from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and also helped lead the Chronicle's award-winning coverage of the 2010 San Bruno Pacific Gas & Electric explosion. Marisa has a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan


Dhaya is the 2016 winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award (previously awarded to Samantha Bee, Wanda Sykes and satirist/humorist Mark Russell) presented by the National Women’s Political Caucus. KQED named her one of the twenty “Women to Watch” a series celebrating women artists, creatives and makers in the San Francisco Bay Area who are pushing boundaries in 2016. The SF Weekly named her one of the “16 Bay Area performers to watch in 2016.” She was named one of “The Bay Area’s 11 Best Standup Comedians” by SFist. The San Francisco Bay Guardian named her Best Comedian 2013 in the “Best of the Bay” Readers’ Poll. Comedy Central Asia crowned her the Grand Prize Winner of “The Ultimate Comedy Challenge” filmed in Singapore. 

Her list of credits include the Bridgetown Comedy Festival (Portland, OR), San Francisco Sketchfest, the Boston Comedy Festival (semifinalist), the Limestone Comedy Festival (Bloomington, IN) and Laugh Your Asheville Off (Asheville, NC). She has opened/featured for or worked with the following: Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Greg Behrendt, Jello Biafra, Dick Gregory, Anthony Jeselnik, Maz Jobrani, and Greg Proops. Dhaya  introduced former Vice President Al Gore at an event. He then laughed onstage at her joke, so technically she once opened for Al Gore.

Dhaya is also a TV host and storyteller. She hosted the premier year of the Emmy award-winning series High School Quiz Show on PBS’s WGBH. She is a frequent comedic storyteller on NPR’s Snap Judgment and has appeared live in Austin on The Risk podcast. She is currently the host of San Francisco’s monthly Moth StorySLAM after winning a Moth StorySLAM and competing in the GrandSLAM at the Castro Theater (capacity 1400). ON24 awarded her the grand prize for “Best Travel Disaster Story.”

She is a solo performer, and her first play “Nerd Nation” was funded in parts by The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center of San Francisco and support from DIVAfest which supports new and developing works by female playwrights. Her workshop run in San Francisco sold out.

The Boston Globe, The Bay Guardian, and The San Jose Mercury News have all run profiles about her. Prior to funny and show business Dhaya was a venture capitalist, management consultant, and two-time MIT graduate. She is a favorite at corporate events, panels, CEO conferences, and company-wide programs. You can indeed call her a nerd. http://dhayacomedy.com/

Aryah Somers Landsberger

Director of Programs, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Aryah Somers Landsberger, director of programs, is responsible for developing programs and information resources. She joined GCIR in February 2016.

Aryah has more than 12 years of experience with immigrant and refugee issues. She served as director of advocacy at KIND championing administrative and legislative protections for unaccompanied children. While a consultant, she co-authored UNHCR’s “Children on the Run” report on the root causes of migration of unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico to the U.S. As a Fulbright Scholar in Guatemala, she researched safe repatriation and reintegration of children removed from the U.S. to Guatemala.

Aryah has also represented hundreds of children in immigration removal proceedings as a children’s attorney in New York at The Door and in Arizona at the Florence Project. Internationally, she worked in Egypt and Ecuador advocating for refugee children. She has published law journal articles, practice advisories, white papers, statements, and talking points. Aryah earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University. Aryah loves spending time with her family, outdoor walks, and trying out all kinds of amazing cuisine.

Larry Levitt

Senior Vice President, Special Initiatives, Kaiser Family Foundation

Larry Levitt is Senior Vice President for Special Initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Senior Advisor to the President of the Foundation. Among other duties, he is Co-Executive Director of the Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance. He previously was Editor-in-Chief of kaisernetwork.org, the Foundation’s online health policy news and information service, and directed the Foundation’s communications and online activities and its Changing Health Care Marketplace Project.

Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as a Senior Health Policy Advisor to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services, working on the development of President Clinton’s Health Security Act and other health policy initiatives.

Earlier, he was the Special Assistant for Health Policy with California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a medical economist with Kaiser Permanente, and served in a number of positions in Massachusetts state government.

He holds a bachelors degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a masters degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Ethan Lindsey

Managing Editor, News KQED

Ethan Lindsey is the managing editor for news. In this newly-created KQED News position, Ethan will help continue the public media organization’s transition to a 21st-century newsroom and further deepen KQED’s commitment to regional news, especially on digital platforms..

Ethan comes to KQED from the WBUR and NPR newsmagazine Here & Now, in Boston, where he was the show’s senior managing editor. Previously, he was senior digital editor and interim managing editor for the public radio show Marketplace. In 2009, Ethan won a Peabody Award for his work as a correspondent for Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“We hit the trifecta with Ethan,” says Holly Kernan, KQED executive editor for news. “He brings digital savvy, broadcast expertise and deep management experience to KQED News.”

Notes Ethan, “KQED is one of the giants of public media, and I can’t wait to help the organization further its reach as a beacon of journalism in the Bay Area and beyond, both online and on air. I am most excited about the mandate to help KQED explore new outlets for its journalism, as well as deepening its digital, video and data coverage.”

Ethan is also excited to return to California, where his wife is a doctoral candidate at UCLA. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000, and is a die-hard Cal fan, so he’ll now be able to drag his family to Cal football and men’s and women’s basketball games for years to come.

Allison Magee

Executive Director, The Zellerbach Family Foundation

Allison Magee has been the Executive Director of The Zellerbach Family Foundation since February 2014. Prior to that, Allison worked for the City and County of San Francisco, where she served as a leader in strengthening services for system-involved youth and their families. Her work as Deputy Director of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department includes the development of a national model for juvenile justice system reform. Allison also established a collaborative model for the city’s funding of community-based services that resulted in over $14 million in dedicated funding for violence prevention programs for San Francisco youth. In 2010, Allison was awarded SPUR’s Good Governance Award for her work at JPD.

Allison worked for Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Budget and Policy, and the US Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General where she won the Inspector General’s Excellence Award in 2003. Allison holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Administration and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, both from Columbia University. She also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University.

Sara Matlin

Bilingual West Coast Counsel, Bolder Advocacy Initiative, Alliance for Justice

Sara Matlin is the Bilingual West Coast Counsel with the Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy Initiative in Oakland, CA. Sara empowers Spanish- and English-speaking nonprofit organizations to become more courageous leaders in policy change movements.

Sara graduated with a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law and a B.A. from Stanford University. She is the chair of the ACLU of Northern California – North Peninsula Chapter and a founder of the San Mateo County Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Sara began her career in policy change advocacy in 1988. She’s excited to use her community organizing and training experience, along with her Spanish/English bilingualism, to broaden the advocacy work of social justice organizations in California and across the country.

Pastor Michael McBride

Director of Urban Strategies, LIVE FREE Campaign, PICO Nation Network

Pastor, The Way Christian Center

Pastor Michael McBride (known as “Pastor Mike”) is a native of San Francisco and has been active in ministry for over 20 years. Throughout the years, Pastor McBride's commitment to holistic ministry can be seen through his leadership roles in both the church and community organizations.  A graduate of Duke University’s Divinity School, with a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Ethics and Public Policy, Pastor McBride launched The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley, where he presently serves as the Lead Pastor. In March 2012, he became the Director for the Lifelines to Healing/LIVE FREE Campaign with the PICO National Network, a campaign led by hundreds of faith congregations throughout the United States committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color. In 2013, Pastor McBride was selected as the #9 Top Clergy Leader to Watch in the US by the Center for American Progress.  He has served on a number of local and national task forces with the White House and Department of Justice regarding gun violence prevention, boys and men of color and police-community relationships.  He was recently appointed as an Advisor on President Obama’s Faith Based Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  He is a regular guest on MSNBC, CNN and Al-Jazeera programs providing commentary for issues related to faith and racial justice.  He is married to Cherise McBride and they have two beautiful daughters, Sarai and Nylah.

Christopher Perrone

Director of Improving Access, The California HealthCare Foundation

Christopher Perrone is director of Improving Access at the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), which works to expand access to coverage and care for low-income Californians.

Since joining CHCF in 1999, Chris has led the foundation’s efforts to enhance understanding of the challenges facing the Medi-Cal program and the people it serves; to identify and advance program reforms; and to partner with state officials, health plans, providers and consumer groups to foster innovative solutions to complex problems. Through a combination of technical assistance, research, policy analysis, and stakeholder engagement, Chris has influenced the transformation of Medi-Cal, which now covers nearly one in three Californians. His work has contributed to the expansion of coverage to previously uninsured Californians, the development of policies that reward Medi-Cal plans that provide better care to their members, the adoption of health plan contract standards that address the unique needs of Medi-Cal enrollees with disabilities, and the creation of a performance dashboard to foster greater transparency and accountability in Medi-Cal managed care.

As director of Improving Access since 2015, Chris applies his deep expertise in Medi-Cal to a broader portfolio of projects focused on access to care. He oversees efforts to ensure that low-income Californians have access to coverage options they can understand and afford and to expand the capacity of safety net providers to provide timely access to care. This works combines the foundation’s deep understanding of state health policy and public programs with its knowledge of and relationships with health plans and safety net providers.  

Chris’s insights and perspectives on health policy are often sought after, and he has been quoted in numerous media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and Kaiser Health News.


Prior to joining CHCF, Chris served as director of planning for the Massachusetts Division of Medical Assistance. He was the first external recipient of the Globe Award, given by the Office of Strategic Planning at HCFA (now CMS), for his work to improve the delivery and financing of acute and long term care services for low-income seniors dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. He has also held positions with The Lewin Group, the American Psychological Association, and the Center for Health Policy Studies at Georgetown University.

Chris received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University.

Liz Posey

Program Officer, Marguerite Casey Foundation

Ms. Posey is committed to empowering and strengthening communities by connecting people, organizations and resources. Originally from Alaska, she attended Lewis & Clark College for her undergraduate studies and received her Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Ms. Posey brings a wealth of experience in public policy and community development, having worked in government at the local, state and federal level. She has worked in community health at both the local and international level, including supporting health technical programs for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Health in Liberia. Ms. Posey also has developed mobile health solutions for urban centers in Baltimore, New York and Chicago. She developed community engagement programs for underserved communities and served as the director of an award-winning statewide youth civic engagement initiative in Alaska during the 2008 election cycle. Ms. Posey is an alumna of the National Urban League Young Professionals and served as the organizing Anchorage affiliate chapter president. Ms. Posey is relocating to Seattle from Washington D.C. She will be supporting grantees in the National portfolio.

Holly Potter

Chief Communications Officer, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Holly Potter is an experienced communications strategist who has held a variety of leadership positions directing a broad range of promotional and advocacy campaigns. She has a track record of award-winning programs that influence stakeholders, shift public opinion and change behavior.

As chief communications officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Holly oversees the organization’s brand and develops strategic communications efforts to advance programmatic objectives. Working with the foundation leaders her team develops and executes employee and grantee engagement programs.

Previously, as vice president of Brand Communication for Kaiser Permanente, she oversaw national efforts to promote the company’s story and achievements through public relations, partnerships and stakeholder management programs. The work helped to establish Kaiser Permanente’s reputation as a model for the future of health care among opinion leaders and partners in the health, business, philanthropic and advocacy communities.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, she ran htpotter communications, llc which served a variety of nonprofit and public sector clients in California and Washington, D.C.

She is a frequent speaker on the topics of public relations, content marketing, social media and earned media measurement. At Golden Gate University she is an adjunct professor in the Ageno School of Business where she teaches graduate-level public relations.

She currently serves on the boards of directors for Northern California Grantmakers and the Bay Area Open Space Council.

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Robert K. Ross, M.D.

President and CEO, The California Endowment

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000.

Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health administrator, and as a clinician. His service includes: Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; medical director for LINK School-Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the local and national level. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Co-Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition, and has served as a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative, and was honored by the Council on Foundations as the Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year for 2008. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The California Endowment makes grants to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of the people of California. For more information, visit our Web site www.calendow.org.

Sana Saeed

Host and Producer, AJ+

Sana Saeed is a host and producer with AJ+. Her work focuses on Muslims in the United States, US foreign policy and national security as well as media representations of race and faith. Her writings have appeared in The New York Times, Quartz, Al Jazeera English, Salon and The Guardian. 

Joe Scantlebury

Vice President for Program Strategy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Joe Scantlebury is vice president for program strategy (places) at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

In this role, he leads, designs and implements strategic programming efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families in the foundation’s priority places, including: Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans in the United States, and internationally in Haiti and Mexico. He serves as a member of the Executive Council and is responsible for leadership and building upon and increasing integration in the implementation of programming, organizational policy and philosophies, human and financial resources allocation management and internal and external communications.

Prior to joining the foundation in January 2015, Joe served as senior program officer, U.S. Program Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington, D.C. In this role, Joe led state policy advocacy within a subset of priority Northeast and Mid-South states, as well as led civil rights and equity work at Gates. He was responsible for advancing foundation strategies, priorities and brand by building public and political will among national, federal and state leaders and constituencies. Prior to working at the Gates Foundation, Joe was a staff attorney at the Youth Law Center in Washington, where he advocated and litigated nationally to reduce disproportionate minority confinement and addressed conditions within the juvenile justice system.

Joe received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial & Labor Relations. He holds a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law and is pursuing a Master of Public Administration from New York University Wagner School of Public Service.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

Lateefah Simon

President, Akonadi Foundation

Lateefah Simon stepped into her role as Akonadi Foundation’s President in August 2016. A nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, Lateefah brings over 20 years of executive experience in advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities in the Bay Area. Prior to joining Akonadi, she served as Program Director for the San Francisco-based Rosenberg Foundation, a statewide grantmaker focusing on systemic barriers that stand in the way of full access to equity and opportunity for Californians. Lateefah managed the Foundation’s portfolio of grants aimed at supporting groundbreaking advocacy in criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, low-wage workers’ rights, and civic engagement in California. In 2016 Lateefah helped launch the Leading Edge Fund, a new $2 million fund created to seed, incubate, and implement bold ideas from the next generation of progressive movement leaders in California.

Prior to joining Rosenberg, Lateefah was Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she revamped the 40-year-old organization’s structure and launched successful community-based initiatives, including the Second Chance Legal Services Clinic. Lateefah’s passion for supporting low-income young women and girls, and her advocacy for juvenile and criminal justice reform, began at the Center for Young Women’s Development (CYWD) in San Francisco. Now called the Young Women’s Freedom Center, the grassroots organization is run for and young women who come through and are affected by these systems. At age 19, Lateefah stepped into the role of Executive Director for 11 years. Lateefah also led the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry services division under the leadership of then-District Attorney Kamala D. Harris, where Lateefah spearheaded the flagship program, Back on Track. An advocacy program for young adults charged with low-level felony drug sales, Back on Track reduced the recidivism rate for the population it serves to under 10 percent.

Lateefah has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40, and the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service. She was named Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly and has also been recognized by the Ford Foundation, the National Organization for Women, Lifetime Television, and O Magazine. In 2016 Lateefah was elected to serve District 7 on the BART Board of Directors and was appointed by the governor to the California State University’s Board of Trustees.

When Lateefah isn’t working, she spends her time enjoying Oakland’s many family-friendly spaces with her two daughters.


Jen Sokolove

Program Director, Compton Foundation

Jen Sokolove is Program Director at the Compton Foundation. During her tenure at the Foundation, she has led on strategy and grantmaking in the fields of climate change, fresh water, and rural conservation in the western United States, as well as art for social change and sustainable food systems. She currently drives programming around movement-building and narrative in climate, reproductive justice, and peace and security. She has been working on sustainability issues for more than two decades, with a focus on natural resource-based economies and collaborative decision-making. Prior to joining Compton, Jen worked on a variety of community-led conservation projects in California, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest. She conducted post-doctoral research on sustainable food and farming while a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and completed her PhD at Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. She chairs the board of the Switzer Foundation, and serves on the board of the Consultative Group for Biological Diversity, the advisory boards for the Healthy Headwaters project of Carpe Diem West and the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UC Santa Cruz, and the steering committee of the Climate & Energy Funders Group. She lives in Oakland with her husband and nine-year old daughter, and can generally be found reading, running, or exploring the region's parks and farmers markets when not at work.  

Kavitha Sreeharsha

Portfolio Manager for Immigration, Emerson Collective

Kavitha Sreeharsha is the Portfolio Manager for Immigration at the Emerson Collective, where she supports partnerships national and local immigration advocacy and services to immigrants.  She has spent fifteen years as a non-profit attorney in direct services and training, policy and litigation, advocating with and on behalf of immigrants. Kavitha has drafted and successfully advocated for state and federal legislation and administrative advocacy expanding protections for immigrants. At the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Kavitha expanded language access policies to benefit limited English proficient immigrants. Prior to joining the Emerson Collective, Kavitha led a Career Pathways initiative for the Sobrato Family Foundation.  Kavitha received her bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley and J.D. from U.C. Hastings College of the Law.

Roy Steiner

Senior Director, Intellectual Capital Team, Omidyar Network

As the senior director of the Intellectual Capital team, Roy is focused on enabling the Omidyar Network to become a highly innovative and effective learning organization. Roy works across all regions and initiatives, working closely with both the board and the management team. His work focuses on helping the firm achieve its learning objective at all levels - ranging from external trends and environmental shifts, to testing our theories of change to social impact considerations to internal operational activities, and many facets in between

Prior to joining Omidyar Network Roy served for nearly a decade at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a deputy director and founding member of the agricultural development Initiative in the foundation’s global development program.  Previous to the Gates Foundation Roy spent 8 years in Africa where he was founder and CEO of Cyberplex Africa, one of the largest web development and knowledge management companies in southern Africa. Early in his career, Roy was an original founder and managing director of Africa Online, where he pioneered the delivery of Internet service in Zimbabwe. Furthermore, Roy was a senior manager of CH2MHill and a founding member of CH2MHill’s Strategies Group, which focused on assisting large corporate clients in strategically managing key environmental engineering and water management issues. Roy also has served McKinsey & Co both as a consultant early in his career and most recently as a senior advisor.

Roy holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in agricultural and biological engineering with minors in economics and International development from Cornell University. He also holds two B.S. degrees in both mechanical engineering and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Patricia Tanquary

CEO, Contra Costa Health Plan

Patricia Tanquary has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Contra Costa Health Plan since April 2007, directing and managing the activities of the Contra Costa Health Plan.  She, as part of the inter-divisional management team, assists in the planning, development and administration of the health programs and management activities of the Health Services Department and Contra Costa County.  Ms. Tanquary has been very involved with giving input into Health Care Reform with Local Health Plans of California (LHPC) and Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) organizations. 

Prior to being recruited to Contra Costa, Ms. Tanquary spent 18 years in management with Kaiser Permanente. She served as Director of Member Services for Northern California and then as Hospital and Health Plan Administrator for Kaiser Hospital at San Rafael.  As Continuing Care Leader, she initiated case management teams for high-risk populations including geriatric nurse practitioners in contracted skilled nursing facilities in South Bay, California.  Ms. Tanquary became Director of National Provider Contracting for all regions of Kaiser Permanente.

Ms. Tanquary had previously been the Associate Administrator for French Hospital and Health Plan in San Francisco for five years assisting them in implementing one of the four first Medicare Risk Demonstration Projects by CMS.

She earlier spent four years teaching social work and health courses and managed the undergraduate social work internship program at San Diego State University.  This work included surveying the Foster Care Program in San Diego County.

Ms. Tanquary has a Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University and both a Masters in Public Health Administration and a Doctorate in Social Welfare from U.C. Berkeley.in

Richard Tate

Director of Public Affairs, The California Wellness Foundation

Richard Tate is vice president of public affairs at The California Wellness Foundation, where he leads a multidisciplinary team responsible for the Foundation’s communications, community relations and public policy activities. In his role, Tate develops and implements strategies to further the reach and impact of Cal Wellness and its Advancing Wellness grantmaking by engaging audiences in addressing the issues central to the Foundation’s mission. He reports directly to the president and CEO and is a member of the senior management team.

Tate joined Cal Wellness in 2016 after ten years with HopeLab, the health-focused nonprofit organization of the Omidyar Group and a pioneer in digital health research and development. He was HopeLab’s first director of communications and marketing and advanced to become a vice president and member of the executive leadership team. He oversaw all public relations, media outreach and product marketing, including the successful launch of HopeLab’s groundbreaking Re-Mission video game for teens and young adults with cancer and HopeLab’s participation in the launch of the federal Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation at the White House, where President Barack Obama featured HopeLab and its Zamzee product as an exemplar of social innovation.

Prior to joining HopeLab, Tate was a director of corporate communications for the multinational biotechnology company Chiron Corporation, through its acquisition by Novartis AG. He managed communications and media relations related to Chiron’s biopharmaceuticals business, working closely with company executives, product marketing teams, investor and government relations personnel, research scientists and patient advocates. He began his career in communications as an editor and journalist and held editorial positions at the national newsmagazine The Advocate, Citysearch.com, and the Los Angeles lifestyle magazine Buzz. He also was an assistant director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Southern California.

He is a board member of the Bay Area Surgical Mission and participates in the organization’s work providing free medical care in remote communities in the Philippines challenged by poverty and limited access to health services. Tate earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Southern California, where he was a Deans Scholar and winner of USC’s Edward W. Moses Writing Competition. Tate has lived and worked in California since 1991 and is based in the Cal Wellness San Francisco office.

Fay Twersky

Director, Effective Philanthropy Group, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Fay Twersky is the Director of the Effective Philanthropy Group at the William and Flora Family Foundation. The team, which she shaped and launched in 2012, guides strategy, evaluation and organization learning within the Hewlett Foundation, and also leads grantmaking in support of organizational effectiveness and a strong philanthropic sector.

Fay spent 2010 to 2011 working in Jerusalem, advising Yad Hanadiv (The Rothschild Family Foundation) on issues of strategy and organization. She served for four years as director and member of the leadership team of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, designing and developing the impact planning & improvement division. She was also a founding principal of BTW – Informing Change, a strategic consulting firm.

Fay is frequent author and commentator on trends in philanthropy. Her publications include the 2014 Stanford Social Innovation Review article “The Artful Juggler,” on what it takes to be a successful foundation CEO, as well as Listening to Those Who Matter Most, the Beneficiaries and A Guide to Actionable Measurement. She serves on the boards of The Center for Effective Philanthropy and the UBS Optimus Foundation, and on the Curriculum Advisory Committee for Philanthropy University, a newly launched Massive Open Online Course offered in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Fay holds two bachelor’s degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, with high honors, from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fay and her wife Jill have two great kids, Jaz and David Nathan, and they frequently enjoy far-reaching family conversations over delicious home-cooked dinners.

Julia R. Wilson

CEO, OneJustice

As Chief Executive Officer, Julia R. Wilson is responsible for leading OneJustice's statewide network of 100+ nonprofit legal organizations, law firms, law schools and businesses that together provide life-changing legal assistance to over 270,000 low-income Californians each year.  In addition to her executive responsibilities at OneJustice, Julia enjoys traveling around California providing training and consulting support to the executives and boards of the legal nonprofit organizations in OneJustice's network.  Her programmatic areas of expertise include designing innovative pro bono delivery systems and building effective and engaging board governance, including training board members how to be joyful "sparkplug" friend- and fund-raisers for their organizations.   In 2012, she was named by the Daily Journal as one of California's Top 100 Attorneys in recognition of her work at OneJustice.

Julia started her legal career in 1998 as an Equal Justice Works (then NAPIL) Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, providing free legal assistance to low-income residents with a focus on serving very young children with disabilities.  She became Directing Attorney and then Legal Aid's first-ever Pro Bono Coordinator, developing and launching Legal Aid's pro bono programs, which continue today.  From 2005 to early 2013, she served as the shared executive director of both OneJustice and its sister organization, the Legal Aid Association of California (LAAC).  In this capacity, she led statewide advocacy efforts on behalf of the legal services delivery system, undertook multiple statewide strategic planning initiatives, and served as the legal services community’s liaison to key access to justice partners. During this period she received a 2010 CLAY (California Lawyer of the Year) Award from California Lawyer magazine for her work on the successful passage of AB 590 (Feuer), which created the Shriver Civil Counsel Act to increase representation for low-income Californians in civil matters affecting basic life necessities.

Julia graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a BA in Linguistics and with honors from Stanford Law School.  When not working on pro bono and nonprofit management issues, she plays indoor and outdoor soccer and roots for two soccer teams - FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspurs.  She lives in Pacifica with her husband, Michael, and her two teen-aged daughters.