As the Director of Foundation Center – South, Maria is responsible for providing and connecting the South’s diverse social sector with the tools, resources and knowledge it needs to strengthen impact and elevate the reach of philanthropy through strong capacity building within the wide social sector landscape.
Maria brings 20 years of recognized leadership, management and program development, and has worked at every level within diverse social work fields ranging from mental and public health, criminal justice, immigration, entrepreneurship, and school- and community-based work. She brings a deep passion and strong commitment to communities through emphasizing strong and sustainable programming, innovative partnerships and strategic multi-sector collaborations.
Prior to this role, Maria worked at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs as the inaugural Director of Programming and has taught at GSU’s School of Social Work. Maria holds her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Georgia State University and her Masters of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is very involved in her community in the realms of social and civic engagement and her career-long commitment to inclusive access to knowledge, information and tools stems from her experiences as an immigrant.
Jen Bokoff is the director of knowledge services at Foundation Center. She develops partnerships and projects that build knowledge and strategy in the social sector, with an eye specifically on grantmakers. In other words, she goes to sleep thinking about how brilliant curation of qualitative and quantitative data can drive smarter decisions in philanthropy. She also runs GrantCraft, a free service that taps the practical wisdom of funders to improve the collective knowledge of the philanthropy field. In her role, Jen regularly speaks at conferences and facilitates workshops with funders, and connects people to resources, ideas, and one another.
A graduate of Tufts University, Jen studied community health and sociology and spent two years involved in the Learning by Giving philanthropy program. She serves on the Alumni Council as the chair of the development committee and also serves on an advisory committee for The Moth’s education programs. In her spare time, she is an amateur comedic improviser, avid Brooklyn nerd, and second base woman on Foundation Center's winning-in-spirit softball team. Jen is a firm believer that social innovation and change happen only when passionate people across different industries collaborate; being a strong connector enables this growth in local communities and throughout the world.
As director of global partnerships at Foundation Center, Lauren Bradford manages the SDG Philanthropy Platform including SDGfunders.org and other major projects and relationships. She joined Foundation Center to create a global strategy for developing and managing bilateral and multilateral partnerships that are instrumental in fulfilling the organization’s vision to build a global data and knowledge base for philanthropy, strengthen and connect the philanthropic sector to the global development ecosystem, and achieve more effective grantmaking and development outcomes. Lauren began her career in strategic urban planning in Australia before transitioning to international development with the United Nations (UN) in Timor-Leste, where she worked on Millennium Development Goal progress and UN Country Team coordination. From there she joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), working in the World Heritage Center, and then to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Cooperation Directorate/Development Assistance Committee (DAC) where she advised and coordinated the OECD Post-2015 task team and supported the work on financing for development. After this, Lauren worked with the World Bank, looking at how best to leverage land to structure urban regeneration private-public partnerships.
With degrees in both urban planning and international development, Lauren has expertise in the global development framework and its relationship to data and knowledge, including the creation and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the financing of the 2030 development agenda.
As a geographer and programmer, Jake Garcia has worked on GIS projects for NASA, Al Gore's Climate Project, the City of New York, and the U.S. Army. At Foundation Center, he builds mapping applications, data visualizations, semantic analysis scripts, and application programming interfaces. In April 2011, Jake was the lead developer on a project that won the Large Organization award in the World Bank's "Apps for Development" contest. He received an M.A. in geography from Hunter College and a B.A. in political science from Brown University.
Applying new ideas and technologies to existing knowledge management infrastructures and methods, Lisa Brooks designs and implements systems that help social sector organizations easily and broadly share their knowledge. She co-directs Issuelab, a unique and ambitious open access knowledge sharing platform. Lisa also works with organizations to help them understand and adopt open publishing practices. She received a B.A in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley, and is completing an M.S. in library and information sciences at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Janet Camarena serves as the director of transparency initiatives for Foundation Center, working to champion greater foundation transparency. A key part of her role is to provide leadership for Glasspockets.org, which she helped to found and build in 2010. Glasspockets provides a variety of tools and features designed to encourage philanthropic openness. It has been recognized by the Webby Awards and was also selected as one of the Top 100 websites by PC Magazine. Janet also oversees and authors articles on the Glasspockets’ Transparency Talk blog.
Prior to her current role, Janet served as director of Foundation Center’s regional office in San Francisco for 15 years. She led a team of six professionals in delivering extensive outreach and capacity building services throughout the Western United States, planning and overseeing training for social sector audiences, carrying out donor development and cultivation, and producing live and online programming such as the popular Meet the Grantmakers and Philanthropy Chat podcast series.
Janet was among 48 nonprofit leaders selected for the American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy. She completed her undergraduate work at Mills College and received a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University. She serves on the boards of the Alameda County Library Foundation and Community Initiatives, a fiscal sponsorship provider.
As Vice President for Financial Strategy, Monisha leads the Finance, Administration and Subscription Products teams at Foundation Center. She is responsible for executing the financial strategy of Foundation Center, while developing innovative ways to grow the business and sustain the financial health of the organization in conjunction with its mission.
Monisha joins Foundation Center after 12 years at ADP, the world's largest provider of Human Capital Management and business outsourcing solutions. Throughout her career, she was instrumental in creating effective strategies, tools and processes to grow the financial statements, retain the client base, mitigate risk and enhance the overall customer experience. With an MBA from the University of Dallas, Monisha brings a strong background in financial planning and analysis, budgeting and forecasting. She has also held finance roles at Omni Hotel Corporation and BenefitMall, Inc.
DeeDee Dickey joined Foundation Center as director of human resources (HR) in April of 2010. She is responsible for managing the HR staff and overseeing all HR functions. DeeDee has extensive experience in HR having worked at Citigroup for many years in increasingly responsible positions. Prior to joining Foundation Center, she served as human resources director at the Harlem School of the Arts. DeeDee has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Howard University and an M.S. in HR Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School.
As the director of Foundation Center West, Michele Ragland Dilworth is responsible for elevating and expanding the reach of Foundation Center across the western region by building partnerships and strategies that help to strengthen services to the social sector.
Michele has 20+ years of experience raising brand profiles, building teams, and contributing to the success of both private and nonprofit organizations. She began her career in high tech product development and marketing before transitioning to the nonprofit sector where she has worked in the arts (Asian Art Museum), social services (Edgewood Center for Children and Families), and global affairs (World Affairs Council/Global Philanthropy Forum).
Among her many volunteer roles, Michele serves on the board of trustees for the San Francisco Friends School.
Katie Farnan started with Foundation Center as a reference librarian in 2008, working on the Ask Us chat service and developing creative communications for the organization in the form of videos and infographics. From there she moved into lead roles in the Funding Information Network program as well as GrantSpace.org. She now directs marketing and operational activities (including impact measurement) for the Social Sector Outreach unit, which is the Center's most forward-facing unit.
Katie earned her master's degree in library and information science at Kent State University in 2008 and has worked in special libraries, business libraries, and public libraries prior to working at Foundation Center. She was a 2008 Emerging Leader with the American Library Association. Outside the Center, Katie co-founded YNPN Cleveland in her home state of Ohio, a network that promotes the development of young professionals. She enjoys graphic design as a hobby and lives in Boulder, CO, with her family.
Aleda Gagarin joined Foundation Center in 2013 and currently serves as Director of Development. Her work includes oversight for fundraising schedules and tracking systems; donor prospecting and cultivation; and grant writing and reporting. Prior to joining Foundation Center, Aleda worked with North Star Planning and Evaluation Consultants as a researcher, helping on a program evaluation for the Ford Foundation’s Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime Initiative. In that role, she developed topic guides, conducted participant interviews, analyzed data, summarized findings, and created communication strategies to inform decision makers. Prior to this, Aleda served as a research assistant on multiple projects in New York and Washington, DC. She holds a B.A. in international studies from American University and a Master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College.
Laia leads the Data Discovery team's efforts to uncover new datasets and prototype them into our growing suite of services for philanthropy.
Laia joins Foundation Center from InterAction, where she worked for 9 years, most recently as Director of Transparency, Accountability and Results. She played a leading role in developing the data-rich rich NGO Aid Map, including building a team, streamlining processes to collect project data from InterAction's member organizations, and developing strategies for improving data quality. She led InterAction's advocacy efforts related to the transparency of U.S. foreign assistance, particularly as related to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a data standard Foundation Center also uses. Most recently, Laia led the Initiative for Open Ag Funding, a Gates-funded grant for which Foundation Center is a sub-grantee.
David Jacobs has been collecting, classifying, and working with data from the philanthropic sector for over two decades. He joined Foundation Center in 1996 as an editorial associate collecting grants information. In his new role as director of data management, he oversees the development and expansion of the editorial database, as well as the integration of data into our systems. Mr. Jacobs graduated with a B.A. from NYU.
As director of business insight, Crystal oversees Foundation Center’s customer engagement and business systems, and is spearheading project intelligence and insight initiatives. Before joining the Financial Strategy team, Crystal held various technology roles at Foundation Center, leading multiple system migrations to improve the look, feel, and functionality of the organization’s front and back-end systems. Most recently, Crystal has led the charge in legacy modernization of Foundation Center’s subscriptions, CRM, eCommerce, financials, and order processing systems.
Prior to joining Foundation Center, Crystal worked as a research associate at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Crystal holds a B.A. in literature and anthropology from Bennington College and an M.F.A. in fiction from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Larry McGill is vice president for knowledge services at Foundation Center. He joined the organization as vice president for research in 2007, overseeing the research on foundation giving trends, practices, and emerging issues in the field. Under his leadership, Foundation Center’s research program expanded rapidly to create dynamic online platforms for aggregating and visualizing global data on philanthropy and placing it in the larger context of emerging needs and international aid flows. As vice president for knowledge services, he also oversees the work of CF Insights, Glasspockets, Global Partnerships, GrantCraft, IssueLab, and Philanthropy News Digest.
Prior to joining Foundation Center, he served as director of research and planning for the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) at Princeton University and as deputy director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. From 1994 to 2001, Dr. McGill was director of research for the Freedom Forum and its operating programs, the Media Studies Center and the First Amendment Center. Prior to that, he was manager of news audience research at NBC. He has taught at Northwestern University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1987.
Julieta’s experience in the social sector spans more than ten years, with roles in grantmaking, fundraising, training, communications, outcomes measurement, and international development. She has extensive experience working both in the US and around the world. As director of programs for the Foundation Center’s Social Sector Outreach unit, she provides leadership for the organization's online, in-person, and customized training programs. Julieta holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics and political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master's degree in international relations from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD. She holds certificates in Fundraising Management from the Indiana University School of Fundraising Management, in Impact Measurement from Baruch College, School of Public Affairs at the City University of New York, and in Global Studies from the University of California Los Angeles.
As Director of Technology Integration, Kevin manages Foundation Center's Business Insights and Systems Services teams. Together, they help Foundation Center harmonize it's data flows to improve efficiency, migrate systems to the cloud, improve software development practices, and enhance system security protocol.
Kevin brings deep experience as a software developer and systems architect having worked with MacauSlot (China), KPMG, and Slalom Consulting. Kevin most recently served as the Tech Lead for Slalom during the design and build of Foundation Center's Enterprise Database Management System (EDMS). He earned a Bachelor of Computer Science from Grand Valley State University.
Mitch Nauffts joined Foundation Center in 1994 as print publications coordinator and became the organization’s first online services manager in 1996. After a stint as director of web services development, Mitch was named publisher/editorial director of Philanthropy News Digest(PND) in 2001, in which role he continues to serve. Many of Mitch’s interviews for PND have been collected in three volumes published by Foundation Center: September 11th: Perspectives from the Field of Philanthropy, Vols. One and Two, and Philanthropy in the 21st Century.
Kim Buckner Patton oversees Foundation Center’s Northeast region including our New York and Washington, DC, regional centers. Prior to her current position, she designed and delivered training programs and curriculum for Foundation Center geared toward developing and expanding the leadership and capacity of nonprofit organizations both domestically and abroad.
Prior to joining Foundation Center in 2007, Kim worked as a nonprofit director, fundraiser, and grantmaker for more than 20 years with organizations such as Hawaii Public Television, the Council on Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She received her J.D. from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and her B.A. in Communications from the University of Cincinnati.
Lisa Philp, based in Abu Dhabi and New York, serves as the senior advisor for Foundation Center. She joined Foundation Center in 2011 as vice president for strategic philanthropy and director of GrantCraft. Ms. Philp previously served as managing director and global head of Philanthropic Services for the J.P. Morgan Private Bank. In this role, she oversaw over $100 million in annual grantmaking by client foundations and advised hundreds of major donors on a wide array of charitable planning, strategy, and implementation issues.
Prior to this, Ms. Philp was a program officer for youth development and education at the Robin Hood Foundation, director of communications and government relations at Philanthropy New York, and manager of the urban consortium at Public Technology, Inc. Her leadership in the field has included roles as chair of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, vice chair of the New York Women's Foundation, and board member of Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families.
A frequent media commentator on philanthropy matters, Ms. Philp has also taught master's level coursework on philanthropy as an adjunct professor at New York University. She earned an M.B.A. in marketing and nonprofit management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received her B.A. in Asian studies and economics from the University of Michigan. Ms. Philp also participated in the mid-career Charles H. Revson Fellowship program at Columbia University.
Bradford K. Smith joined Foundation Center as its president on October 1, 2008. Previously, Mr. Smith was president of the Oak Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, a major family foundation with programs and grant activities in 41 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Prior to joining the Oak Foundation he developed and led the Ford Foundation's Peace and Social Justice Program, the foundation's largest program area. During his 10-year tenure as vice president, he distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations working on issues of human rights, international cooperation, governance, and civil society in the U.S. and around the world.
Mr. Smith has devoted his entire career to the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. He first joined the Ford Foundation as a program officer in its Brazil office before being promoted to representative. Prior to that, he directed the Brazil program of the Inter-American Foundation. At the start of his career, he worked for the YMCA of the USA, both in Costa Rica and New York, where he became manager for world development at its Center for International Management Studies.
Mr. Smith serves on the board of directors of the Tinker Foundation and the advisory board of the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security. He holds an M.A. in economics from the New School for Social Research in New York and a B.A. in anthropology and ethnomusicology from the University of Michigan.
Teleange′ Thomas was named director of Foundation Center Midwest, January 2016. She provides leadership for deepening the organization’s impact in thirteen Midwestern states, while enhancing the organization’s value proposition to the Cleveland community.
Ms. Thomas has 14-plus years of professional experience in the fields of healthcare, public health, human services, and philanthropy. Prior to joining Foundation Center, she served for seven years as a program director with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, overseeing strategies to reduce health disparities among vulnerable populations through strategic grantmaking, systems and policy change.
Teleange′ earned a bachelor’s of business management and entrepreneurial studies from Case Western Reserve University. She is a member of the boards of directors for Health Policy Institute of Ohio, Green City Growers, and the Conservancy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park; a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and is published in professional and academic journals.
Kate is director of Network Engagement at Foundation Center. She leads the direction, growth, and deeper engagement of the Funding Information Network, a network of more than 400 local resource centers which support their nonprofit and social entrepreneurs with access to Foundation Center resources. She also oversees the GrantSpace.org website and AskUs online librarian service. In her role, Kate channels her experience as a librarian, focused on connecting social sector professionals with the quality information and training resources they need to thrive.
Kate has worked in information literacy roles and the nonprofit sector for nearly a decade, with unique experiences ranging from providing reference and information literacy to teens, college students, nonprofits, and even investment bankers. She firmly believes in the power of informed communities to drive social change. Kate holds a Bachelors and Masters of English Literature from St. Bonaventure University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Dominican University (IL). Away from work, Kate enjoys adventures on the Internet, around her neighborhood of Brooklyn, and in the great outdoors.
As Director of Subscription Products, Tracy oversees sales, marketing and customer engagement. She also leads the strategic direction of the organization’s subscription products roadmap to meet the evolving needs of the social sector and to expand the reach of our data-driven products and partnerships.
Tracy has extensive experience in product management from a variety of technology companies, including Yodle and Rovi where she focused on products and services for small business, e-commerce clients, and digital media companies. Prior to that, she led various sales and marketing teams at Rounder Records. Tracy holds a B.A. in economics from Smith College and has been a guest lecturer at Rutgers University for undergraduate product management. She is a longstanding volunteer with God’s Love We Deliver and has also served as a pro bono advisor to the Brooklyn Food Coalition.
Renée oversees the creation of digital solutions that communicate the important work of philanthropy. As director of web design & development for Foundation Center, she leads the design and development of innovative online experiences that tell the stories of the efforts of foundations around the globe. Recent solutions include the new foundationcenter.org, sdgfunders.org, peaceandsecurityindex.org, and glasspockets.org. Since joining Foundation Center in 1997, Renée has helped the organization adapt to evolving technologies in order to advance knowledge about philanthropy. Renée began her social sector career at GMHC, the nation’s largest service organization for people living with HIV, leading 100+ social service volunteers and launching the organization’s first website in 1995. Renée holds a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism.
Zohra oversees Foundation Center’s regional hubs across the U.S., a Funding Information Network of 450+ worldwide affiliated locations, the GrantSpace.org website, and a range of training and advisory services. Together, this suite of “bricks and clicks” services connects social sector organizations to funding and knowledge resources in their communities, in-person, and online. Prior to joining Foundation Center, Zori was the president of Global Management Challenge USA, the world’s largest strategy and management (competition-based) training simulation platform, with operations in 40 countries and an extensive pipeline of more than 500,000 participants from the corporate and higher education sectors.
Zohra launched her career at SIFE (now known as Enactus), a global community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. Her roles with the organization included program development director, regional vice president of international programs, and vice president of SIFE Worldwide.
Zohra is multi-lingual, has traveled to more than 50 countries, and serves on several boards, including the Bayat Foundation and the Global Business School Network. She is currently based in New York City.