Mark Allegrini, Climate Solutions Collaborative Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
With experience as a sustainability consultant, advocate and grantmaker, Mark brings a diverse skill set and background to his role with the Climate Solutions Collaborative.
Mark joins Confluence from Cone Communications in Boston, where he worked with clients on all aspects of their CSR and Sustainability strategies including reporting, stakeholder engagement and issues management. Prior to Cone, Mark was at the nonprofit Ceres, where he advocated for better management of corporate sustainability. This work involved facilitating engagement with a broad range of stakeholders to move the market towards a more sustainable future, harnessing the power of investors, foundations, academics and companies to advance this mission. While at Ceres, Mark was involved in mapping the sustainable agriculture space, and developing a benchmark of corporate agriculture sourcing practices. Prior to this, he was at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC, where he worked on the Economic Policy Program to explore issues related to multilateral trade, agriculture policy, biofuels policy and their impact on global poverty and food security.
Mark holds a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and lives just South of Boston, MA with his wife and two young children.
Sharon Alpert, President and CEO, Nathan Cummings Foundation
haron Alpert is President and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, a multigenerational family foundation, with assets of nearly $500 million, that is committed to building a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society. Through grants, active shareholder work and impact investing, NCF supports innovative approaches to addressing the climate crisis and growing inequality. She is the foundation’s fourth president and its first woman leader. Prior to NCF, Sharon served as the VP of Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the Surdna Foundation. Previously she held positions with the Ford Foundation, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Washington Office on Environmental Justice, Representative Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and was a liaison to President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development. In the late ’90s, she had a short stint on Wall Street as Director of Marketing for a .com that provided technology solutions to banks and energy companies. She holds an M.P.A. and a B.S. in Agricultural, Resource, and Managerial Economics, both from Cornell University. Sharon lives in Brooklyn with her Canadian husband and their two children.
Fatima Angeles, Vice President of Programs, The California Wellness Foundation
Fatima Angeles is vice president of programs at The California Wellness Foundation, and oversees the Foundation’s grantmaking. Fatima joined Cal Wellness as a program director in February 1998 and became the director of evaluation and organizational learning in 2006. Before joining Cal Wellness, she was a program associate at the Hasbro Children’s Foundation. Fatima’s other philanthropic experience includes work with The Commonwealth Fund and the corporate philanthropy program of Pfizer Inc. Fatima served as director of the South of Market Teen Center and project coordinator for Asian American Communities Against AIDS. Fatima served as vice chair of the board of Grantmakers In Health, as secretary of the board of Northern California Grantmakers, and as chair of the board of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Fatima earned her master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Berit Ashla is Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Based in RPA’s San Francisco office, Berit is responsible for West Coast advisory services, leading work with individual, family foundation and corporate donors. She brings a wealth of experience in grantmaking, education, social justice, arts, sustainability, and foundation governance including ways to align philanthropic and investment impact. She is a frequent contributor to national and regional philanthropic conferences and participates in many donor networks. Prior to RPA, Berit was Executive Director of the David Brower Center, an innovative arts and sustainability center. Earlier in her career, she directed programs at Tides Foundation and Foundation Source. Berit’s board service includes Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Abundance Foundation, Nia Community Fund, the Institute for the Future, and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. She is a graduate of Amherst College, was an All American cross-country runner and pursues extensive hikes, travel and cultural adventures.
Rick Beckett, CEO, Global Partnerships
Rick Beckett is the President and CEO of Global Partnerships, an impact-led investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. During Rick's tenure Global Partnerships has invested more than $250 million in market-based solutions to poverty, bringing the opportunity to earn a living and improve life to more than 7 million people in sixteen developing countries throughout Africa and Latin America. Prior to joining Global Partnerships, Rick was managing director of a $112 million private equity fund investing in middle-market companies and early stage ventures. Rick spent 10 years at McKinsey & Company where he served financial institution and healthcare clients on strategy and performance. He specialized in helping not-for-profit organizations achieve superior results in competitive markets. While at McKinsey, Rick co-authored the bestselling book Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth And Performance At Your Company. He holds a B.A. with distinction in economics from Stanford University, and an M.B.A. as an Arjay Miller Scholar from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Rick has served on the boards of directors of numerous privately held portfolio companies and not-for-profit organizations, including Direct Relief International and The Initiative for Global Development.
Melissa Beck, Executive Director, The Educational Foundation of America
Melissa Beck is the Executive Director of The Educational Foundation of America (EFA). EFA is a family foundation that makes grants nationally to organizations working on climate, creative placemaking, democracy, and reproductive health. Prior to joining EFA, Melissa was the CEO of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), a New York City based non-profit dedicated to enhancing access to justice for children and families throughout New York State. Before LIFT, she worked on criminal justice reform on a national and local scale. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Melissa was a litigator. She was a prosecutor in the Brooklyn DA's Office and a criminal defense attorney. Melissa has been an Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Management at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and an Adjunct Professor of Women’s Studies at Fordham University. She is the author of numerous articles on nonprofit management and social justice issues and is a playwright. She sits on the Leadership Council of the Support Center on Nonprofit Management and on the Steering Committee of the Active Owners Working Group at Confluence Philanthropy. Melissa is a graduate of Hampshire College, received her JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Columbia Business School. Melissa Beck is the Executive Director of The Educational Foundation of America (EFA). EFA is a family foundation that makes grants nationally to organizations working on climate, creative placemaking, democracy, and reproductive health. Prior to joining EFA, Melissa was the CEO of Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT), a New York City based non-profit dedicated to enhancing access to justice for children and families throughout New York State. Before LIFT, she worked on criminal justice reform on a national and local scale. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Melissa was a litigator. She was a prosecutor in the Brooklyn DA's Office and a criminal defense attorney. Melissa has been an Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Management at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and an Adjunct Professor of Women’s Studies at Fordham University. She is the author of numerous articles on nonprofit management and social justice issues and is a playwright. She sits on the Leadership Council of the Support Center on Nonprofit Management and on the Steering Committee of the Active Owners Working Group at Confluence Philanthropy. Melissa is a graduate of Hampshire College, received her JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the Columbia Business School.
Aimee Barnes, Senior Advisor to the Governor, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Aimee Barnes was appointed senior advisor to the Governor in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2017. She has over 10 years experience in climate, energy and sustainability, spanning the state, federal and international levels, as well as the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She served as Deputy Secretary for Border and Intergovernmental Relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2013 to 2016. Previously, Barnes was a partner at Allotrope Partners, where she worked on clean energy projects and innovative climate finance in emerging markets. Earlier in her career, Aimee worked for the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), helping to establish the first federal entity in the Gulf dedicated to climate change and energy. Aimee’s work focused primarily on the country’s engagement in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. Prior to that, Aimee worked as an advisor to the UK Government in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Strategy Directorate. Before that, Aimee worked as a senior manager of US regulatory affairs for carbon-offset developer EcoSecurities, helping set up their Global Regulatory Affairs Group in 2007 and managing the company's US state, regional and federal policy engagement. Aimee began her career with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in San Francisco, where she worked on state environmental legislation, land-related litigation and policy work. She has an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and a BA from Dartmouth College in Environmental Studies.
Alex Bernhardt, Principal, Mercer
Alex Bernhardt, US Responsible Investment (RI) Leader for Mercer Investments, is a noted expert in catastrophe, weather and financial risk management. In his role as US RI leader Alex regularly leads ESG integration exercises with the boards and investment committees of institutional investors of all types and sizes while driving innovation in environmental and social risk management. Alex was a lead contributor to Mercer’s Investing in a Time of Climate Change research and has since (co)-led related consulting arrangements with institutional investors across North America managing over $800B in assets.
Prior to joining Mercer, Alex was a Senior Vice President at Guy Carpenter, another Marsh & McLennan operating company, where he founded and ran the firm's GC Micro Risk Solutions® division focused on designing and developing index-based micro(re)insurance programs for development banks, microfinance institutions and insurers. Additionally, he supported the firm's broader growth efforts advising public and private risk bearing entities on a variety of issues with a focus on disaster risk management, energy liability and credit risk. In this capacity Alex co-led the Flood Insurance Risk Study, an in-depth year-long project for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) focused on researching the global capacity for catastrophic flood reinsurance, options for flood insurance privatization in the US and the NFIP's capital adequacy.
He received a BA from the University of Puget Sound, is a board member for Earth Economics and is often quoted in financial industry press.
Suzanne Biegel, Catalyst at Large, Women Effect and Confluence Board Member
Suzanne is an individual donor/impact investor and is the founder of Catalyst at Large and the Founder/Chief Catalyst of Women Effect, a global community of investors and philanthropists investing with a gender lens. She has served on the Board of Directors of Confluence Philanthropy for 6 years. She was previously Vice Chair of the Board of Liberty Hill Foundation. She is a long time member of Women Donors Network and Social Venture Network. She serves as an advisory council member on the Wharton Social Investment Investing in Women initiative, amongst a number of other advisory positions. Suzanne has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, angel investor, philanthropist, board member, and hands-on operational manager. She is a fellow at the Aspen Institute. Suzanne received the Beacon Award in the UK in 2015. In the 1990s, she was the CEO of IEC, an e-learning and communications firm, which she and her partner sold in 1998. Suzanne holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton Business School.
Keith Bisson, President, Coastal Enterprises Inc
Keith Bisson is President at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI). Prior to that he was the Senior Vice President for Program Management and Development where he managed CEI’s small business counseling, natural resources, and workforce development programs. He was also responsible for development and management of CEI’s $12 million Northern Heritage Development Fund and $5.5 million Working Partners Initiative, winner of the 2011 Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance; monitoring and participating in Federal rural development policy; and managing and developing foundation and investor relations. A graduate of McGill University and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Keith is active in the community and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of: Four Directions Development Corporation, a CDFI serving Maine’s four Native American tribes; the Opportunity Finance Network; and the CDFI Coalition.
Margot Brandenburg, Founder, My Strong Home
Margot is Founder of MyStrongHome, a b corporation that builds resilience to extreme weather by offering specialized construction upgrades and insurance-based financing to homeowners in catastrophe-prone areas of the US. She formerly managed the impact investing initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation, co-authored the book "The Power of Impact Investing", and serves as a Trustee of the Woodcock Foundation as well as on the Boards of Brooklyn Cooperative Credit Union and the Workers Lab.
Patrick Briaud, Philanthropic Advisor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Patrick helps individuals, foundations and corporations achieve their social impact goals – including strategic planning, impact investing implementation, grants management and impact evaluation. His areas of expertise include Impact Investing, Sustainable Development Goals, Monitoring & Evaluation, Faith-Based Giving and Financial Inclusion. Patrick frequently speaks on philanthropy and impact investing at a range of events, including Americans for the Arts, Confluence Philanthropy, Mission Capital, and Opal Family Office.
Prior to RPA, Patrick was head trader and investment analyst of Lee Financial’s $900M portfolio. As a professional tennis player, he earned a world doubles ranking of 125 and played in Wimbledon 2008.
Patrick has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Yale’s School of Management. He serves on the boards of Briaud Financial Advisors, LearnPhilanthropy and the Rivendell Institute at Yale. When not at work, Patrick can be found wrestling with his two nephews, discussing the implications of different worldviews and dancing the Texas two-step.
Elizabeth Brown, President and CEO, Community Foundation Sonoma County
Elizabeth Brown believes that we all have a deep desire to give and we are at our best, individually and collectively, when we harness generosity and channel it towards inspired change. Beth brings 25 years of experience in philanthropy to her role as President and CEO of Community Foundation Sonoma County, turning donors into grantmakers and bringing the nonprofit community together to drive innovation. Beth previously served in leadership roles at the Marin Community Foundation and the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C., and as a philanthropic advisor at US Trust. She is a recent winner of the North Bay Business Journal’s Nonprofit Leadership Award. When Beth is not plotting the best possible future for Sonoma County alongside donors, nonprofit leaders or her amazing foundation staff, you can find her practicing yoga and hiking with her fiancé in Sonoma County’s regional parks.
Cedric Brown, Chief of Community Engagement, Kapor Center for Social Impact
Cedric Brown is the Chief of Community Engagement at the Kapor Center for Social Impact. He has over 20 years of experience as a funder, convenor, and advisor, steering over $60 million in grants to community efforts through working with the Kapor Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco Education Fund, Switzer Foundation, and SF Cultural Equity Grants among others. He has worked steadily to ensure access, inclusion, and greater empowerment for people of color, including collaborations with the Obama White House Office of Science and Tech Policy, the Congressional Black Caucus Tech2020 Initiative, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and an appearance in the “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap” documentary. He is the co-founder of Brothers Code, the College Bound Brotherhood, and the Oakland Startup Network. He is also a proud board member of the ABFE and Project Include as well as an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Cedric is published author and creative artist, and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina and Stanford University.
Adam Browning, Executive Director, Vote Solar Initiative
Adam is the co-founder and Executive Director of Vote Solar, a non-profit advocacy organization with the mission of bringing solar energy into the mainstream. Vote Solar was founded in 2002, and since then has been working on implementing pro-solar policies at the state level, with the goal of jumpstarting the national transition to renewable energy. Vote Solar’s headquarters is in Oakland, California, with 18 advocates in offices in Denver, Boston, and Washington DC, working to advance solar markets around the country.
Prior to Vote Solar, Adam spent eight years with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s San Francisco office, where he won the Agency’s top pollution prevention award for developing a program that reduced air emissions of mercury. Adam received a BA with Distinction from Swarthmore College in 1992, and served with the Peace Corps in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
Mark Bünger, VP of Research and Client Development, Lux Research on Synthetic Biology
Mark Bünger works with clients to develop their innovation processes and organizations, to take strategic advantage of emerging technologies and new business models. He joined Lux Research in 2005, and launched the company’s biosciences, digital, technology foresight, and consulting services. Prior to Lux, he worked as a management consultant, technology analyst, and entrepreneur at Accenture, Forrester Research, and several startups. He has served as chairman of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, and guest lectures at the University of California Berkeley. Mark studied business at Mälardalen Polytechnic (Sweden) and the University of Texas at Austin, and studied and worked in neurology and bioengineering labs at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is an avid linguist, athlete, and Maker.
Alison Carlson, Founder and President, Forsythia Foundation
Alison Carlso is the founder and President of Forsythia Foundation (www.forsythiafdn.org), committed through U.S. grantmaking and integrated investing to scaling green chemistry and materials innovation in order to prevent toxic pollution and reduce chronic disease burdens. Forsythia Foundation recently instigated the launch of Safer Made, a new venture capital fund investing in companies and technologies that are safer for people and planet. Alison previously co-founded Passport Foundation; co-launched UCSF’s Program on Reproductive Health and Environment; served as Senior Fellow at Commonweal Institute; assistant directed the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ social entrepreneurship program; and spent 16 years as a sports coach, commentator, promoter, and advocate. She co-founded the International Work Group on Gender Verification in Sports, an athlete eligibility standards reform effort; and co-created and served as contributor for Public Radio’s first full sports program, Only A Game. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University (human biology).
Kesha Cash, Founder and General Partner, Impact America Fund
Kesha Cash is founder and general partner of Impact America Fund, a venture capital firm investing in high-growth companies that are accelerating change in underserved communities. Dubbed a “Top Five Gamechanger” by Forbes and a “Power Investor” by Essence, Kesha spent the first decade of her career as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Merrill Lynch, an operational consultant to inner-city small businesses in Los Angeles, and an impact investments associate at Bridges Ventures in the UK. She received her MBA from Columbia Business School and her B.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. Kesha shares her thought leadership and passion for investing in underserved communities as a national speaker, contributing writer for Women@Forbes, and guest lecturer at Columbia Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Dave Castillo, CEO, Native Capital Access
Mr. Castillo was appointed CEO of Native Capital Access in 2009. In that role he has developed technical assistance services that build the capacity of tribal professionals in the use of debt financing for community development projects. Areas of emphasis include assessing market demand, underwriting development projects, leveraging tribal funds and structuring debt facilities unique to projects on tribal lands.
Tina N. Castro, CFA, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Avivar Capital
Tina is a managing partner and co-founder of Avivar Capital, bringing over 17 years of experience in finance and investment management. She co-leads the firm’s overall business activities and serves as an impact investment advisor to Avivar’s clients providing guidance on development and execution of impact investing portfolios and funds. Prior to founding Avivar, Tina spent more than five years as Director of Impact Investing for The California Endowment (TCE) and prior to that, six years in the Investment Management Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. At TCE, a health-focused private foundation with over $3 billion in assets, Tina developed financing vehicles and strategies that delivered solid financial returns, leveraged significant additional investment capital and supported TCE’s Building Healthy Communities goals. This included the California FreshWorks Fund, a $272 million public-private partnership loan fund to finance healthy food retail in underserved communities throughout CA as well as TCE’s $101 million Program-Related Investment portfolio focused on healthy food retail, community health centers, affordable housing and community lending. Tina has designed and built impact investing portfolios and funds on behalf of clients ranging from large national and regional private foundations to local community foundations including authoring Impact Investing Policy Statements, designing impact investing processes to support effective execution of impact investment activities and designing social and financial performance tracking systems. Tina is a CFA Charterholder, has an MBA in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and an MA in International Affairs with a focus in International Business from the University of Miami. She earned a BA Cum Laude in International Relations with a focus in Latin America from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Tina currently sits on the board of Aeris Insight, the National Advisory Council for the Building Healthy Places Network, and the Dignity Health Community Economic Initiatives Subcommittee. She is also formerly an Adjunct Instructor for a graduate course on impact investing at USC.
Jeff Chang, Executive Director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts
Jeff Chang is the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. His books include Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, Who We Be: The Colorization of America (published in paperback in January 2016 under the new title, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post Civil Rights America). His latest, We Gon' Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation, was published in September 2016. His next book will be a biography of Bruce Lee.
Jeff co-founded CultureStr/ke and ColorLines. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" and by KQED as an Asian Pacific American Local Hero. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and the winner of the Asian American Literary Award.
Catherine Chen, Managing Director and Financial Advisor, RBC Wealth Management
atherine has significant corporate finance and institutional advisory experience and has been in the investment field since 1993. Before joining RBC, she was part of the SRI Wealth Management Group at Piper Jaffray for five years where she advised foundations, non-profit organizations and high net worth individuals on ESG investments. Prior to Piper Jaffray, Catherine worked with J.P. Morgan for almost seven years and was an investment banker covering the healthcare, natural resources and technology sectors. During her tenure at J.P. Morgan, Catherine advised clients on over $5 billion of M&A, project finance and equity and fixed income underwriting transactions. She was based in the New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong offices, and has expertise in advising multi-national companies. Prior to that, she was an analyst in the International Banking Department of Chinatrust Commercial Bank in Taiwan, part of one of the largest conglomerates in Taiwan. She performed investment analysis for a variety of project finance transactions and assisted in establishing its Hong Kong office.
Catherine is a Board Member of the East Bay Community Foundation, former Advisory Board member of the Women's Funding Network, and former Board member of the Children's Council of San Francisco, a non-profit childcare referral and resource center. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and has a BA in both Economics and History where she is a Cal Alumni Scholar. She is also a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®), a designation she earned from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of IMCA (Investment Management Consultants Association). She is Series 7 and 66 registered, and holds a California insurance license. Catherine is a member of the Social Investment Forum. She has sat on the firm’s Investment Advisory Group Council, is a member of the firm’s Senior Consulting Group, and is part of the President's Council in the firm (which is a distinction bestowed on high producing advisors in the firm). She is also a proud parent to two kids with her husband.
Ener Chi, Associate Director of Real Estate Development, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)
Ener Chiu has been with EBALDC since 2004. He has successfully completed new construction projects totaling more than 440 units of affordable rental and ownership housing in Oakland, and nearly 30,000 square feet of commercial and medical clinic space, totaling more than $175 million in total development costs. As the Associate Director, he currently oversees a development pipeline of five projects totaling 363 affordable homes, and specializes in urban transit-oriented sites and joint venture partnerships with mixed-income and mixed-use development programs. Ener was a founding member of Old Oakland Neighbors; a Founding Family Member of Yu Ming Charter School; and served on the Investor Oversight Committee the New Parkway Theater and the Master Association of Pacific Renaissance Plaza. Currently, he is the Board Vice President of East Bay Housing Organizations and a Steering Committee Member for the Oakland Chinatown Coalition as well as the Friends of Lincoln Square Park. Ener holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley, and lives in Oakland with his wife, two daughters, and pit bull.
Leslie Christian, Integrated Capital Specialist, NorthStar Asset Management
Leslie Christian, a leader and innovator in social and environmental investing, is focused on the development of Integrated Capital, a framework for investing that accounts for the global risks of our time as well as the vision, values and aspirations of each client. Through Outside Investments, a division of NorthStar Asset Management, Leslie offers consulting and advisory services to individuals and institutions seeking an integrated capital approach. Leslie joined Portfolio 21 Investments in 1995 and served as its President and CEO until 2012. She is a Board member Seattle Good Business Network.
Aimée Christensen, Manager, Christensen Family Office
Aimée Christensen is CEO of Christensen Global Strategies with clients including the Clinton Global Initiative, Duke Energy, Microsoft, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Swiss Re, Virgin Unite, and United Nations. Trained as an environmental and energy lawyer, she has two decades’ experience in policy, law, investment, and philanthropy including with the U.S. Department of Energy, World Bank, Baker & McKenzie and Google where she guided its earliest climate and energy strategy including a commitment to carbon neutrality. She was Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General's High-level Group on Sustainable Energy For All and co-chair of the World Climate Summit where 800 business leaders mobilized climate solutions. She negotiated the first bilateral climate change agreements (U.S. – Costa Rica 1994, et al.) and wrote the first university endowment investment policy on climate change (Stanford University, 1999). She was the 2011 Hillary Laureate and a 2010 Aspen Catto Fellow. In 2009 she relocated to Sun Valley, Idaho to be with family and manage her family’s investments including in solar energy companies, projects and funds. She graduated from Smith College and Stanford Law School.
Stephanie is a Managing Director of the firm specializing in impact investing. She oversees the Impact Investing strategy for the firm, and co-leads the Business Development strategy. She sits on the Impact Investing Committee, and also leads impact client relationships. She joined in January 2018, bringing more than 19 years of experience in global impact investing, impact fund design and implementation. She specializes in translating client’s “theory of change” and their personal values into an actionable investment framework.
Prior to coming to Tiedemann, Stephanie was leading the impact investing strategy at Threshold Group, a multi-family office located in San Francisco, Seattle and Philadelphia. She was a voting member of the Investment Committee and launched Threshold’s presence in the San Franciso/Bay Area in 2015. Prior to Threshold Group, Stephanie was the CEO of Toniic, an impact investor network where she led all aspects of strategy, growth and operations, having grown the organization’s footprint to Australia, the Middle East and South Africa. At Omidyar Network, an impact investment firm created by eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar, Stephanie managed a $70M portfolio of early stage impact investments in South Asia, West Africa and Latin America focused on formalizing the property rights of the poor and financial inclusion. She has also held positions at Planet Finance and ACDI/VOCA originating loans to microfinance institutions in Central Asia, Russia and Latin America for socially responsible investors in Europe and the US, and spent a few years in the fixed income group at UBS Investment Bank in NYC and London where she held a Series 7. She has served as a consultant to the World Bank and UNESCO focused on education finance in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Stephanie has been a board director to multiple international non-profits, including Women Thrive, Landesa, TheMix.org, SEEP Network and two global investment funds: MFX Solutions and the MicroBuild Fund. She was a Steering Committee member of Investors’ Circle. She is currently on the ImpactAssets 50 2018 Review Committee, reviewing impact investing fund applicants.”
She holds a BSc in Philosophy and Politics from Bristol University, England, a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics, and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School focused on Trade and Finance. She now lives with her husband, son and daughter in the Bay Area.
Michael Connor, Founding Executive Director, Open MIC (Open Media and Information Companies Initiative)
Michael Connor is the founding Executive Director of Open MIC, a non-profit that works to foster greater corporate accountability at media and technology companies, principally through shareholder engagement. Working with impact investors, Open MIC identifies, develops and supports campaigns that promote values of openness, equity, privacy, and diversity – values that provide long-term benefits for individuals, companies, the economy and the health of democratic society. Current Open MIC initiatives include racial and gender diversity in the tech workforce; algorithmic accountability; hate speech and media manipulation; network neutrality; and online privacy. Michael helped launch Open MIC following a distinguished career as an award-winning media executive, entrepreneur and journalist with extensive experience in television, print and the Internet. A former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and correspondent for ABC News, Michael’s journalism has received numerous honors, including two national Emmys, a Columbia-duPont Award, a Writers Guild Award and a nomination for an Academy Award. He is called on frequently for expert commentary on media issues by major news organizations, including NBC News, CNN International, CNBC, ABC News 20/20, USA Today and NPR. Michael is Vice Chairman of the board of the Center for an Urban Future, a think tank which serves as a catalyst for smart and sustainable policies that reduce inequality, increase economic mobility, and grow the economy of New York City. He also serves on the board of the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and lives in New York City.
Megan Crocker, Consultant, Energy Foundation
Megan is passionate about supporting people at the critical intersection of clean energy and finance. She has built a career in service: supporting investors, developing partnerships, and stewarding funders. She has broad industry experience in alternative investments, philanthropy, and non-profits. The first decade of her career she spent in client service at Symphony Asset Management, a $10B AUM hedge fund, working with institutional and individual investors. After earning her MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in 2014, she spent 2 years working to launch a cleantech venture fund. Subsequently, she began work for the Energy Foundation, stewarding and supporting funders, as Director, Strategic Partnerships, and most recently as an Independent Consultant. Megan serves as an officer on the Board of Directors of RE-volv, an innovative nonprofit organization that uses a revolving fund to finance community-based solar projects nationwide. She is deeply motivated to accelerate the clean energy transition. Megan is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA, 2007) and received a BS in Veterinary Science (1998) from the University of Arizona, Tucson. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Megan now lives in San Francisco with her husband and three young boys.
Anna De la Cruz, Senior Advisor, Linked Foundation
Anna is a Seattle-based social impact consultant with an emphasis on global health, microfinance and social enterprise. As consultant to Linked Foundation, she leads the foundation’s impact measurement work and advises the foundation on its overall portfolio investment strategy. Anna has also served as consultant and advisor to Qualcomm Wireless Reach, the Aspen Institute, Innovations in Healthcare at Duke University, and other funders and practitioners interested in measuring and maximizing their social impact. Before starting her consulting practice, Anna gained experience evaluating international development programs working with the UCSF Global Health Group, Innovations for Poverty Action, and the Financial Access Initiative at New York University. She received a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on International Policy from New York University, and a Bachelor’s in International Studies from the University of Washington.
Deborah Cullinan, CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role arts organizations can play in shaping our social and political landscape, and has spent years mobilizing communities through arts and culture.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) CEO Deborah Cullinan is one of the nation’s leading thinkers on the pivotal role arts organizations can play in shaping our social and political landscape, and has spent years mobilizing communities through arts and culture. Deborah is committed to revolutionizing the role art centers play in public life and during her tenure at YBCA, she has launched several bold new programs, engagement strategies, and civic coalitions. Prior to joining YBCA in 2013, she was the Executive Director of San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts. She is a co-founder of CultureBank and ArtsForum SF, co-chair of the San Francisco Arts Alliance and on the board of the Community Arts Stabilization Trust. Her passion for using art and creativity to shift culture has made her a sought-after speaker at events and conferences around the world.
Erika Seth Davies, Chief of Staff, Baltimore Community Foundation
Erika Seth Davies serves as the Chief of Staff of the Baltimore Community Foundation. She has been a nonprofit leader for more than 15 years with extensive experience in development and fundraising, program design, collaboration and partnership management, and racial equity advocacy. Prior to joining BCF, she was the Vice President for External Affairs for ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities where she led the organization’s development, membership, and marketing and communications efforts in addition to special projects.
While at ABFE, Ms. Davies designed the SMART Investing initiative, the first philanthropic effort to incorporate a racial equity lens in foundation endowment practice through increased access to foundation endowments for minority- and women-owned investment management firms. She authored white papers promoting policies and practice in support of this approach, including Foundation Investment Management Practices: Thoughts on Alpha and Access for the Field and Diverse Managers: Philanthropy’s Next Hurdle. Ms. Davies also managed Leverage the Trust, a national initiative to identify and support black trustees of foundation in advancing racial equity within their institutions, and Catalyzing Community Giving Institute, a project aimed at increasing strategic giving among black Greek-letter organizations, professional and civic organizations.
She was a member of the inaugural class of the ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellowship program, a recipient of the NYU Wagner School of Public Service IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector, and a member of the class of 2017 for the Executive Leadership Institute of CFLeads. Ms. Davies enjoys volunteering as a member of the Impact Hub Baltimore Advisory Board, the Vice President of the McDonogh Parents Association and as a member of the McDonogh Alumni Board. She also volunteers with grassroots organizations in Baltimore, providing development and fundraising assistance. She earned a B.A. in English and Certificate of African Studies from Georgetown University.
Brandy Davis, Investor Program Manager, Confluence Philanthropy
Brandy joined Confluence after providing customized philanthropic services to individuals, families and foundations at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. As a philanthropy advisor, Brandy partnered with donors to increase the strategic impact of their grantmaking, and supported foundations to have effective operations and governance.
Before her career in philanthropy, Brandy was a social justice advocate and public interest attorney. Brandy was executive director of a legal aid organization that advocated for the rights of immigrant communities in Los Angeles. She also led a statewide labor-community coalition and partnered on national organizing campaigns focused on policy solutions for working families, including paid sick leave and family leave.
Brandy has a law degree from USC Gould School of Law and is a member of the California Bar. She has a bachelor's degree from UC Irvine and a certificate in nonprofit management from UCLA. Brandy was born and raised in a small farming community in rural California and makes her home in the Bay Area, where she can be found exploring hiking trails.
Bridget Dobrowski, Program & Operations Director, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders (SAFSF)
Bridget Dobrowski joined the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders in 2009 and has held many different roles and responsibilities during that time. She has a master’s in environmental science and management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before grad school, her professional work experience included time with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; interning with the Sonoran Institute in Montana and the Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara; and working as a biological field technician for the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service in Montana, Idaho, and Utah. She grew up half in Montana and half in Ohio, giving her the perspective to confidently say she always wants to live in the West, without thinking everyone else should feel the same way.
In addition to her professional work with environmental and food system issues over the last 15 years, Bridget has a passion for theater, yoga – especially AcroYoga, building & fixing things, sewing, crocheting, cooking, and helping friends whenever she can.
Andrea Dobson, Chief Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Andrea Dobson is nationally known for her leadership in philanthropic finance and investing. A CPA with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan, she is committed to addressing the issues related to poverty, race and social justice, education and economic equity. Andrea currently serves as Executive Committee Member and Treasurer of the Neighborhood Funders Group Board, the International Funders of Indigenous Peoples, and the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund Board, and on the Southeastern Council of Foundations Audit Committee. She has spoken frequently at conferences on her work in mission-related investing, including the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, the Mission Investors Exchange, and the Grant Managers Network. In addition, she is sought after to speak at conferences focusing on emerging managers, and providing opportunities for women and minority led investment firms. She provides pro bono consulting to many nonprofits in the areas of financial management and transparency. Her work in communications has received several Wilmer Rich Shields awards for excellence.
Penelope Douglas, Founding Partner, CultureBank
Penelope Douglas has spent the past two decades as a social entrepreneur, pioneer in community development investment, co-founder and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, and Senior Executive and Chair of the Board of Mission HUB LLC and SOCAP. Her earlier career was in a succession of executive management and operating positions at Wells Fargo Bank, the law firm Morrison & Foerster, and the consumer products company Odwalla. Most recently, she has been developing CultureBank, an initiative to foster a new investment paradigm for community investment, and serves as its Director and Founding Partner. CultureBank was incubated at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and has collaborating partners which include RSF Social Finance.
She has served as Strategic Advisor to RSF Social Finance and is a Visiting Scholar at Federal Reserve Bank Community Development Division. Penelope is an appointed Director of the Board of Opportunity Finance Network. She is a Director of New Resource Bank and she also serves on the Board of Startgrid, a technology platform for innovation networks.
Penelope has been a frequent speaker and has been featured by media outlets such as the New York Times, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, and California magazine. She was named to the YBCA 100 List in 2017 for her work “building bridges between finance and arts and culture.” Penelope is also an artist and an athlete.
Allison Duncan, Founder and CEO, Amplifier Strategies
Allison Duncan is a serial social entrepreneur and advisor to leading philanthropists working at the intersection of philanthropy, investing and innovation.She was the founder and CEO of Amplifier Strategies for more than a decade, a strategy and design agency focused on social movements and philanthropy. She co-founded Uplift, a collaborative initiative for ultra poverty alleviation, where she currently serves on the board and as interim CEO. She also co-founded Impact Atlas, a technology platform for personalized mentoring programs and was the lead architect and community builder for Battery Powered, the largest and fastest growing giving club in America.