David Abbott, Executive Director, The George Gund Foundation
David Abbott is executive director of The George Gund Foundation, a grantmaking organization focused primarily on Cleveland and committed to making Cleveland, and urban areas generally, more globally competitive, livable, sustainable and just. He oversees the Foundation’s work in the arts, community and economic development, education, the environment, and human services. He is a member of the executive committee of The Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of grantmakers, and serves on the board of Team NEO, a partnership of business and philanthropy. Both are working to catalyze economic transformation of Northeast Ohio.
Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as president of University Circle Incorporated, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and executive director of the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission. Abbott was also the Cuyahoga County administrator and, early in his career, a reporter for The Plain Dealer. He holds a B.A. in political science from Denison University, a M.S. in journalism from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, Environmental Justice Advocate & Co-host, Think 100%
Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali is a renowned national speaker, policy maker, community liaison, trainer, and facilitator. He specializes in social and environmental justice issues and is focused on utilizing a holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities.
He joined the Hip Hop Caucus, after working 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where he most recently served as Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization. He joined the EPA as a student and became a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice in 1992. He has since worked with over 500 domestic and international communities to improve people’s lives by addressing environmental health and economic justice issues, while strengthening the federal government’s environmental justice policies and programs.
Dr. Ali has conducted over 1,000 presentations worldwide, including speeches and trainings at Harvard, Howard, Yale, Georgetown, Spelman, and Albany Law School. He is also a former instructor at West Virginia University and Stanford University.
Mustafa has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, VICE News, Democracy NOW, and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. He has also been featured in the Washington Post, GQ Magazine and cited in over 200 news publications since resigning from the EPA in March of 2017. His EPA resignation letter to Scott Pruitt has been read over a million times.
Cathy Albisa, Executive Director, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)
Cathy co-founded NESRI along with Sharda Sekaran and Liz Sullivan in order to build legitimacy for human rights in general, and economic and social rights in particular. She is committed to a community-centered and participatory human rights approach that is locally anchored, but universal and global in its vision. Cathy has a background in constitutional and human rights, and significant expertise in reproductive justice, corporate accountability and economic and social rights. She has published extensively and served on boards as diverse as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the International Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Network, and the Center for Social Inclusion, among others. She clerked for the Honorable Mitchell Cohen in the District of New Jersey. She received a BA from the University of Miami and is a graduate of Columbia Law School.
Dimple Abichandani, President, General Service Foundation
Dimple Abichandani is the Executive Director of the General Service Foundation (GSF), a private foundation that supports organizations advocating for racial and gender justice. Dimple joined General Service Foundation in 2015, bringing almost two decades of experience advancing social justice as a lawyer, funder and educator. She was previously the Executive Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the 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.
Akasha Absher is the Chief Consulting Officer for Syntrinsic Investment Counsel in Denver, CO. Syntrinsic Investment Counsel is a boutique investment consulting firm with $1.5billion in assets under advisement. The firm partners as a fiduciary with nonprofit organizations and philanthropic private clients to develop, implement, and monitor customized investment portfolios. Akasha is charged with overseeing the firm’s efforts to create enduring strategic partnerships with clients and craft best in class stewardship platforms that will allow them to have a meaningful impact in the community. She also serves as Consultant on client relationships and provides investment advice and strategic guidance to foundations, public charities, and philanthropic private clients. In addition, she is a voting member of the firm’s Investment Committee and Chair of the firm’s Impact Investing Committee. In 2018, Syntrinsic Holding Company launched Syntrinsic Social Capital. Syntrinsic Social Capital (SSC) crafts, evaluates, and monitors innovative financial solutions that impact our greatest social challenges. SSC partners with nonprofits and civically engaged private clients to align capital with mission and impact focus. The firm provides impact strategy engagement, investment manager selection, deal advisory services, and act as a connector, educator, convener, facilitator, and contributor to the broader ecosystem. Akasha Absher currently serves as the principal and lead designer of SSC. Prior to joining Syntrinsic, Akasha invested and traded across the spectrum of credit including high yield to investment grade as well as distressed and stressed credit, fixed and floating rate instruments, bonds, loans, CDS and index products for Lucidus Capital Partners and Caxton Associates. Previously, she was at JP Morgan, where she served as a Vice President and senior publishing analyst in the High Yield. Akasha earned her Bachelors of Arts in Finance from Clark Atlanta University and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan. She has earned her Series 65 through FINRA and is a graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber’s Leadership Foundation, Leadership Denver Class of 2015. In 2017 and 2018, Akasha was awarded DBJ’s Who’s Who in Impact Investing. Akasha currently is serving as a Board Member of The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, the Secretary of the Board of Colorado Charter Facility Solutions, a Board of Advisors Member of Colorado Succeeds, and a Member of Rose Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council.
Sharon Alpert, President and CEO, Nathan Cummings Foundation
Sharon 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.
Alexandra Aquino-Fike, Vice President of Development, East Bay Community Foundation
Alexandra Aquino-Fike is a highly experienced leader in development and program management. As the Vice President of Development at the East Bay Community Foundation, she oversees donor stewardship, which includes supporting partners to engage deeply with root causes of inequity in the East Bay and invest in long-term systemic and policy changes.
Alexandra brings a wealth of experience from both the private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to EBCF, she was the Vice President of Development at Hispanics in Philanthropy, a national and transnational network of funders dedicated to investing in Latinx communities; she also served as an associate attorney with the international law firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Alexandra holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College. She is a member of the State Bar of New York.
John Balbach, Associate Director, Impact Investments, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
John Balbach is an Associate Director, Impact Investments with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where he also is a member of the Climate Solutions initiative. Prior to MacArthur, Balbach served on a National Science Foundation commercialization review committee, managed and raised capital for an Impact Investing Fund focused on developing the Michigan life sciences sector, advised corporations on infusing cleantech solutions into their supply chains, provided consulting services to leading nonprofit organizations with the Nonprofit Finance Fund, served as a strategic advisor to hundreds of founders of technology-based startup ventures through a Michigan economic development program, and helped to establish Silicon Valley Bank in the Seattle market. Balbach holds a B.S in Finance from Miami (Ohio) University, an M.A. from St. John’s College, and an M.P.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Rini Banerjee, Executive Director, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Rini Banerjee brings two decades of experience in philanthropy as the Interim Executive Director of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. An Integrated Capital Fellow at RSF Social Finance, she has served as Executive Director at Foundation for a Just Society, Program Officer at the Overbrook Foundation, and Program Director at the New York Women’s Foundation. She is a trustee of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and Board member of Funders for Reproductive Equity. She has co-created orserved on groups including the NYC-based Asian Women’s Giving Circle, Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, the Groundswell Fund, and the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing. She was a past Board Chair of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and past Board member of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!). She holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a BSc in finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
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.
Andy Behar, CEO, As You Sow
Andrew Behar is CEO of As You Sow, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing corporate environmental and social responsibility. Founded in 1992, As You Sow envisions a safe, just, and sustainable world in which environmental health and human rights are central to corporate decision making. Previously, Andrew founded a clean-tech start-up developing innovative fuel cell technologies for grid-scale energy storage and a biofuel start-up. He is a member of the board of the US Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing (US-SIF), he is on the Real Impact Tracker and 1-Earth Institute advisory boards, and was named one of 30 “Eco Rock Stars and Environmental Mavericks” in Origin Magazine. His book, The Shareholders Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers to Hold Corporations Accountable was published in November 2016 by Berrett-Koehler.
Aner Ben-Ami, Founding Partner, Candide Group
Aner, Founding Partner at Candide Group, was a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with clients in the energy, water and transportation sectors. He also served as an Intelligence Officer in the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). Primary areas of interest include natural resource conservation, local community building, sustainable food/agriculture and international development. Aner holds an MBA with honors from the Kellogg School of Management and a BA in Economics and History (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University. Aner is passionate about re-defining the role of business and finance, and believes investment capital can catalyze a transition to a more just and sustainable economic system.
Preeti Bhattacharji, Vice President of Integrated Capitals, The Heron Foundation
Preeti Bhattacharji is a Vice President of Integrated Capitals at Heron. Prior to joining Heron, she served as an assistant director of the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing and a research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations. Preeti has also completed projects for ImpactAssets, Center4, the NYC Department of Small Business Services, and the Rachel Maddow Show. Preeti received her BA magna cum laude from Columbia University and her MBA with Dean’s Honors from Columbia Business School, where she won the Nathan Gantcher Prize for Social Enterprise.
Christina Borsum, Finance Director, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)
Christina Borsum is the Finance Director at the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), overseeing the organization’s finance and accounting functions as well as providing financial risk management insights to the organization's financing strategies for scaling clean energy. Christina also manages CalCEF’s fiscal sponsorship program, including representing CalCEF as a key governing stakeholder in the non profit arm of Microgrid Catalytic Investment Fund (MCIF), an energy access financing facility designed to mobilize risk tolerant private sector capital to remove the barriers to scaling Renewable Energy Microgrids in developing countries affected by energy poverty. She is also the portfolio manager for CalCEF’s debt facility that is implementing transactions resulting from the US India Solar Financing Initiative initiated by Presidents Obama and Modi.
Christina has over 15 years of experience in the financial sector industry including a 10 year tenure at Citibank across Finance and Risk Management functions. Christina holds an MA in International Affairs and a dual German-American undergraduate degree encompassing a B.Sc. in Finance and International Business as well as a Diplom-Betriebswirt (FH). In addition, she has received advanced training through United Nations Environment Programme in Climate Finance and Environmental and Social Risk Analysis and has passed the Series 65 Uniform Securities Law Adviser Exam.
Patrick Briaud, Philanthropic Advisor, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Patrick leads RPA's Social Finance Practice, focused on impact investing and market-based approaches. He helps individuals, foundations and corporations use a range of assets to achieve their social impact goals. His areas of expertise include Program Related Investments, Monitoring & Evaluation, Financial Inclusion, Faith-Based Strategies, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Patrick led the creation of two impact investing guides commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Introduction // Strategy & Action) and frequently speaks at industry events.
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. Outside of work, Patrick can be found wrestling with his two nephews, discussing the implications of different worldviews and dancing the Texas two-step.
Jim is a member of the Alternative Investments & Manager Selection (AIMS) Imprint team based in San Francisco, where he focuses on private equity and real asset investments. Jim originally joined Goldman Sachs in 1993 as an analyst in Equity Research and rejoined in 2015 as a managing director. Prior to rejoining the firm, Jim focused on private equity impact investments at New Island Capital and Omidyar Network. Before that, he served as the chief financial officer of MTI Micro Fuel Cells. Jim earned a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Catherine Burnett, Chief Impact Officer, Phillips Foundation
Catherine Burnett serves as Chief Impact Officer of Phillips Foundation, a private family foundation and catalytic capital platform based in Greensboro, NC, and Dallas, TX. She is responsible for impact program and strategy development, implementation and evaluation for the Foundation and affiliated family entities.
Burnett speaks nationally on the topics of family philanthropy and impact investing. Prior to joining Phillips Foundation, she served in leadership roles for the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, SC Johnson Company, Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, SONY Online Entertainment, and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, East Africa. Burnett holds a Master of Business Administration with honors from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from Princeton University. She serves on the advisory boards of Cone Health Heart & Vascular Center, Teach for America Piedmont Triad, and Partners Ending Homelessness.
Rebekah Saul Butler, Co-Executive Director, Grove Foundation
Rebekah Saul Butler is Co-Executive Director of the Grove Foundation, where she leads the Foundation’s transition to mission aligned investing, co-manages operations, and directs the Foundation’s environment grantmaking. Prior to her work at the Foundation, she was a healthcare-focused strategy and operations consultant with Deloitte Consulting. She spent the beginning of her career as a policy associate at The Guttmacher Institute, where she was managing editor of the Guttmacher Report and spearheaded policy analysis on a range of subjects. Rebekah has served as chair of Funders for Reproductive Equity, on the steering committee of the Bay Area Workforce Funders Collaborative, and as an adolescent health expert on panels for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She earned an AB in Sociology and Spanish from Stanford University and an MBA and MPH from UC Berkeley, where she helped launch the Global Social Venture Competition. She is also Managing Director of the Grove Action Fund.
Bruce Campbell, Chief Happiness Officer, Blue Dot Advocates
Bruce wakes up daily motivated by the opportunity to leverage his profession in service of the global community. With more than 20 years of experience as a corporate attorney – including six years at the international law firm Hogan Lovells — Bruce brings a true depth of expertise to serve impact investors and entrepreneurs. He has advised clients on transactions worth billions of dollars in the aggregate, ranging from angel financings for start-ups to public offerings for multi-national companies. Bruce has completed corporate transactions on six continents, and he regularly visits with clients and collaborators and reviews projects in Europe, Asia, the UK, India and Sub-Saharan Africa. Bruce is himself an impact investor, and has committed to invest 100% of his assets in support of sustainable business practices. When he’s not “working,” Bruce enjoys all things outdoors, especially trail running, biking and snowboarding. He also helps facilitate mindfulness retreats and meditation groups.
Philip Carey, Trustee, The Sapelo Foundation
Philip N. Carey is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lloyd Crescendo Advisors LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) with offices in NYC and Miami. Lloyd Crescendo serves U.S. and international clients who are seeking global diversification for their investments through traditional, alternative and sustainable investment strategies. Philip has over 20 years of experience in international private banking, having worked previously with Coutts & Co, Barclays Wealth and HSBC Private Bank in New York, London, Zurich and Geneva.
In a volunteer capacity, Philip is a Trustee and Treasurer of The Sapelo Foundation, a private, family foundation dedicated to social justice and protecting the environment in the state of Georgia. The Foundation recently made a commitment to aligning its assets with its mission and Philip has been guiding the Board through this process. In addition, Philip is a member of the CGS Dean’s Advisory Board at Boston University and the Master of Science in Sustainable Business Advisory Board at the University of Miami Business School.
Philip holds a Master of Science, Financial Planning at Bentley College-Elkin B. McCallum Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University.
Laura Callanan, Founding Co-Partner, Upstart Co-¬Lab
Laura Callanan is the founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab. Upstart is disrupting how creativity is funded by connecting impact investing to the creative economy. Laura was senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, leading all grant-making programs, operations, and research before launching Upstart Co-Lab in 2015. Previously, Laura was a consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Social Sector Office; executive director of The Prospect Hill Foundation;; and associate director of the Rockefeller Foundation where, in addition to her responsibilities managing the endowment, she co-led the Foundation’s first impact investing efforts which included two investments in the creative economy Laura has been a visiting fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, a scholar in residence at UC-Berkeley/Haas School of Business, a visiting scholar to the American Academy in Rome, and the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship. Laura is the chair of the board for GlobalGiving Foundation and an advisor to Shift Capital. She is a past member of the board of directors of Signature Theatre and the Corporation of Yaddo. Laura was a founding investment committee member and audit committee member for the American Academy of Arts. She is the literary executrix for the estate of playwright and novelist Romulus Linney.
Kesha Cash, Founder and General Partner, Impact America Fund
Kesha Cash is the Founder and General Partner of Impact America Fund, a social impact venture capital firm investing in high-growth companies that enhance the economic well-being of marginalized communities in America. Kesha was recently named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” and is the subject of a 2016 Stanford Graduate School of Business case study on how to form a successful impact venture capital firm.
She has nearly a decade of experience and leadership in impact investing, previously at Jalia Ventures, a $5 million fund that she co-founded with Josh Mailman to invest in mission-driven entrepreneurs of color, and as an investment associate at Bridges Ventures in the UK. Kesha has also worked as an operational consultant to small businesses in inner-city Los Angeles and as a mergers and acquisitions analyst at Merrill Lynch.
She currently serves on the board of directors of Eileen Fisher, Inc. Kesha received her M.B.A. from Columbia University and her B.A. in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley.
Don Chen, President, Surdna Foundation
Don Chen is the President of the Surdna Foundation where he leads the 100-year old foundation’s efforts to strengthen and further leverage its commitment to social justice.
Prior to his appointment, Don was the Director of the Cities & States program at the Ford Foundation, where his work supported urban development initiatives to make housing more affordable, promote more equitable land use practices, and empower communities to have a powerful decision-making voice in American cities and in developing countries. He also led a multi-program team to support the strengthening of social justice organizations and networks in targeted U.S. states. Previously, Don was the Founder and CEO of Smart Growth America, where he led efforts to create the National Vacant Properties Campaign (which later became the Center for Community Progress) and Transportation for America, and managed a merger with the Growth Management Leadership Alliance. He has authored many pieces on land use, transportation, social equity, and environmental policy.
Don has also served on the boards of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, West Harlem Environmental Action, the Environmental Leadership Program, and Grist magazine. He holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University.
Dan Chu, Executive Director, Sierra Club Foundation
Dan joined the Sierra Club Foundation as Executive Director in November 2016. Previously, he served as the Senior Director of the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign, which protects land, waters, and wildlife; keeps dirty fuels in the ground; and connects people with nature outdoors. Dan started his environmental career in the 1980s as a door to door canvasser in Colorado. He and his wife then volunteered with the Peace Corps in Panama, assisting farmers with sustainable agricultural practices. Upon returning to the U.S., Dan became the Executive Director of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and then the national Vice President for regional programs and affiliates at the National Wildlife Federation. Dan holds a Master’s of Science from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s of Science from Michigan State University. Dan and his wife Lisa have a daughter, son, and labrador-border collie mix.
Amy Chou, Program Officer, Brooklyn Community Foundation
Amy joined the Brooklyn Community Foundation in April 2017, and has over a decade of experience building people power through social justice philanthropy, capacity building, youth development and leadership, and advocacy. Most recently, Amy was the Hive NYC Fund Specialist at the Mozilla Foundation where she launched a pilot fund to support creative, innovative, and equitable digital media learning opportunities for youth in New York City. Prior to Mozilla, Amy was the Senior Program Officer at The New York Women’s Foundation where she managed a portfolio of emerging, grassroots organizations working across areas of economic security; anti-violence and safety; and health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. In her previous role as Senior Manager of Program Development and Evaluation, she led youth fellowship and leadership programs at New Yorkers For Children to support young people transitioning out of the foster care system. Amy received her Master’s in Public Administration with a specialization in Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University. Amy lives in Williamsburg with her partner and their tuxedo cat Piper. She enjoys yoga, travel, food, and storytelling.
Amy Chung, Director of Program Related Investments, The California Endowment
Amy Chung manages The California Endowment’s $100MM commitment to Program-Related Investments. The program has provided capital to support community health centers, fresh food access, housing and other services for low-income communities across California.
Prior to joining The California Endowment, Amy held positions in impact investing across the private and nonprofit sector. She was previously the Associate Director of Capital Innovation at Living Cities and a Vice-President in Citi’s Community Capital division.
Amy holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Amy also holds an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Giulia Christianson, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute (WRI)
iulia is a Senior Associate in WRI’s Finance Center, where she leads the Sustainable Investing Initiative. The initiative develops research and tools designed to encourage and empower investors to pursue sustainable investment strategies—re-directing private capital flows towards a sustainable, inclusive, and low-carbon future. Since joining WRI in 2011, her work has also spanned other finance topics, including: scaling up investment in environmental enterprises, mainstreaming climate change within financial institutions, and improving the effectiveness of public finance in mobilizing private sector climate investment. Earlier in her career, Giulia worked at the International Monetary Fund for several years. Later, while completing her MBA, Giulia served as a consultant for companies in Brazil and Thailand and for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. Giulia earned a BA in Economics, International Relations, and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and she completed an MBA at Columbia Business School.
Amy Chester, Managing Director, Rebuild by Design
Amy Chester has spent more than 20 years in municipal policy, community engagement, real estate development and communications advocating for the urban environment.
As the Managing Director of Rebuild by Design Amy is responsible the organization’s day-to- day operations and management in addition to overseeing its fundraising and strategic direction. Her first task was to lead an international design-driven competition that utilized a truly inclusive and collaborative process to create implementable large-scale infrastructure projects to address the physical and social vulnerabilities exposed by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast United States. The competition created a network of 10 design teams consisting of over 200 individuals and more than 700 government agencies and community organizations who co-created the proposals, resulting in $930M in awards from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement the winning designs.
Previously, Chester worked for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Legislative Affairs and as a Senior Policy Advisor. In these roles she was responsible for the public engagement strategy of PlaNYC, the Mayor’s sustainability agenda, which included initiatives such as the Million Trees Campaign, congestion pricing, and the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. Amy’s other experiences in New York City government have included positions at the New York City Council, where she successfully ensured the inclusion of affordable housing in large-scale neighborhood re-zonings, and at the New York City Housing Authority, where she created development plans to increase the utilization of government owned properties across the city.
Outside of government, Amy has also consulted for numerous nonprofit organizations and on many electoral campaigns. At the Freelancers Union, she was responsible for the design and construction of two medical practices and as the lead organizer for Listening to the City, she crafted a democratic process to include community participation in the plans for the World Trade Center site redevelopment. She also worked as a consultant to a dozen non-profit organizations on issue-based campaigns with Strategic Services and on a dozen electoral campaigns including Hillary Clinton’s winning Senate campaign and Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Amy was raised and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Catherine Covington, Managing Director, MCE Social Capital
Catherine joined MCE Social Capital as a Managing Director in September 2017 where she focuses on engaging and growing MCE’s community of philanthropic Guarantors and investors. She has spent most of her career in the fields of philanthropy and impact investing, most recently as Senior Manager, Client Engagement at RSF Social Finance. During her six years at RSF, she managed their donor advised fund program, played a lead role in investor cultivation and stewardship, managed and grew RSF’s pooled PRI fund program, and led a successful fundraising campaign for an initiative focused on deploying multiple forms of capital in support of sustainable food systems.
Earlier in her career, she worked with and advised public charities, private foundations and philanthropists while at the Tides Foundation, SunTrust Bank, and the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. She received her B.S. in Business from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).
Alison Corwin, Program Officer, Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation
Alison is a Senior Program Officer for Sustainable Environments at the Surdna Foundation. She engages in grantmaking to develop and support how communities of color and low-wealth communities build accountability, alternatives and democratic muscle to promote infrastructure development that simultaneously aims to achieve racial equity, and economic, environmental and climate justice.
Alison previously served as a Senior Project Manager at New Ecology, in the field of community-based sustainable development. Through design and construction technical support, her work with developers, engineers, and architects resulted in high quality, safe, efficient and affordable housing, community and healthcare facilities, and elder care developments. Additionally, she has worked for non-profits focused on helping women start and grow their own businesses, supporting families to break cycles of homelessness and domestic violence direct service.
Alison serves as a board member, trustee and advisor for several organizations and initiatives. She is currently the Neighborhood Funders Group Board Co-Chair, an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow, an American Council on Germany Fellow, and a PLACES Fellow with the Funders’ Network. She also engages in community organizing, political campaigns, and volunteer efforts addressing issues in her community. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University.
Erika Seth Davies has been a nonprofit leader for 20 years with extensive experience in development and fundraising, program design, collaboration and partnership management, and racial equity advocacy. She has worked in the field of philanthropy for nearly 10 years including positions as the Chief of Staff of the Baltimore Community Foundation and Vice President of External Affairs at ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities where she designed the SMART Investing initiative, the first philanthropic effort to incorporate a racial equity lens in foundation endowment practice.
Most recently, she founded The Racial Equity Asset Lab (The REAL), a venture that centers racial equity in impact investing with the goal of leveraging the networks, data, education and strategies needed to shift capital to address the racial wealth gap. 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 Executive Leadership Institute of CFLeads.
Olympia De Castro, Co-Founder and Partner, Community Investment Management
Olympia De Castro is Co-Founder and Partner of Community Investment Management (CIM), an institutional impact investment asset manager that provides strategic debt financing to scale and demonstrate responsible innovation in lending to underserved borrowers in the United States. In this role she focuses on strategy and investments for the Firm. Mrs. De Castro brings 18 years of experience in the financial services industry where she held roles at several private investment and advisory firms. While at Louis Berger Group, Mrs. De Castro provided financial advisory to multilaterals and governments on infrastructure and development projects. At the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, she worked under the Global SME Banking group and focused of improving global access to finance for small and medium enterprises. Prior to that, Mrs. De Castro held roles at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, under the investment banking, private wealth and merchant banking divisions.
Mrs. De Castro received a M.I.A in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a B.A. in Finance from the University of Miami.
Andrea Dobson, Chief Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
Andrea Dobson is nationally known for her leadership in philanthropy, finance, and investing. She is committed to addressing issues of economic, educational, social, ethnic, and racial justice. Andrea currently serves as Executive Committee member and Treasurer on the International Funders of Indigenous Peoples and Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund boards; as a board member for Neighborhood Funders Group; and audit committee member for the Southeastern Council of Foundations. 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, the Cambridge Impact Forum and Peak Grantmaking, as well as at many conferences focused 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.
Sarah Dougherty, Green Finance Manager, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Sarah Dougherty focuses on green finance--how to pay for all the investments needed to meet our environmental goals. She has been at NRDC for 4 years, focusing on green banks domestically and internationally, High Road infrastructure, green finance in Chile and Mexico and green stormwater infrastructure. She has an educational and work background in economics and finance, including seven years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. There she led, at different points, economic education and energy analysis, working in alternative energy wherever she could. She had shorter stints at the Coalition for Green Capital, C2ES, a small solar EPC firm, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta—focused on asset-backed securities risk analysis. Dougherty is originally from Atlanta and has a master's in economics with a focus in public policy. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Linda Diaz, President, Brooklyn Stone and Tile
Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director, Wallace Global Fund
Ellen Dorsey is Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation focused on progressive social change in the fields of environment, democracy, human rights and corporate accountability. Under her leadership, the Fund is recognized for creative philanthropic strategies and mission-related investing. This alignment of programs and investments led the foundation to support the fossil fuel divestment movement since its inception and to launch a new global campaign, Shine, to end energy poverty. Dorsey was awarded the 2016 inaugural Nelson Mandela – Graca Machel Brave Philanthropy Award for launching Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a coalition of over 170 foundations committed to deploying their investments to address the climate crisis and accelerate the clean energy transition.
Dr. Dorsey came to Wallace Global Fund from a series of academic, philanthropic and non-profit leadership positions in the human rights and environmental fields, including serving as Executive Director at the Rachel Carson Institute, launching the Human Rights and Environment program at Amnesty International, and serving as senior program officer in the Heinz Endowment’s Environment Program.
Additionally, she has served on the board of numerous non-profit organizations promoting human rights and sustainable development, including Greenpeace USA, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the United States Human Rights Network, and chair of the board of Amnesty International USA.
Dorsey holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a Fulbright Research Fellow in South Africa during that country’s historic transformation. She served on the faculty of several Universities, teaching human rights and environmental sustainability. She has written extensively on effective strategies of non-governmental organizations and social movements. Dorsey is co-author, with Paul J. Nelson, of New Rights Advocacy: Changing Strategies of Development and Human Rights NGOs, Georgetown University Press, 2008.
Edward Dugger III, President, Reinventure Capital
My VC career began at age 25 and accelerated at age 27 when I became CEO of one of the larger venture capital firms in the nation, backed and mentored by such board directors as the CEO of Morgan Stanley and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of JP Morgan. As one of the earliest impact VC funds, UNC Ventures invested in growth industries to consciously expand business opportunities for entrepreneurs of color. In the process, we scaled some the largest African American businesses in the nation (both private and public), provided the footings for over $2 billion of senior financing to this underserved market, generated more in accumulated wealth and forged a pathway for future impact investors.
Now I am responding to our nation's current challenges, stemming from persistent social and economic inequities, by forming Reinventure Capital. Once again I am targeting the vast, untapped reservoir of innovative, entrepreneurial talent, comprised of those of color and women consistently overlooked by the mainstream investment community. In so doing, I am pursuing a contrarian investment strategy that will provide an impact rich return on capital AND inclusion.
Tim Dunn, Chief Investment Officer, Managing Member, Founder, Terra Alpha Investments LLC
Tim co-founded Terra Alpha Investments LLC. He designed and oversees the firm’s investment processes, funds, and operations. Tim has over 30 years of experience in investment management. He spent the majority of his career at one of the largest active investment management firms in the world, Capital Group Companies. At Capital, Tim was one of the lead portfolio managers for many of the firm’s largest and most successful funds including Growth Fund of America, Capital World Growth and Income Fund, and EuroPacific Growth Fund. In total, Tim had direct responsibility for over $26 billion in client assets. During his 19 years at Capital, Tim lived and worked in Los Angeles, London, and Washington, DC. Throughout his career he has travelled extensively around the globe to build his expertise via on the ground research and meetings with company management teams and policy leaders. Earlier in his investment career Tim was an equity analyst covering a diverse range of global sectors including consumer electronics, consumer staples, media, industrial companies, utilities (power and telecom), and electrical equipment. He was a Vice President and equity analyst at PNC Financial as well as an equity analyst at a unit of The Bank of Boston. Additionally, Tim worked in London as an advisor to CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, on strategic planning and organizational effectiveness. He also served as the Director of Strategic Planning for the Piedmont Environmental Council and has served as a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy (Virginia Chapter) and on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary (including as Chair of the Finance Committee and the Investment Sub-committees). He was also the Chair of the board of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William & Mary.
Currently, he serves on the board of the PATH Foundation and is a member of the Global Leadership Council of the World Resources Institute. He holds a BA in International Relations from The College of William & Mary and a MBA in Finance from Northeastern University. He has been a CFA charterholder since 1989.
Ira Ehrenpreis, Founder and Managing Partner, DBL Partners
Ira Ehrenpreis is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, a leading impact investing venture capital firm, currently investing out of a $400M fund. Ira is a recognized leader in the venture capital industry, having served on the Board, Executive Committee, and as Annual Meeting Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Ira currently serves as the President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC) and as the Chairman of the VCNetwork, the largest and most active California venture capital organization.
In 2007, Ira was named one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Men Under 45" and in 2014 was inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. Ira has invested in a wide range of companies, including SpaceX, and serves on the board of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA), Apeel, Mapbox and numerous other companies. Ira has served as the Chairman of the Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (SVIEF) in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. He also served for many years on the Advisory Board of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE).
Jim Enote, CEO, Colorado Plateau Foundation
Jim is a Zuni tribal member and CEO of the Colorado Plateau Foundation. He serves on the boards of the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Grand Canyon Trust, and formally with the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. He is a National Geographic Society Explorer, a New Mexico Community Luminaria, and an E.F. Schumacher Society Fellow. Jim’s service the past forty years includes natural resource, cultural resource, philanthropic, and arts assignments for many organizations including UNESCO, UNDP, International Secretariat for Water, Nordic Council of Ministers, Tibet Child Nutrition Project, the Mountain Institute, National Geographic Society, US Bureau of Indian Affairs, US National Park Service, Zuni Tribe, and several major charitable foundations, museums, and universities. As a lifelong farmer, Jim has been planting crops for 61 consecutive years and consequently defines himself first as a practitioner of a culture of land use.