Kareem Alston joined the New York Foundation in 2016. Before he managed the foundation's communications, which includes producing original written and video content as well as administrating the New York Foundation’s website, Mr. Alston was the Program Coordinator at Stanford University's Institute for Diversity in the Arts, where he received both his bachelor's degree in African & African American studies and his master's degree in African studies. Mr. Alston continues to do freelance video editing and documentary research with production companies in New York City. As a native New Yorker having lived in both Harlem and Washington Heights, he could not be more thrilled to be back in the city.
To view the biographies of our Board members click the names below
Melissa Ellison manages the foundation’s finances and human resources. She provides administrative support to the program staff and acts as a liaison to the foundation’s trustees. Prior to her current position, Mrs. Ellison served as program assistant and acting grants manager. Her other work experience includes positions as a financial assistant and education associate at St. Francis Xavier Action Youth Center. She was awarded an internship at the Municipal Credit Union by the African-American Credit Union Coalition. Mrs. Ellison holds a bachelor of science in business management and finance from CUNY Brooklyn College. She is a Certified Not-for-Profit Accounting Professional.
Edna Iriarte came to the New York Foundation in 2009. As part of the program team, she evaluates grants, conducts site visits, writes recommendations for board review, and provides on-going support to community organizing and advocacy organizations. She manages the Summer Internship in Community Organizing program and represents the Foundation in the Fund for New Citizens and the New York City Youth Funders group. Edna’s philanthropic experience began with an internship in 1994 at the Norman Foundation. Later, at the New World Foundation, she played an important role in launching the Phoenix Fund for Workers and Communities and in developing an apprenticeship model for program associates. As a program officer with the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, she managed a portfolio of organizing groups dedicated to protect New York City’s environment and the health of its residents. In addition to her work in philanthropy, Edna conducted research informing the creation of La Fuente, a labor and community partnership that promoted immigrants’ and workers’ rights. Edna earned a master’s degree in urban planning from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Italian at Queens College of the City University of New York. The daughter of immigrant parents and originally from New York City’s Lower East Side, she lives with her compañero and her son in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Maria Mottola has been the executive director of the New York Foundation since 2003. She served as a program officer from 1994 to 2002. Prior to joining the foundation, from 1989 to 1994 she was executive director of the City Wide Task Force on Housing Court, a housing advocacy organization that promotes the reform of New York City's Housing Court. As the Task Force’s founding director, Ms. Mottola managed the group’s transition from a volunteer activist campaign to a fully staffed and funded organization. From 1984 to 1989, Ms. Mottola was the director of neighborhood programs and a community organizer at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a settlement house on the Eastside of Manhattan. From March 2010 through May 2011, Ms. Mottola acted as an executive-on-loan to Gladys Carrión, the commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Families, working closely with the commissioner and her senior staff on a variety of projects. Ms. Mottola has taught community organizing at New York University School of Social Work, and has been an adjunct instructor at Hunter College Graduate School of Urban Affairs and Planning since 1996. Ms. Mottola was co-chair of the Neighborhood Funders Group, a national affinity group from 2003 to 2006. She currently serves on the boards of the New American Leaders Project and Red Hook Initiative. Ms. Mottola is also a freelance illustrator, and studies at the Art Students League. She received her undergraduate degree in liberal arts at the University of Toronto and a master's degree in social work from Fordham University.
Altaf Rahamatulla joined the New York Foundation team in 2017 as a program officer. Mr. Rahamatulla comes to us from the Ford Foundation where he served as a program associate on the Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team. While at the Ford Foundation, he served on working groups pertaining to place-based grantmaking in New Orleans and New York City, criminalization, and immigration. Previously, he worked with the Innocence Project, a national litigation and policy organization that seeks to overturn wrongful convictions using DNA testing. In both his professional and personal life, Mr. Rahamatulla has supported civil and human rights, criminal justice reform, racial justice and minority rights, and immigrant and migrant rights. Mr. Rahamatulla earned his master’s degree from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and received his bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Amherst College. He currently serves on the advisory board for the New York City chapter of the New Leaders Council, which works to recruit, train, and promote future progressive leaders. He participates in iMentor, an organization that seeks to empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school and succeed in college, and is a mentor at a high school in Brooklyn. His family has deep ties to New York City—his father's side emigrated from Guyana to Washington Heights, and his mother's family from Italy and Honduras to the Bronx.
Isabel Rivera has been with the New York Foundation since 1994 and handles grants management, acts as the webmaster and coordinates the foundation’s capacity building program. Mrs. Rivera served as the foundation’s program assistant prior to her current position. She is a member of the Grants Manager Network. Prior to the New York Foundation, Mrs. Rivera worked at Columbia University Medical Center’s Dermatopathology Department. Mrs. Rivera holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hunter College. She lives in the Bronx with her husband and two sons.
Roger Schwed, Chair, is a lawyer with his own practice providing general counsel and corporate legal services to various businesses that do not have their own in-house counsel. Previously, he served as executive vice president and general counsel, and then as a consultant, for four years to Connecticut-based United Rentals, Inc., the world's largest equipment rental company. Prior to United Rentals, Mr. Schwed served for nine years as executive vice president and general counsel of Maxcor Financial Group, Inc., a publicly-listed international financial services company with an inter-dealer brokerage business conducted through its various Euro Brokers affiliates in New York, London, and Tokyo. Mr. Schwed helped Maxcor rebuild its offices and business after 9/11 (it was housed on the 84th floor of 2 World Trade Center) and successfully sell itself in 2005 to Cantor Fitzgerald. Prior to Maxcor, Mr. Schwed was M&A counsel at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York and an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He also spent a year as law clerk to the late Honorable Eugene H. Nickerson. He received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Princeton University in 1979 and a law degree from Columbia University Law School in 1986, where he was an editor of the Law Review and both a Kent and Stone Scholar. In addition to his work for the New York Foundation, Mr. Schwed currently serves as chairman of the board of I Challenge Myself, Inc., a not-for-profit focused on building self-esteem and leadership skills among disadvantaged high school youth through a curriculum of athletic training, culminating each year in a 100-mile bike ride. He is also on the board of, and finance chair for, Climate Ride, a not-for-profit that organizes multi-day bicycle and hiking tours throughout the U.S. to raise funds for other charities focused on climate change, green industry and/or transportation advocacy. He was born, raised and still lives in New York City on the Upper West Side. Mr. Schwed has had a lifelong love affair with cycling, and completed a 4,000 mile ride across America in the summer of 2012 (see http://biking.rschwed.com). He is married and has two sons.
Sue A. Kaplan, Vice Chair, is a research associate professor in the Department of Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine. The focus of her work is on disparities in health outcomes for vulnerable populations in urban areas. Recent projects include the evaluation of an initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health in the South Bronx, and a National Institutes of Health initiative to develop and evaluate a faith-based health outreach program. Ms. Kaplan also serves as the director of the Medical Center’s Community Service Plan located on the Lower East Side and Chinatown in Manhattan and in Sunset Park in Brooklyn. This multi-sector plan focuses on preventing chronic disease by reducing tobacco use and preventing and addressing obesity, and on promoting healthy women, infants and children through programs on parenting and teen sexual health. Before coming to NYU, Ms. Kaplan was the vice president for planning and director of special projects and policy at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the country’s largest public hospital system. A graduate of Harvard Law School and Wesleyan University, Ms. Kaplan is a member and past chair of the board of the Bank Street College of Education and a member of the Board for JustLeadershipUSA, a membership driven leadership and advocacy organization devoted to criminal justice reform. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, where she is a member of the Selection Committee for the annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize.
Kerry-Ann Edwards, Secretary, is a relationship manager in Global Markets at Citi focusing on asset managers. Prior to this she was a marketing manager for Global Investor Sales and Relationship Management managing content and thought leadership aimed at the group’s largest clients. Mrs. Edwards has worked in Foreign Exchange as a structured product specialist for public sector clients and in global policy strategy at Citi where she analyzed global policy issues and actions that impacted trading in the US markets’ business. She started her career in financial services in sales in the municipal markets department at Merrill Lynch. Mrs. Edwards has consulted for the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship where she created and designed their new volunteer program initiative as well as served as a steering committee member of Management Leadership for Tomorrow Alumni Professional Development Committee. She is also an active member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Mrs. Edwards holds an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School and a bachelor of arts in economics from Spelman College, where she graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Gail Gordon, Treasurer, a senior portfolio manager in the investment department of Loews Corporation, is responsible for equity and commodity trading as well as for portfolio management of asset/liability matched accounts, and investment strategies related to corporate development. Prior to joining Loews in 2000, she was a managing director at Schroder & Co., Inc. where she oversaw the firm’s retail fixed income efforts and ran the futures trading and sales operation. Ms. Gordon joined the firm as an analyst in 1980, while it was Wertheim &Co., in order to help start the futures trading effort and to develop a client base for this new product area. To further that effort, she worked with the equity, fixed income and asset management areas of the firm, as well as with counterparts in London from Schroders, to design portfolio management strategies for a diverse client base. Proud of her Bronx roots, Ms. Gordon attended Hunter College High School, where she started her exploration of New York City’s neighborhoods. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Clark University in political science and received her MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she graduated Beta Gamma Sigma. Ms. Gordon is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She currently serves on the Board of the City Parks Foundation as treasurer and member of the executive committee. In line with her interest in community involvement, Ms. Gordon is an active member of the board committee for City Parks’ Partnership for Parks program. She has participated in CORO’s Leadership New York program and is a former member of Manhattan’s Community Board 4.
John Weiler, Assistant Treasurer, is the former chief operating officer of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners. For more than a dozen years, Mr. Weiler worked at the F.B. Heron Foundation, a private foundation based in New York City. For most of that time, he was Heron’s program officer responsible for grantmaking and program-related investing in New York City as well as other areas. Before joining Heron, Mr. Weiler directed national programs for the Corporation for Supportive Housing; prior to that he was assistant director of Common Ground Community, a New York City supportive housing provider. Mr. Weiler’s other nonprofit experience includes work at Development Training Institute, where he designed and delivered training programs for community development lenders and community-based organizations. He began his career in banking, with positions at Chase Manhattan Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Mr. Weiler has served on the boards of the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, Neighborhood Funders Group, and Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, as well as on the advisory committee for New York City’s Office of Financial Empowerment, and for the New York City Acquisition Fund, LLC. Mr. Weiler earned a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School and a master’s in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Holly Delany Cole is program director of the Flexible Leadership Awards Program—a project of the Tides Foundation—which is an organizational and leadership development initiative located within the Haas Jr. Fund and serving its grantees. Throughout her career, Mrs. Delany Cole has held a variety of positions in human service settings as a direct service provider, consultant, administrator, and foundation program officer. Until June 2014, she was co-director of Community Resource Exchange (CRE), having been part of CRE’s senior team for 18 years. During her time there, Mrs. Delany Cole was a staff consultant, director of consulting and deputy director for programs. Immediately before CRE, she was a freelance consultant for human services and grant-making organizations in Chicago and NYC, and helped to formalize the National Funding Collaborative for Violence Prevention. Her work included program evaluation, program development, coalition-building and proposal writing. Mrs. Delany Cole served as a program officer at the New York Community Trust from 1983 through 1989, managing grant programs in youth services, human justice, employment and aging. She sits on the board of PowerMyLearning and is a member of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, CA where she now resides. Mrs. Delany Cole has a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University and a master's degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She is the co-author of Working with Teen Parents - a Survey of Promising Approaches with Phyllis Smith Nickel (1985).
Carla Franklin, founder of Carlin Solutions, LLC, is a social media and business strategy expert. She has held positions at Deloitte Consulting, IBM, and Bain Consulting. As managing director of Carlin Solutions, Ms. Franklin provides management consulting services in the areas of operational improvement, change management, business analytics and due diligence, project management for leading corporations, nonprofit organizations and public sector clients worldwide. Ms. Franklin is also a digital media expert who blogs and speaks frequently on cultural trends in social media, women in technology, online safety, and anti-cyberbullying/cyberstalking advocacy. She has been a featured guest on National Public Radio, the CBS Morning show, and other major media outlets. Ms. Franklin currently sits on several nonprofit boards and actively blogs on the topics of technology, social media safety, and digital pop culture. Most recently, she was selected to speak at the 2014 SXSW Interactive conference on Technology and Women’s Empowerment. In 2011, Ms. Franklin was one of 50 women featured in MORE Magazine for her fight against cybercrimes in New York State. In 2012, she was featured as one of Newsweek/The Daily Beast’s Women in the World. Ms. Franklin earned a bachelor of arts from Duke University and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Christopher Harvell co-founded Dental Kidz, LLC in 2008 and serves as its chief executive officer. Mr. Harvell worked for the management consulting firm, Booz Allen in the Health Care, Communications, Media & Telecom and Financial Services Groups. At Booz Allen, he focused on corporate and business strategy formulation, organizational development, business performance, process improvement, and technology strategy development. In addition, while at Booz Allen he founded a recruitment program focused on identifying minority talent. Mr. Harvell also worked on a pro-bono basis with Bill Clinton’s Harlem Small Business Initiative where he was responsible for identifying and implementing areas for operational improvements and increasing the financial viability of selected Harlem small businesses. He was an investment banker in the Real Estate Finance Group at Credit Suisse based in NY. Mr. Harvell attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and received his MBA with a concentration in finance and real estate. He received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from George Washington University.
Stephen D. Heyman is principal of Sustainable Real Estate Solutions LLC. The firm provides highly personalized and experienced nonprofit and commercial leasing, sales, project management and facilities management solutions. Previously, he managed the Trinity Church Wall Street six million square foot commercial real estate portfolio. Mr. Heyman succeeded in converting Trinity's industrial properties into modern office buildings that comprise Manhattan’s newest business neighborhood. While at Goddard Riverside Community Center, he managed the “gut” rehabilitation of a 100-year old 200-unit single room occupancy hotel for the formerly homeless, while keeping it two-thirds occupied at all times. At Studley, Inc., Mr. Heyman directed the National Investment Sales Department and a joint real estate venture with Salomon Brothers. He served as director of the asset services department of the Galbreath Company. At Helmsley-Spear, Inc., Mr. Heyman served as general manager and director of leasing for the three million square foot office tower at One Penn Plaza, while managing a Helmsley-Spear branch brokerage office.
Shekar Krishnan is the program director of Brooklyn A's group representation unit, managing its fair housing litigation and community-based advocacy on behalf of tenant and neighborhood groups in North and East Brooklyn. He began his career as an attorney in the Unit, leading Brooklyn A’s Broadway Triangle fair housing case against the City of New York. He was then an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, serving as pro bono counsel to Brooklyn A and as a member of the board. Mr. Krishnan clerked for Senior United States District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein in the Eastern District of New York. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Clarence Darrow Scholar and contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review, and his undergraduate degree from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Mr. Krishnan is a member of the board of directors of Citizens Union, a good-government advocacy group in New York, and the Chair of Friends of Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, Queens. His publications include: "Race Lost for the New East New York" (N.Y. Daily News); "Black, White and Wrong All Over" (N.Y. Daily News); "The Real Needs of NYC's Plaza's" (Queens Tribune); and "Advocacy for Tenant and Community Empowerment" (CUNY Law Review).
Lillian “Lee” Llambelis is the deputy commissioner for community partnerships and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture/Art and Mathematics) initiatives at the NYC Department of Design and Construction. She leads the agency’s outreach, and develops and strengthens programs that support educational initiatives that create a pipeline for students from middle school through employment. This includes managing various programs, including ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) mentoring for high school students citywide, college summer internships, college aides, high school internship program, middle school after school program, and summer middle school enrichment program. Ms. Llambelis also manages the Town + Gown Program, as well as the department’s work using academic and practitioner resources to increase built environment research across disciplines and sectors by partnering with city agencies, colleges and universities. Prior to her appointment, she served as the special assistant district attorney for community affairs at the New York County District Attorney’s Office where she was responsible for community outreach efforts, with a primary focus on the ethnic minority, school, senior, immigrant, and crime victim communities. Ms. Llambelis maintained relationships with elected officials, business leaders, citizens, civic and larger community stakeholders to enlist public support to identify public safety and quality of life issues that merit law enforcement action. She and her team worked to develop and implement strategies to promote the public's access to the services of the district attorney's office, to ensure that citizens have easy and consistent access to services, and ensure that problems are identified and solved speedily. Ms. Llambelis has held positions as the director of intergovernmental and community affairs for New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and as litigation director for LatinoJustice PRLDEF. From 1992 to 2002, she served as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, where she was assigned to the Trial Division; the Special Prosecutions Bureau, where she investigated and prosecuted white-collar crimes, including embezzlement, fraud, bribery, and the financial exploitation of the elderly; and the Official Corruption Unit where she investigated and prosecuted police corruption. Ms. Llambelis is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the Georgetown University Law Center. She was also a Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs. Prior to attending law school, she served as an assistant press secretary to former Mayor Edward I. Koch.
Rosa Alfonso-McGoldrick is vice president of corporate affairs and communications for American Express Global Commercial Payments, the company's division devoted to serving small, mid-sized, large and global companies around the world. Under her leadership, the division achieved and retained record-setting visibility and media coverage for several critical brand initiatives, including Small Business Saturday, OPEN for Women: CEO Bootcamp, OPEN for Government Contracts, OPEN for Exporting, as well OPENForum.com, the Plum Card and the Working Capital Terms lending solution. Global Commercial Payments has been featured across national and international media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Inc. Magazine, Fox Business News,Telemundo, Business Insider (Australia), Straits Times (Singapore) The Nikkei (Japan), and The Times (UK). Previously, Mrs. Alfonso-McGoldrick led communications programs in support of American Express’ consumer lending, co-brands and Membership Rewards divisions. With more than 20 years of communications and marketing experience, she has worked for a variety of top consumer brands, including Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, American Airlines and Hard Rock Café. She is also a member of American Express’ Women’s Interest Network and the company's Hispanic employee network, HOLA. Daughter of immigrant parents from Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Mrs. Alfonso-McGoldrick has a bachelor’s degree from Boston University. She lives with her husband, Christopher, and dog, Logan, in Brooklyn, NY.
Mike Pratt has been the president and executive director of the Scherman Foundation since 2009. He served as program officer from 1996 until 2009, and continues to serve as the foundation’s treasurer, overseeing its investment portfolio. Mr. Pratt has provided leadership in several outside philanthropic roles, including serving as chair and treasurer of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, as chair of the Strategic Planning and Public Policy committees of Philanthropy New York, and as chair of the advisory committee of the Initiative for Neighborhood Organizing (INCO.) Prior to entering the world of philanthropy through a one-year fellowship at the Rockefeller Family Fund in 1995, Mr. Pratt practiced law with the civil division of New York City’s Legal Aid Society for ten years, developing expertise in equitable development, federal housing subsidies, and landlord tenant law. Earlier, he worked for New York Interest Research Group as a community organizer, later becoming director of the Straphangers Campaign. He serves as the vice chair of the board of trustees of Pratt Institute and chair of Philanthropy New York. Mr. Pratt received his undergraduate degree at Amherst College and a JD at NYU School of Law.
Marlene Provizer served as executive director of the Jewish Fund for Justice (JFJ), a public foundation that supports grassroots efforts to combat poverty, from 1989 to 2004. Prior to working in social change philanthropy, Ms. Provizer had 20 years of experience as a policy analyst, program developer, advocate and trainer with national nonprofit organizations. In Washington, DC, she served on the education staff of the Children’s Defense Fund and as social policy director of the League of Women Voters Education Fund. After moving to New York City, she worked as assistant director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, then as deputy director of National Affairs for the American Jewish Committee before assuming the leadership of JFJ. Ms. Provizer has served on numerous boards, including the National Network of Grantmakers, Interfaith Funders, Jewish Funders Network and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She has written and spoken widely on public policy, philanthropy, and inter-group relations. Since 2005, Ms. Provizer has been an independent consultant, working with nonprofit groups on organizational development issues and launching a personal shopping business, Forward Fashion.
Victor Quintana retired in 2014 as a senior program officer and assistant director at the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock. For more than 17 years at the Veatch Program, he championed strategic grantmaking to build progressive movements for social, political and economic change in the United States. His knowledge of the critical history and role of the labor movement, informed Veatch Program’s grantmaking for over a decade. Mr. Quintana has held leadership positions on the boards of Neighborhood Funders Group, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, Progressive Technology Project, and the Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships. Prior to joining the staff of the Veatch Program, Mr. Quintana was the executive director of a youth and adult entrepreneurship program for inner-city residents offered by The Columbia University Business School. He also served as the founding director of a healthcare program for HIV-positive individuals or people-with-AIDS who were changing residency from Puerto Rico to New York City. Mr. Quintana served on the mayoral administration of David Dinkins, as the first director of constituency affairs in the mayor’s office and later as chief of staff at the Department of Environmental Protection. During the 1984-1985 academic years, he was a Revson Program Fellow at Columbia University.
David Rivel is the chief executive officer of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, one of the nation's largest social and human service providers with an annual budget of $250 million and a staff of 3,200. The organization works with 45,000 people of all ages each year at 75 locations around New York City, helping them to recover from a wide range of mental health, behavioral, and family challenges. Prior to The Jewish Board, Mr. Rivel was the executive director of City Parks Foundation, which works in over 750 parks citywide presenting a broad range of arts and culture, sports and recreation and education programs, and helping communities support their local parks. He has written and lectured extensively about the importance of parks to the life of a community and about the key role community involvement plays in revitalizing parks. From 1995 to 2001, Mr. Rivel was president of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community schools of the arts. He engineered six consecutive years of record enrollment and fundraising results. He also launched a successful capital campaign to renovate the conservancy’s historic brownstone school in Brooklyn and built a new facility in Flushing. Before coming to the Conservatory, Mr. Rivel was vice president of marketing and communications at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts where he created its marketing and design departments. He also served as director of executive projects and assistant director of strategic planning, playing an important role in the creation of Jazz at Lincoln Center. From 1986 to 1988, Mr. Rivel was director of finance for First Run Features, an international film and video distribution company. He negotiated and supervised a merger with a major competitor, thereby creating the country's largest nontheatrical distributor of political and social issue films. Mr. Rivel’s academic background is in film history and aesthetics, and he taught film studies at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After receiving his master’s degree from Wesleyan, he served as the first assistant curator of the newly-formed Wesleyan Film Archives.
Gabriel Sayegh is co-founder and co-director of the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice. For nearly 20 years, Mr. Sayegh has worked on campaigns to end mass incarceration the war on drugs, promote fair economies and racial equity, and more. From 2003 – 2015 he worked at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), in many capacities, including as managing director of policy and campaigns. At DPA, he led numerous policy reform campaigns in cities and states around the country, including the coalition effort to roll back the Rockefeller Drug Laws in New York, campaigns to reform New York’s marijuana arrests laws and pass medical marijuana legislation, and efforts to reduce overdose fatalities through health-based approaches to drug policy. In each campaign, Mr. Sayegh managed three strategic areas: policy advocacy and grassroots engagement; communications; and affiliated c4 and PAC political engagement activities. He has appeared in a wide range of broadcast, online, and print media, includingThe New York Times, NY1, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, Fusion, NPR, Washington Post, Newsweek, Vice, New York Daily News, New York Post, Associated Press, Huffington Post, The Village Voice, Gawker, BBC, and more. He lives in Brooklyn.
Fatima Shama is the executive director of The Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit agency that provides free summer experiences to New York City children from low-income communities through summer camps and a host families program in rural and suburban communities across 13 states, and provides year-round academic enrichment and support both at camp and in New York City. Previously, she was the vice president of strategic development and external affairs at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. Prior to this role, Ms. Shama was the commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, a position she had held since 2009. From 2007 through 2009, she served as Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s senior education policy advisor. She joined Mayor Bloomberg’s office in 2006 to work on a special initiative on the intersection between health care, language access and literacy. Prior, she served as the executive director of the Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition. Ms. Shama earned a bachelor of arts from Binghamton University and a master’s in public administration from Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs Executive Program. The daughter of a Brazilian mother and a Palestinian father, Ms. Shama speaks five languages.
Dawn Skeete Walker is assistant vice president for communications and government relations at Kingsborough Community College, having previously served with the City University of New York's Central Office of University Relations where she managed and directed special projects and media relations activities. Previously, Ms. Walker served as assistant vice president of communications and external relations for Medgar Evers College where she was responsible for building a strategic communications program and increasing public awareness of the College, and as executive director of the Medgar Evers Educational Foundation, leading the College’s advancement efforts and the administration of all fundraising programs. She was responsible for developing fundraising and special events strategies to assist alumni and friends, corporations, and foundations in their support of the college. A native of Guyana, Ms. Walker has a strong and diverse background in the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors, and has held positions with the New York City Housing Authority, as a deputy press secretary to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and positions within the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and the YMCA of Greater New York. Formerly, she was a member of the Department of Education's Panel for Education Policy (2013) and a mayoral appointee to the board of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (2010-2013). Ms. Walker was a 2013 recipient of The Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business Award.
Kyung Yoon is the executive director and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation, an organization whose mission is to transform and empower communities through philanthropy, volunteerism and inter-community bridge building. A longtime community leader and advocate for promoting philanthropy in the Asian American community, Ms. Yoon brings professional skills honed from her previous experience in the fields of communications and poverty alleviation. Formerly an award-winning correspondent for WNYW Fox Channel 5 News, Ms. Yoon was the first Korean American broadcast reporter in New York. She went on to join the World Bank as the executive producer of television, where she created and hosted an international documentary television series focused on poverty issues and economic development, which has been broadcast in more than 60 countries around the world. Ms. Yoon is also a board member of the Asian American & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Philanthropy New York, and United Way of New York City. She is a former vice president of the New York chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association and former board chair of the New York Asian Women’s Center, a nonprofit organization that helps women and children overcome domestic violence and other forms of abuse including human trafficking. Ms. Yoon holds a bachelor of arts in English and political science from Wellesley College, and a master’s in development economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Gay Young is the vice president of donor services at The New York Community Trust. She helps donors identify and achieve their charitable objectives, authorizes donor-advised grants, reviews potential grantee organizations, and organizes events to inform and cultivate donors and advisors. Prior to joining the Trust, Ms. Young worked as a literary agent for six years and before that as a corporate counsel at various financial services companies, including Merrill Lynch. She is currently a Hudson Guild trustee and previously served on the Community Foundations National Standards Board, and the boards of Philanthropy New York and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Ms. Young has a bachelor of arts from Wellesley College and a JD from New York University School of Law.