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Team

Strategy & Management Consultants, Subject Matter Experts, Researchers, & More

Our network is comprised of sector experts and rising stars with knowledge and capabilities in the areas listed below and more—a diverse community of professionals with shared values and a deep commitment to social progress.

PEG Team (2018)

Kevin Aguilera

Education: Pursuing a BA in Economics from Stanford University

Recent projects include: First and Always Melanin, Community Works West

Personal interests include:  Discovering new music, doodling caricatures, reading self-help books, eating, developing a personal style, and all things dogs!

Kevin is currently an undergrad at Stanford University working towards a bachelor’s degree in Economics following tracks in development and finance. Kevin developed an interest in nonprofit work early on in high school while volunteering at a local free clinic. Since then, he has continued to develop his interest in equity health as well as in education and financial inclusion. On campus, Kevin promotes these causes as a program associate at Mind Over Money, Stanford’s Financial Literacy Program and as an associate consultant at the Development Solutions Organization, where he provides consulting services to nonprofits focused on international development.

Most recently, his interests led him to Kiva.org, an SF based nonprofit and micro-lending platform that crowd-funds zero percent interest loans to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries. There, he works with the US team as an intern, providing operations and program support to the Oakland team.

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Naomi Andebrhan

Naomi Andebrhan

Education: MPH in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health; BA in Human Biology from Stanford University

Recent projects include: MIT CoLab, New American Leaders, Listen For Good, Education Through Music, Memphis Public Library and Information Center, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Personal interests include: Singing, reading, traveling, trying new foods, playing board games, and watching plays and musicals

Naomi has worked as a senior associate at AmeriCares, managing the effective and efficient delivery of medical aid to global partners. She led AmeriCares’ first wave emergency response efforts in Brooklyn and Queens following Super Storm Sandy. Prior Naomi worked as a researcher and analyst for a variety of initiatives including Get Screened Oakland through the Global Business Coalition on Health, the International Family AIDs Program, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team.

Naomi received a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and an MPH in Health Policy and Management from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

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Levi Bain

Education: Pursuing degrees in Law & Society and Culture & Deviance Studies from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Recent projects include: New American Leaders, Heising-Simons Foundations, PolicyLink

Personal interests include: Physical/extreme activities/sports (such as rock climbing, snowboarding, etc.); trying new foods from different cultures, politics, reading, writing stories, debating, and traveling

 

Levi is currently a student at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he is pursuing degrees in Law & Society and Culture & Deviance Studies. His burgeoning interest in social justice led him to intern at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and at the Queens Supreme Court with Judge Pam Jackman Brown, and, more recently, to become a Pinkerton Community Fellow. As a Pinkerton Community Fellow, Levi works at The Possibility Project, an NYC based not-for-profit that creates original musical dramas written and performed by young people in and out of the juvenile justice and foster care systems.

Presently, Levi is also a research assistant for social scientists at John Jay College. He hopes to one day have his social science research published.

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Taunya Black

Education: Pursuing a Masters in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies; studied Urban Studies and Dance at Barnard College, Literature, and Creative Writing at SUNY: Empire State College

Recent projects include: The James Irvine Foundation, The Bridgespan Group, Community Works West, College for America

Personal interests include: Naam and Kundalini yoga; spending time with her 10-year-old daughter; reading anything she can get her hands on; writing, dance, theater and travel

Taunya has spent over 15 years working in educational settings. She has extensive experience working with children and families from a variety of backgrounds and across grade levels, both in the classroom and as a program director. Whether situated in a school or nonprofit context, Taunya takes a holistic approach to her work—considering all relevant constituents as she establishes, implements, and assesses program elements and systems for maximum benefit. Taunya has a passion for integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into her work and has led successful initiatives as a member of the Administrative Team and Diversity Committee of Brooklyn Friends School.

Taunya studied Urban Studies and Dance at Barnard College and Humanities with a focus on Creative Writing at SUNY Empire State. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at The California Institute of Integral Studies. Taunya works as a teaching assistant for the Integral Counseling Department, where she also serves on the Diversity Task Force, helping to develop effective strategies for creating a more inclusive curriculum, and diversifying the student body and faculty. A certified Naam yoga instructor and Harmonyum therapist, Taunya is also a regular contributor to Rootlight and Dr. Joseph Michael Levry, writing on spirituality, health, and wellness.

Taunya is a recent transplant to the Bay Area from Brooklyn. When not working, writing, or studying, she can be found hanging out with her 10-year-old daughter, exploring their new home.

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Lianna Brenner

Education: Candidate for MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; BA in English from University of Pennsylvania

Recent projects include: New American Leaders

Personal interests include: Reading good fiction, hiking, biking, being in nature, yoga, singing, exploring new places, dancing, hearing live music, and time with family.

 

Lianna Brenner is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, with a concentration in nonprofit and public management. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked for several years in the nonprofit-education space in New York City, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA at New York Cares and then as Community School Director of a diverse elementary school in south Queens, where she oversaw programs and partnerships to meet the needs of over 500 students and families.
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Fi Cheng

Education: MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University

Recent projects include: Quickbooks, financial systems/processes

Personal interests include: Hiking, camping. and building art projects

 

 

Fi Cheng, a New York native, is a seasoned finance manager/CFO/controller for several small businesses. Prior to turning to the accounting realm, she consulted to corporations and private foundations on corporate strategy, market access issues in the US and China. She also advised private foundations and nonprofits on evaluation and stakeholder engagement. For several years, Ms. Cheng served as CFO to two NY sports nonprofits, helping to expand their reach and programs. Ms. Cheng holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. After years of playing ultimate frisbee, she’s now hung up her cleats for hiking boots. She tries to spend her free time hiking and camping or building art projects.

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Jean Cooper

Education: MBA from the Lokey School of Business at Mills; BA in Government from Mills College

Recent projects include: Emerald Cities Collaboration, MIT CoLab, Memphis Public Library and Information Center, Canal Alliance (present), San Francisco Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Institute, Community Housing Partnership (CHP)

Personal interests include: Showing horses, cooking, gardening, live music, and traveling

Jean is an independent nonprofit consultant specializing in the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, systems change management, program design, and evaluation. Jean has a special knack for translating strategic vision into effective mission-driven programs that support transformational change. Previously, Jean was the Director of Community Building at the GLIDE Foundation, responsible for the programmatic direction and administration of the organization’s core programs serving the homeless, including GLIDE’s Daily Free Meals Program. During her tenure, Jean additionally served as the organizational “pinch hitter” by assuming interim roles as the Director of Volunteer Services and Director of the Workforce Development Division, as well as leading the annual budgeting process and oversight of all GLIDE events. Prior to GLIDE, Jean worked as a research and analysis consultant for projects including East Oakland Neighborhood Revitalization Project and several transit-oriented housing developments, and as a forensic auditor of bond measure capital projects.

Currently, Jean’s work is centered on the development of effective workforce development programs that serve vulnerable populations, including reentry, homeless or at risk of homelessness, and high-risk youth. Jean’s current clients include the GLIDE Foundation, OCCUR, the Tenderloin Hunger Task Force, and Community at Work. Jean earned her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Government from Mills College and her MBA from the Lokey School of Business at Mills.

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Iquo Essien

Education: MFA in Film from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts; BS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University

Recent projects include: CFLeads, Education Through Music

Personal interests include: Dancer, filmmaker, culture, and the arts. As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, much of her creative work centralizes stories of immigrants, women, and Africans in the diaspora. Longtime pescatarian (22 years!) and loves vegan cheesecake.

Iquo is a multimedia storyteller and strategy consultant with 10+ years of global experience.

While a Stanford biology undergrad, Iquo conducted primary research as a fellow with the National Institutes of Health. Upon graduation, she worked at a strategic consulting firm helping influential global clients—such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program—mobilize support for critical health issues among policymakers, the media, and the public.

Driven to combine her passion for social justice and the arts, she received her MFA in Film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has screened her award-winning films around the globe.

She served as Communications and Marketing Director of Culture Project, a nonprofit theater, and Dance Theatre Etcetera, a cultural organization that transforms the lives of youth through the arts.

Iquo currently works as an independent consultant with expertise in strategic planning, communications, multimedia storytelling, marketing, and fund-raising.

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Jackie Fishman

Education: Pursuing an MPA at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; B.A. in English and Economics from Binghamton University

Recent projects include: Millennial Action Project

Personal interests include: Hiking, farmer’s markets, indoor and outdoor cycling, experimenting in the kitchen, and exploring the Hudson Valley as much as possible

Jackie Fishman is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at NYU Wagner’s Graduate School of Public Service, with a focus on social impact, innovation, and investment. Jackie is also the assistant director of the Natan Fund, a giving circle that supports innovative nonprofits working in the Jewish community. In her current role, she oversees operations and finances, and previously she oversaw Natan’s grantmaking. Jackie was born and raised in New York City. She earned a B.A. in English and Economics from Binghamton University.
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Warner Fite

Warner Fite photo

Education: MPA from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; AB Magna Cum Laude in Economics from Princeton University (with a Certificate in Political Economy)

Recent projects include: New American Leaders, Emerald Cities Collaboration, The Bridgespan Group, Education Through Music, Buffett Early Childhood Fund

Personal interests include: History of aviation, historical novels, road biking, wine, travel (still six states to go), trying to learn more about theories of the brain and why we think in the ways we do

Warner has a broad range of experience in financial, operational, and strategic planning for organizations in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. He began his career in the Investment Banking Division of Merrill Lynch & Co. where he spent 13 years and was one of the initial members of the firm’s private equity group. Following his time at Merrill Lynch, Warner established an independent consulting practice providing strategic planning, business development, and financial advisory work for nonprofit organizations and private equity portfolio companies in transition. In the 20 years in this practice, he has worked with a wide range of clients, including those embarking on aggressive growth plans as well as those facing financial or operational challenges. Warner has served as CFO or CEO for a number of client organizations in sectors that have included education and health care.

Warner has expertise in financial analysis and systems, building the knowledge base for thoughtful decision making and creating organizational plans and strategies. He has experience in implementing performance metrics and measurements to align organizations with the drivers of their success, in developing strategic plans that reflect external as well as internal environments, and in successfully implementing those plans.

Warner earned an AB magna cum laude from Princeton University in Economics (with a Certificate in Political Economy) and an MPA from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he received the Robert Berne Award for Leadership.  Warner is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at Wagner where he teaches “The Intersection of Policy and Operations,” “Financial Decision Making and Management,” and “Advanced Financial and Impact Modeling for Nonprofits and Social Enterprises.”  Warner serves on the Board of Community Capital New York and on the Advisory Board of Yonkers Partners in Education, both nonprofit organizations, and has done strategy and operations projects for both of these organizations. Over the course of his career, Warner has also served on the boards of 14 for-profit companies.

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Greg Forbes

Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; M.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University (currently attending)

Recent projects include: The James Irvine Foundation

Personal interests include: Physical activities and sports (including swimming, hiking, and soccer), reading, photography, and spending time with those closest to me

 

Greg is currently a graduate student at the Stanford University School of Engineering where he is pursuing his M.S. in civil engineering, with a concentration in sustainable urban systems. Greg enjoys studying engineering on this track due to the potential of this field to promote and boost better living standards within an urban setting, in addition to the academic rigor in which it’s associated. Greg is more specifically focused on the environmental, economic, and social pillars within this field and hopes to use the skills he’s developed to promote social good in a variety of settings.

Before attending graduate school, he worked in the venture capital sector for a year performing due diligence of start-ups and assisted in business support of the firm’s portfolio. Prior to this time in venture capital, he attained a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he was involved in research and lead outreach initiatives to promote education in STEM in underprivileged communities.

During his downtime, Greg enjoys being able to explore California’s city and natural settings with his friends, where he finds opportunities to shoot photography of the experiences that he has. He additionally enjoys reading where he can whether it’s a novel or his monthly subscription of TIME magazine. He is also fluent in Spanish.

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Jen Hecht

jrh

Education: MPH from UC Berkeley School of Public Health; BA in Community Health from Brown University

Recent projects include: Tipping Point Community, New Profit, Education Through Music

Personal interests include: Listening to podcasts (current favorite is 99% invisible), reading fiction, martial arts, live music shows

 

Jen has over 15 years of experience in public health, with a focus on HIV prevention and treatment, sexually transmitted diseases, lead poisoning, youth homelessness, and substance use.

Her work has evolved from direct service in settings such as needle exchange sites, street-based, and mobile outreach, and a community health clinic to include training, curriculum development, program development, monitoring and evaluation, strategy development, and community-based research.

Most recently Jen worked as Director of Program Development and Operations at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, overseeing internal strategy, policy, and research and evaluation. Prior to that, Jen worked for five years as the Education Director at STOP AIDS Project (STOP AIDS subsequently merged with the SF AIDS Foundation), where her primary role was developing prevention strategies, workshops and training curricula, program evaluation procedures, and behavioral risk assessment surveys.

Jen has been co-PI and co-Investigator for multiple research projects to reduce HIV transmission, and has worked as a Research Assistant in the UCSF Division of Adolescent Medicine. She has presented at national and international conferences, including the American Public Health Association, CDC’s National HIV Prevention Conference, United States Conference on AIDS, and the International AIDS Conference, and also co-facilitated a training for HIV+ gay men in Chongqing, China. She has co-authored several articles, including a book chapter.

Jen received her MPH at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where she studied on a University Fellowship. Her undergraduate work was at Brown University, where she majored in Community Health.

Jen has worked with John Newsome and the PEG team on multiple projects, including technical assistance for a statewide program of HIV prevention among black gay men in Wisconsin; and survey development, implementation, and analysis for Tipping Point Community.

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Maricel Jiménez

Education: BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus

Recent projects include: Espacios Abiertos

Personal interests include: Reading, writing, dancing, yoga, archery, spending time in nature, and, of course, enjoying her two kids

 

 

Maricel is a writer, copywriter, and translator with over 10 years experience in the field of communications. While at the University of Puerto Rico her studies focused on the relationship between stress and aggression and how these factors affect human development and behavior. During this time, she also focused on developing her creative writing skills that eventually lead to a career in translation.

A member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Maricel focuses her spare time in creating books for children, where she likes to emphasize the importance of keeping a balance with nature. Her volunteer work includes writing for Prensa Comunitaria in Puerto Rico, working at the university’s stress clinic, and offering writing workshops for children.

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Imara Jones

Education: MSc in Economics from The London School of Economics; AB in Political Science, Columbia University

Recent projects include: The Bridgespan Group, MIT CoLab, FAAM

Personal interests include: TV! Favorite shows include The Walking Dead, Homeland, Game of Thrones, The Crown, the Real Housewives of Atlanta and many others.

 

 

Imara—whose contributions to media and social justice have won Emmy and Peabody Awards—is an on-air news analyst, writer, and host. Imara also is a consultant for non-profits on branding and communications strategy.

Imara’s work focuses on the full range of equity and social justice issues from the perspective of America’s emerging majority, specifically people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community.

Driven by the mission to support social change and meet the news needs of millennials of color, Imara founded and is president of Oria Media. Oria’s core property, The Last Sip—a program designed to link national news stories to grassroots communities—will rollout in the Summer of 2017. It will air on the progressive news network FSTV.

Imara’s wide-ranging perspective has helped land them as a frequent guest on television and radio programs, including MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes and The Melissa Harris Perry Show, HuffPostLive’s Political Junkies, CNBC’s Closing Bell, Al Jazeera America’s Inside Story, PBS’ Democracy Now!, NPR’s All Things Considered, BBC’s World Service, and The Takeaway— a program of The New York Times and WNYC Public Radio.

Additionally, their work has been featured in print and online in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper, The Nation, BBC News, Mic, Salon, and The Washington Post Company’s The Root.

From 2012-2014 Imara was economics contributor at Colorlines Magazine where their writing was syndicated in news outlets across the country. In 2015 Imara launched a YouTube channel caffeineTV, a 3-minute daily news brief which gave a different take on diverse topics.

Prior to their career in journalism, Imara held posts at Viacom where their work on the company’s Know HIV/AIDS campaign garnered two Emmy Awards and a Peabody.

In that role, Imara ran a $3 million department and mobilized over $200 million in media value across Viacom’s global assets for the venture, which included MTV, CBS, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures and CBS Radio. Imara developed the strategic plan for Know HIV/AIDS and was asked by the company’s Chief Operating Officer to manage the campaign. Imara worked with over a half-dozen ad agencies and negotiated international partnerships, such as with the BBC and Kenneth Cole Productions, to expand the footprint of the endeavor. Their creativity attracted key talent to work with the Know HIV/AIDS campaign including Common, Julianne Moore, and Ashley Judd. According to the United Nations, “Know HIV/AIDS is the largest public messaging effort in the history of the AIDS epidemic.”

Preceding the Know HIV/AIDS effort, Imara was Manager for Corporate Relations at Viacom from 2000-2002 where they served as the primary spokesperson on technology-related matters. In this role, Imara developed a rapid-response operation comprised of lawyers and communications staff to coordinate the company’s public response to new technology that infringed Viacom’s copyrights. The team’s success in highlighting that certain devices, such as the Replay4000, harmed artists more than corporations helped Viacom win key legal battles. At Viacom Imara also wrote speeches, press releases, performed media briefings and training for executives, and prepared talking points.

Before Viacom, Imara served in the Clinton White House where they held two posts in international economic policy.

The first was as Special Assistant to the United States Trade Representative where Imara supported the US Trade Representative in day-to-day management and communications coordination issues. Subsequently, Imara joined the Office of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (i.e. the China War Room) at The White House as Communications Specialist to help harmonize messaging efforts between the White House and Capitol Hill in support of the normalization legislation.

Imara, a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, received an undergraduate degree in political science and history from Columbia University—where they were student body president—and a master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Imara blends their credentials with rich life experiences inspired by an array of the world’s cultures. Imara has traveled to almost two-dozen countries on every continent except Australia and the Antarctic. Fluent in Portuguese, Salvador, and Bahia. Brazil is Imara’s second home.

Imara is also an avid consumer of television. Their favorite shows include: The Walking Dead, Homeland, Game of Thrones, The Crown, the Real Housewives of Atlanta, and many others.

Imara is genderqueer and goes by the pronouns they/them.

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Kaitlyn Jong

Education: Pursuing a B.S. in bioengineering at Stanford University

Recent projects include: PEG Internal Team Newsletter

Personal interests include: Hiking, traveling, cooking, and playing with her dogs

 

Kaitlyn is a rising junior at Stanford University studying Bioengineering. At school, she is involved with a sexual health group and leads the outreach program. She is also a member of a business fraternity where she leads a project for a bay area startup. In past internships, Kaitlyn has worked for a consulting firm, a bioengineering lab, an investment management firm, and a solar company.
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Esther Kim

Esther Kim

Education: BA and two Master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering and Technology Policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Recent projects include: The James Irvine Foundation, CFLeads, The San Francisco Foundation, New Profit

Personal interests include: Snowboarding, rock climbing, backpacking, ukulele, spending time with family

 

Esther is a seasoned nonprofit executive and business consultant with over 15 years of experience helping organizations thrive and achieve their goals. Her experience spans multiple sectors including philanthropy, nonprofits, Fortune 500 consulting, and government program evaluation. For over eight years, Esther served in leadership roles at REDF, a California venture philanthropy organization dedicated to creating jobs and pathways for individuals facing barriers to employment.

She led REDF’s programs, including strategy, grantmaking, business assistance, managing REDF’s first Federal Social Innovation Fund grant, creating tools, and measuring the impact of nonprofit-run social enterprises. As part of REDF’s executive team, she helped lead the organization through dramatic growth, including strategic planning, financial management, and hiring skilled talent.

Prior to REDF, Esther spent four years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, with a special focus on energy, environmental, and social sector projects.

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Carolyn Laub

Education: BA in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University

Recent projects include: Espacios Abiertos

Personal interests include: Cooking, hiking, board games, nonfiction books, politics, hanging out with her 1-year-old and 5-year-old, and trying to spend less time looking at Facebook

 

 

Carolyn is a nonprofit strategy consultant and social entrepreneur based in San Francisco. She consults with social justice nonprofits, coalitions, and foundations on strategic communications, strategy development, policy advocacy, movement building, community-driven research, fund-raising, scaling, and replication. In addition to working with PEG, Carolyn is a Senior Strategist with Wonder: Strategies for Good. With all of her clients, she seeks to leverage her deep content expertise in LGBTQ equality, education justice, youth leadership, and community organizing.

Previously, Carolyn founded Gay-Straight Alliance Network, which organizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth advocating for safety and justice in schools. Over 16 years, her youth organizing at GSA Network resulted in passage of a dozen pieces of legislation focused on non-discrimination, safety, mental health access, equity, and restorative justice in schools for LGBTQ young people. She grew the number of Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in California schools from 40 to 940. Carolyn spearheaded the replication of GSA Network’s successful California model in 4 other states and united a coalition of 39 statewide GSA networks, accelerating the growth and impact of the GSA movement nationwide.

In addition to her consulting work, in 2015 she co-founded Springboard Partners, an incubator of both high-impact social justice campaigns and startup companies. Carolyn is an Echoing Green Fellow and Ashoka Fellow as well as a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She is a 2017 Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University, where she also received a BA in Cultural Anthropology in 1995. Carolyn lives in San Francisco with her wife, Heather, and two daughters.

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Michaela Leslie-Rule

Education: MPA from Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington; MPH from School of Public Health, Global Health, University of Washington; BFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

Recent projects include: First and Always Melanin (FAAM)

Personal interests include: Documentary filmmaking, long-distance swimming, traveling, baking

 

Michaela is a strategist, digital media producer, storyteller and social scientist. Her approach to advocacy, communication, and research, elevates constituent voices through participatory processes and multimedia storytelling. She has been fortunate to collaborate with human rights activists and defenders around the globe, including Global Fund for Women, Memphis Music Initiative, Grassroots Girls Initiative, Tipping Point Community and EngenderHealth.

Michaela holds a Master’s of Public Health and Master’s of Public Affairs from the University of Washington with a focus on global health and storytelling, and a BFA from the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
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Rita Louh

Rita Louh photo

Education: MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business; BA from Harvard University

Recent projects include: The James Irvine Foundation, CFLeads, GLIDE Memorial Church & Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, PolicyLink, Canal Alliance

 

 

 

Rita is a seasoned leader and facilitator, helping organizations to implement the changes needed as they align mission, strategy, organization, and operations to create greater impact. With deep experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and for-profit sectors, Rita assists organizations not only in planning for greater impact, but also in executing these plans by advising leaders as they navigate the challenges that come with any significant transformation.

Prior to starting her consulting practice, Rita served as the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at Tipping Point Community, an engaged grant maker focused on reducing poverty in the Bay Area.

In this role, she managed Tipping Point’s growth as it more than tripled grant making and staff and played a senior leadership role in the development of Tipping Point’s grant-making approach, management assistance, and impact measurement. She also led the direct support provided to a number of diverse grantees, ranging from grass-roots organizations with deep histories in their communities to innovative initiatives launched for the first time in the Bay Area. Using her direct experience as a leader and manager and her skills in business planning and leadership development, Rita assisted groups as they made significant strategic, organizational, and operational shifts, and was recognized by grantees for her support and coaching.

Previously Rita was a national program director for New Leaders for New Schools. She also assisted a variety of nonprofit, philanthropic, and for-profit clients as a strategy consultant with The Bridgespan Group and with Bain and Company.

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Tia Martinez

Tia martinez photo

Education: JD from Stanford Law School;Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy; AB in History from Harvard University

Recent projects include: Heising-Simons Foundation, Peter Kiewit Foundation

 

 

 

Tia is an independent consultant who previously was the Chief Equity Officer at the Stupski Foundation. Tia came to the foundation from the Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at UC Berkeley Law School, where she was acting director of education, leading a policy unit that produced research, policy prescriptions, and curricular innovation on issues related to education reform.

Prior to joining the Warren Institute, she served as strategic consultant to the Office for Civil Rights in the US Department of Education. In this capacity, she led a strategic planning process and supported nationwide rollout and implementation of the new strategy across 12 regional offices. Tia was also a manager at the Bridgespan Group, where she worked with a range of clients including the nation’s largest constituency-based Hispanic civil rights organization and an urban school district reform intermediary.

Tia also has served as a senior fellow at the Hewlett Foundation, where she worked on issues related to disadvantaged adolescents and immigrant families. She has also worked as a policy analyst for the Corporation for Supportive Housing and the San Francisco Mayor’s Health Services Planning Council.

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Meredith McManus

Education: BA in Asian Studies from Sewanee: The University of the South

Recent projects include: Operations, contracts, team building and timeline management

Personal interests include: Kayaking and running (at home and on-the-go!)

 

 

Meredith possesses 7+ years of Operations and Administration experience, in roles ranging from Community Coordinator for the Office of the General Counsel at the NYC Commission on Human Rights; Executive and Personal Assistant to the CEO of The Barbarian Group; to Office Manager at Brooklyn based online retail start-up, Maptote. Meredith graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South with a BA in Asian Studies emphasizing Japanese culture. She is an avid runner and spends as much free time as possible kayaking the Florida Keys and Long Island Sound.
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Lindsay Miller

Education: Oxford MBA as a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship

Recent projects include: Heising-Simons Foundation, The Bridgespan Group, Community Works West, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Buck Institute for Education, New Profit

Personal interests include: Mountain biking, skiing, kite-boarding, backpacking, and international travel. Is developing a newfound passion for political activism

 

Lindsay is an independent consultant with expertise in social enterprise strategy and design. She completed the Oxford MBA as a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship in 2008 after an early career in early childhood education and children’s mental health. Since then, she has consulted with numerous US-based and international social enterprises, supporting clients in new business development, strategic planning, organizational change, resource development, evaluation, fund-raising and more. Current and past clients span the venture philanthropy, peacekeeping, education, food service, apparel, prison reform, and job creation sectors.

Lindsay has worked extensively with REDF, a Bay Area-based foundation addressing workforce development for people facing barriers to work, to develop web-based resources and tools for nonprofits interested in using social enterprise to create jobs. She serves as the Board Vice Chair of Gorge Owned, a nonprofit organization in Hood River promoting sustainable development that enhances community, economy, and environment.

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John Newsome

Education: MA in Modern Thought & Literature, with a focus on fascism; MBA from Stanford University; BA in Spanish Literature, with a focus on colonialism and post-colonialism

Recent projects include: The James Irvine Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, New American Leaders, The Bridgespan Group, Emerald Cities Collaborative, MIT CoLab, San Francisco Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Espacios Abiertos

Personal interests include: Yoga, intermediate cycling, a wine lover; after 20 years of neglect, John is trying to recoup his Spanish fluency.

John Newsome is the founder of Public Equity Group. John’s PEG clients have included PolicyLink; the Buffett Early Childhood Institute (NE); Espacios Abiertos (Puerto Rico); the Open Society Foundations; the Memphis Public Library system; First and Always Melanin; and the Transgender Law Center, among others.

John has served on the executive and management teams of several organizations, including the Global Business Coalition on Health (Vice President), leading U.S. corporate social responsibility initiatives between multinational companies (e.g., Chevron, L’Oreal, Levi-Strauss, Pfizer) and public partners (e.g., the White House, CDC); the Oakland Public Schools (chief of staff role); the Bridgespan Group; and the Center for Third World Organizing. John also served as Press Secretary and legislative aide to US Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) during her first term in Congress.

From 2004 to 2009, John led And Castro for All, a grassroots organization focused on racial and economic justice within the Bay Area LGBT Community. Under John’s leadership, AC4A won unprecedented city and state racial bias cases/judgments, featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.

John holds a Spanish fluency certification, a BA (Spanish Literature, with a focus on colonialism), an MA (Modern Thought & Literature, with a focus on fascism), and an MBA from Stanford University. John is a 1990 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

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Tom Pyun

tom

Education: Degrees from Vassar College and Columbia University

Recent projects include: GLIDE Memorial Church & Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, CF Leads

Personal interests include: Creative writing, hip-hop dance, and global travel

 

 

Tom is an independent strategy and grant-making consultant based in San Francisco. He has expertise in: developing analytically rigorous organizational and programmatic strategies and business plans; managing grant-making and evaluation portfolios and projects, including designing and implementing strategic initiatives and pilots; building organizational and leadership capacity via workshops and coaching; and conducting quantitative and qualitative research and analyses to inform program improvement and organizational change.

Tom’s project portfolio includes collaborations with The California Endowment, GLIDE Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation – Blue Shield Against Violence, Destination Home, The Philadelphia Center, PERTS at Stanford University, and Global Forum for MSM and HIV. He served as Interim Program Officer at the Blue Shield Against Violence Program where he was responsible for stewarding two dockets of grants consisting of $2.5 million-plus to organizations working to end domestic violence in California.

Tom was an Association of Schools of Public Health/Allan Rosenfield Global Health Fellow and a Technical Advisor in HIV Prevention with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Global AIDS Program in the United Republic of Tanzania. While at the CDC, Tom managed a $2 million-plus portfolio of HIV-prevention research and evaluation projects. In addition, he provided capacity building, technical assistance, and mentorship to in-country staff and international and local nonprofit grantee partners.

Previously, Tom was a Consultant with the Bridgespan Group, a national nonprofit management consultancy with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. During his tenure, he collaborated on strategy engagements with a national membership organization focused on practitioners and providers serving aging populations, a philanthropic climate change initiative, a California-based health care foundation, an Oregon-based charter management organization, and an education reform think tank based at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

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Camille Ramani

Education: MA in International Affairs from Columbia University; Certificate in non-profit Management from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; BA in Third World Studies from University of California, Berkeley

Recent projects include: The Children’s Council, Community Housing Partnership

Personal interests include: Surfing the world’s oceans, travel, reading, and films

Camille is an accomplished manager with 20-plus years proven experience in the international and economic development, social enterprise, nonprofit, nongovernmental, and public sectors. Her professional experience in the social sector ranges includes program development and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, operations and technology, and performance and impact measurement.

In 2008, she launched Ramani Consulting, which focuses primarily on building organizational backbone, with a keen focus on operations and technology, usage, and role of data within organizations to create a stronger, equitable social sector. Camille’s approach can be distilled into three guiding actions: listen, understand, and execute. Underlying those actions is the ability to build collaborative relationships and communicate effectively to partner with organizations on accomplishing their goals.

Camille has worked on projects from California to Kenya, and her clients have included Tipping Point Community, GAP Foundation, City and County of San Francisco, BUILD, First Place for Youth, Zerodivide, and Refugees United. Formerly, she served as COO/CTO of Upwardly Global, a social enterprise focused on assisting unemployed and underemployed immigrants and refugee professionals in finding a path to careers in Fortune 500 companies. In this role, Camille developed performance metrics and tracking systems for program evaluation and implemented Balanced Scorecard and Dashboard reporting as a basis for continuous improvement. Camille has also conducted evaluations and trained staff to develop program and outcome metrics for international agencies supporting low-income communities through income generating and asset-building initiatives.

Camille holds a BA in Third World Studies from University of California, Berkeley; an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University; and a Certificate in Non-profit Management from The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She and her family emigrated from India to San Francisco in 1978, and the Bay Area has always been home, no matter where in the world she has worked and lived. When she is not focusing on social justice and organizational capacity building, she indulges her other passions: explorations through travel and surfing the world’s oceans.

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Azra Rehan

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Education: MPA Candidate, NYU (2018); BS in Information Technology from Staffordshire University

Recent projects include: Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Buffett Early Childhood Fund

Personal interests include: Cooking, reading, and anything concerned with women’s issues

 

Azra is an MPA Candidate at New York University, majoring in Public Policy and Non-Profit Management. She has more than 13 years of diverse experience in software engineering, project management, and public relations in both the public and private sectors, and has worked with multinational brands like HSBC and J. Walter Thompson.

Since 2013, Azra has worked with various international NGOs, including Children’s Health and Education Foundation, and is on the board member of War Against Rape. Her recent projects include setting up free health care centers and preschools for low-income families in underdeveloped areas in Pakistan. She also has worked closely with international organizations like USAID and ICARE USA on projects to spread health awareness among Pakistan’s rural residents. Azra pioneered the first self-defense classes for women in Pakistan, to prevent rape cases in high-crime cities. She has excellent presentation and communication skills and speaks three languages.

Azra has a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Staffordshire University (UK) and began her career as a software engineer in 2003. Azra moved to New York City in 2015 with her family and loves to spend her free time traveling across the world. She hopes to work on causes related to women and children upon graduation from NYU.

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Igor Rubinov

Education: Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Princeton University; BA in Anthropology from Cornell University; MA in International Development & Social Change from Clark University; MA in Anthropology from Princeton University

Recent projects include: MIT CoLab

Personal interests include: Backpacking, bicycle touring, banjo, Soviet design

 

Igor Rubinov is a scholar, practitioner, and activist completing his dissertation as a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Princeton University. For his doctoral research, he conducted 16 months of fieldwork in Tajikistan to understand how climate adaptation projects were implemented by state and international agencies. For his MA, Igor studied the efficacy of organizations managing remittance flows in Kyrgyzstan. Igor has published his research in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes and as research reports, always maintaining a focus on the ingenuity and perseverance of local people dealing with adversity.

Prior to graduate work, Igor was a program manager and educator at several NGOs working with diverse communities including under-served youth and adults with development disabilities. Igor has sustained a long-standing passion for social and environmental justice, working to help organizations be more impactful in their efforts to alleviate poverty, support communities and improve the environment. Igor is fluent in Russian and Tajik and has ridden his bicycle thousands of miles around the world.

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Justin Smith

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Education: PhD student in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University; MPH in Health Behavior from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; AB in Sociology from Brown University

Recent projects include: Listen For Good, GLIDE Memorial Church & Foundation, New Profit

Personal interests include: Yoga and community building

 

 

 

Justin is a PhD student in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University, with extensive experience in program design, implementation, and evaluation. Since September 2012, Justin has served as a Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, assisting in the implementation and management of a national HIV behavioral surveillance system, coordinating project activities among three project sites; developing project protocols and survey instruments; analyzing project data; and preparing manuscripts for publication. Justin’s research has been published in leading academic journals, including the American Journal of Public Health and AIDS and Behavior.

Justin also completed a Training Fellowship at the Fenway Institute and Boston University, and prior to his work at the CDC served for four years as project coordinator at The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, managing day-to-day operations for an HRSA-funded HIV outreach, prevention, and care program. Justin applied his expertise in survey design, implementation, and data analysis to PEG consulting projects for GLIDE and New Profit.

An avid yoga practitioner and CrossFitter, Justin is also the founder and lead organizer of Brothers Who Brunch (BWB), a monthly gathering that seamlessly integrates Justin’s love of food with his passion for community building.

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Stacey Smith

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Education: BS in Business Administration from the University of Vermont; past licensed CPA in California

Recent projects include: Heising-Simons Foundation, CFLeads, Community Works West, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Buck Institute for Education, Community Housing Partnership, Jewish Vocational Service, Nurse Family Partnership

Personal interests include: Being outdoors, yoga, healing trauma in kids, and traveling abroad

Stacey is an executive level leader with 10 years of nonprofit sector and over 10 years corporate sector management experience. Responsibilities include revenue generation, strategy and performance measurement, operations leadership, financial management, and personnel development and effectiveness.

Stacey is a past Director (2001-2007) and Managing Director (2007-2009) at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and a licensed CPA who began her career at Arthur Andersen LLP doing accounting, organization consulting, and change management. While at BSR, Stacey launched the organization’s consulting practice, including identification of service offerings, development of financial model, creation of business processes, and training personnel. Stacey also has served as an interim Executive Director for organizations across the Bay Area.

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Eiko Sugano

Education: MPH from UC Berkeley School of Public Health; BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University

Recent projects include: Espacios Abiertos

Personal interests include: Running, meditation, learning new crafts

 

 

Eiko is an independent consultant and leadership coach serving the social sector. She combines her consulting and training experience with coaching and facilitation skills to build organizational, leadership, and adaptive capacity in service of creating a more equitable society. Eiko has a proven track record in improving team functioning, developing evaluation plans and conducting evaluations that capture an organization’s story, and helping leaders to be more effective and engaged. Her areas of content expertise include workforce development, youth development, early childhood education, older adults and aging, HIV prevention, and homelessness.

Eiko is passionate about working with leaders and emerging leaders of color who are serving as role models and change agents. As a coach, she empowers and supports them in maximizing their impact while staying in balance with self-care so they can sustain their efforts.

Building on personal experience, Eiko is known for her ability to work with a diverse array of people, from frontline staff to executive leaders and from at-risk populations to people managing projects. For four years, she served as senior consultant and Director of Talent at LFA (Learning for Action), a consulting firm that enhanced the impact and sustainability of social sector organizations through highly customized strategy, evaluation, and research services. Prior to consulting, Eiko managed community collaborative STI/HIV prevention projects at UCSF where she worked with at-risk youth populations, including homeless and LGBTQ youth.

Eiko holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and is a certified professional coach through the Coaches Training Institute.

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Benjamin Weil

Education: MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, specializing in Economic and Political Development and African Studies; BA in International Relations and French from San Francisco State University

Recent projects include: The James Irvine Foundation, Memphis Public Library, CFLeads (Community Foundations Leading Change)

Personal interests include: Classical music (singer and listener), languages and linguistics, reading and writing, political activism, yoga, swimming, hiking

Benjamin has been working in international public health for nearly 25 years, with a thematic focus on HIV and sexual and reproductive health, and a regional focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

A consultant since 1997, Benjamin also worked as Program Advisor on HIV\STDs for International Planned Parenthood in 1999-2000 (in Latin America and the Caribbean), and as a UNDP Program Advisor for UNDP HIV and Development Project, based both in New York and Dakar, Senegal, in 1993-1997. At UNDP he was instrumental in helping found and support the African Regional Network on Ethics, Law and HIV and the Network of African People Living with HIV\AIDS. He also participated in the creation of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV\AIDS (UNAIDS).

Consulting clients have included the World Bank, UNAIDS, UNICEF, the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, EngenderHealth, the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, AmFAR, the Global Business Coalition on HIV\AIDS, TB and Malaria, Family Health International, and Keep a Child Alive.

During and after college, Benjamin spent several years living, studying and working in Europe. He is fluent in French, Spanish, German and Italian, and also speaks Wolof and a tiny residue of Hausa.

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PEG Alumni