Senior Director, Strategy & Operations
Years working in philanthropy or a related field: 18
Years with IP: 8 months
What I bring to IP: The through line in my multidisciplinary background is a commitment to improving the lives of children and communities. Working as a teacher, lawyer, social worker, and nonprofit executive has given me broad knowledge of issues and approaches. My experience ranges from hyper-local to national in scope; in topics including housing, education, criminal justice, workforce development, and civic engagement; working in law, advocacy, organizing, direct service, politics, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and leadership development; creating strategies, tools, partnerships, policies and programs to advance social, racial and economic justice. From this, I bring an understanding of these interrelated issues and of how nonprofits, government, business and philanthropy each play their part in bringing about meaningful solutions.
What I love most about my work: I love being able to leverage my experience as both a funder and a grantee to contribute to the crucial work of hundreds of nonprofits and supporting the people who make up those organizations. Working in nonprofits, I experienced funders’ diverse approaches to application, selection and grantee support. I found certain processes, partnerships and investments to be invaluable to my own growth as a leader -- and my organization’s ability to realize the impact we sought for our community. Becoming a funder, four years ago, I was and remain acutely aware of the opportunity and responsibility that comes with sitting on the other side of the table, developing grantmaking criteria, processes and relationships to honor and grow the incredible people and organizations we fund.
What I am most excited about learning right now: I am excited about a growing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in nonprofit and philanthropic leadership. Over the years, I have sought out opportunities to learn about historic injustices as well as programmatic and personal practices to redress them. I have developed tools and strategies for infusing the values, priorities and practices of diversity, equity and inclusion in grantmaking and in the internal policies and practices of charitable organizations. I am eager to continue learning and growing in this space.
What I do in a typical week: I go on site visits. I attend workshops and meetings of funders seeking to learn from one another and collaborate for impact. I conduct research on substantive program areas and develop frameworks and rubrics to help boards select and evaluate grantees. I think about how to measure the impact of the foundations we work with and the organizations they fund. I problem-solve, check in and laugh with colleagues, grantees and clients, and I am inspired and moved by the important work they do every day.
What I do when I’m not working: I go for walks, do arts and crafts, or wrestle in the basement with my four-year-old. I weed my garden while listening to audiobooks. I run and do yoga. I play board- and parlor games with friends. And on the rare occasions I have longer stretches of free time, I immerse myself in one of my longstanding hobbies, playing piano or quilting.