President: Elizabeth Christopherson, Rita Allen Foundation

Elizabeth is president, CEO and director at the Rita Allen Foundation, an organization that invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. Previously she served as the first female executive director of New Jersey’s public broadcasting network (NJN) and was elected by her peers to two terms on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Board. As an advocate for ethical standards, she helped update PBS policies on editorial integrity and the American Press Institute’s recent guidelines for funders. A champion for the arts, Elizabeth served as a member and chair of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for 25 years. She has served on many other regional and national boards, including as president of the New Jersey Women’s Forum. She is the recipient of five honorary degrees and numerous awards for public service including the International Women’s Forum Women Who Make a Difference.

Vice President/Secretary: Sarah Koch, The Case Foundation

Sarah KochSarah joined the Case Foundation 2012 as part of the Social Innovation team. With a background in developing and marketing online tools for nonprofits with Causes.com, she jumped right into the launch of Be Fearless and the Finding Fearless campaign to identify fearless changemakers around the nation. As Director of Social Innovation at Case, Sarah heads up initiatives such as Be Fearless, a campaign to encourage more innovation and risk taking in the nonprofit sector. Sarah also leads the Foundation’s efforts on issues such as Global Entrepreneurship, Economic Mobility, Technology for Social Good and Prizes and Challenges. Much of Sarah’s expertise focuses on helping grantees and partners innovate and engage online and offline.

Treasurer: Keesha Gaskins-Nathan, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

gaskins-150x50Keesha Gaskins is the director for the Democratic Practice–United States program at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Prior to joining the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, she was senior counsel with the Brennan Center for Justice, serving as the director of the Redistricting and Representation program. Her portfolio included redistricting reform, voting rights, and elections, with a focus on voter suppression issues. Keesha is a frequent lecturer and writer on issues related to women and politics, movement building, and democratic reform, and is the author of a number of articles and publications. Keesha served as executive director for the League of Women Voters Minnesota and was the executive director for the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus. She worked for a number of years as a trial attorney, most notably with the firm Bowman and Brooke, LLC. Keesha also served as a special assistant appellate public defender for the State of Minnesota.

Pamela Lewis, New Economy Initiative

Pamela Lewis is the director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), a collaboration of funders working to build and sustain an inclusive network of support for entrepreneurs in southeast Michigan. Lewis joined NEI in 2011 as a senior program officer, leading NEI’s efforts to build a regional network of high-tech commercialization and business acceleration. She was named NEI’s director in 2016.  An engineer by training, before joining NEI, Lewis served as a consultant to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she was responsible for developing asset maps and overseeing data reporting for Kauffman-funded programs in Detroit, and as NextEnergy’s manager of entrepreneurial programs focused on accelerating clean energy startups. Lewis began her career at DTE Energy, spending 15 years in roles ranging from analyst to manager of process management and continuous improvement initiatives.. In 2016, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan by Crain’s Detroit Business.

Paul Waters, Democracy Fund

Paul Waters is a Senior Associate at the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation working to ensure our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Focusing on a vibrant media and the public square, Paul works with grantees and newsrooms to create meaningful content about the communities they cover, in a way that reflects the diversity of those communities through their stories, sources, and staff. Paul joined the Democracy Fund in 2014. Previously, he served as a Legal Fellow at the Federal Communications Commission in the Office of the Chairman and Wireline Competition Bureau.

Stuart Comstock-Gay, Delaware Community Foundation

Stuart Comstock-Gay is president and CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation, and has devoted his career addressing issues of community, civic engagement, democracy, and civil rights. Before taking the helm of DCF in 2016, Stuart served as president & CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation.  Prior to leading the VCF, Stuart worked across the country to reduce barriers to voter registration and encourage broad civic engagement, first as executive director of the National Voting Rights Institute in Boston and then as Democracy Program Director at New York City based Dēmos. Stuart also spent seven years in leadership positions with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and 14 years with the ACLU, including 10 as executive director of the Maryland affiliate.  He serves as the chair of Mission Investors Exchange – the nation’s leading impact investing organization serving foundations; and on the board of CFLeads – an organization dedicated to helping community foundations expand their leadership work. He also serves on the Board and executive committee of the Wilmington Leaders Alliance, and the board of the United Way of Delaware.

Jonathan Gruber, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust

Jon Gruber leads the Campus and Community portfolios at the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, which invests nationally in research-backed nonprofits that advance EFCT’s mission of helping people get along better. Jon also leads a special fund through which EFCT made targeted grants to efforts designed to decrease polarization and foster understanding across divides at the citizen level. Before joining EFCT, Jon was a Principal at the management consulting firm Booz & Company, advising clients across sectors on strategy and organizational performance, and also worked as a consultant at Katzenbach Partners. He started his career teaching politics and history at the Stowe School in England and serving as Director of Education at The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. Jon is also on the Leadership Council of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and the Advisory Board of Amplifier.

Janet Tran, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute

Janet Tran serves as the Director of Learning and Leadership at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute where she is charged with designing the Foundation’s nonpartisan portfolio of civic learning experiences for students. She joined the foundation in 2010 to help craft and design its nonpartisan civic learning portfolio. In 2015, she helped establish the Reagan Institute offices in Washington, D.C. with the launch of Leadership and the American Presidency (LTAP), an experiential leadership program for university students through the lens of the American Presidency. Janet’s civic mission began prior to her work at the Reagan Foundation, serving as a Social Studies and English teacher in South Central Los Angeles.

PACE Executive Director: Kristen Cambell

Kristen Cambell is Executive Director of PACE (Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement) and leads our mission to inspire interest, understanding, and investment in civic engagement within philanthropy and to be a voice for philanthropy in larger conversations taking place in the fields of civic engagement, service, and democratic practice. Previously, Kristen ran her own consulting practice focused on civic engagement, education, and leadership. She served the National Conference on Citizenship as its Chief Program Officer, and has held philanthropic roles at the Case Foundation and Points of Light. Kristen is an AmeriCorps Alum and serves on the Alumni Council of The Fund for American Studies, and on the advisory board for groups such as the Annenberg Presidential Learning Center and the Sustained Dialogue Institute.