American Express Leadership Academy 2.0: Emerging Nonprofit Leaders – 2012 Fellowship Class

BerlowitzRainah Berlowitz, Director of Operations of Education Through Music, Inc., has focused his professional and volunteering life on creating educational opportunity for at-risk youth and engaging young professionals in civic leadership. He currently serves as Director of Operations for Education Through Music, Inc. (ETM). Founded in 1991 and based in New York City, ETM helps schools and other organizations to provide and sustain high-quality, comprehensive and sequential music education for all children. He came to ETM in 1997 through Princeton AlumniCorps’ Project 55 Fellowship Program after receiving an A.B. in English from Princeton University. He remains involved with Princeton AlumniCorps, volunteering as a Project ’55 Fellowship Program mentor. Over his many years of service with ETM, he helped the organization grow through numerous milestones. Notably, in 2005, ETM was one of fourteen organizations nationwide to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education for evaluation, development and dissemination of its music education model. He also facilitated creation of ETM licensed affiliate organizations in Los Angeles in 2006 and San Francisco in 2008. While working for ETM, he began volunteering with Giving Opportunities To Others, Inc. (GOTO), a nonprofit founded in 2001 by one of his former Princeton AlumniCorps mentees. GOTO is managed by a community of young professionals who volunteer to enrich the lives of underprivileged middle school students by funding transformational summer camp experiences in the arts and acting as supportive role models. In 2005, after GOTO’s expansion to Boston, Rainah was appointed a member of the National Board of Directors and President of GOTO’s New York Executive Committee. In 2010, he was elected to serve as GOTO’s Board Chairman and Executive Director. In fall 2011, he was honored to be one of twenty emerging New York City arts and cultural leaders selected to participate in the Arts & Business Council of New York’s Arts Leadership Institute sponsored by American Express.

BolducKevin Bolduc, Vice President — Assessment Tools of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, leads the delivery of CEP’s performance assessment tools. He oversees both the design of new tools and the refinement of CEP’s suite of current assessment offerings. Kevin helped design CEP’s groundbreaking Grantee Perception Report and Donor Perception Report and has presented CEP’s data to boards, management and staff for dozens of funders. Kevin also advises CEP’s research process. He led phase one of CEP’s study of foundation strategy and co-authored the 2007 report, Beyond the Rhetoric: Foundation Strategy. He is also co-author of “Luck of the Draw,” an article in Stanford Social Innovation Review that explores how grantee experiences are affected by differences in the quality of program officers’ performance; CEP’s 2004 report, Listening to Grantees: What Nonprofits Value in Their Foundation Funders; and a case study on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s approach to performance assessment. Kevin frequently speaks about foundation performance assessment and strategy at national and regional conferences. Before joining CEP in September 2001, he was a consultant with The Parthenon Group, a Boston-based strategy consulting firm. He is past chair of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy’s Greater Boston Steering Committee, and was selected as a 2009 Independent Sector American Express NGen Fellow. Kevin graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Biology from Williams College.

drewChloe Drew, Executive Director of the Council of Urban Professionals, administers a multi-million dollar portfolio of results-oriented initiatives that advance leadership development, diversity across the public, private and nonprofit sectors and access to capital and opportunity for the next generation of civic and business leaders. Chloe formerly served as Campaign Director for U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee in California’s 9th congressional district. She also co-founded and served as a founding board member of OaklandVOTE, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing voter participation in underserved communities. Before her work for the Lee campaign, Chloe taught social studies and math at the Colegio Americano de Quito in Ecuador, and was Deputy Finance Director of the Mark Udall for U.S. Congress campaign. Chloe earned a B.A. from Harvard University in History and Literature and currently serves on the boards of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and One Voice PAC. She is a former board member of the Wellesley Centers for Women and Emerge America.

ellisCarrie L. Ellis, Director of Project Management at KaBOOM!, knows that broad, systemic change is possible when leaders focus on efficiency, strategy, and results. Since 2005, Carrie has led the Project Management team at KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that creates playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities across North America. During this time, Carrie has managed her team in completing over 1,300 community-built playspace projects with nearly 200 funding partners and impacting over 3.5 million children. Previously, Carrie worked for several years in different capacities on the national staff of Teach For America, and she served as a Teach For America corps member teaching middle school in Los Angeles. Carrie is the Chair of the Board for Teaching for Change, a nonprofit that provides teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into centers of justice where students learn to read, write and change the world. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she earned a B.A. in English, and she has a Master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication.

 lejneiksCarlos Lejnieks is President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties (Newark, NJ) and Chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of NJ. Carlos took over an atrophied BBBS agency and, within three years, went from serving approximately 100 youth to serving well over 1,100. Prior to joining BBBS, Carlos was an administrator at North Star Academy, a nationally recognized public charter school in Newark encompassing four campuses ranging from elementary school through high school. At NSA, he led an international service trip to Ecuador with high school students.  Prior to North Star, Carlos was held positions as Vice President of CN Communications International and Goldman Sachs. Lejnieks has served on President Barack Obama’s Regional Finance Committee, Governor Chris Christie’s Education Transition Team and Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Transition Team. In 2009, Carlos was elected Chairman of the NJ Charter Schools Association and serves as a Trustee and Co-Founder of Democracy Prep Public Schools based in Harlem (NY). In 2010, Carlos was appointed to the National Advisory Board of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, replacing US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Carlos also serves on the Board of Regents for Saint Peter’s College and is a Trustee for Jersey City Medical Center Hospital. In 2011, Carlos was also a featured speaker at the Newark Peace Summit headlined by the Dalai Lama. A former collegiate varsity wrestler, Carlos has an M.Sc. degree from the London School of Economics and B.A. degree in International Relations and Commerce from Brown University. In 2011, he was given an Honorary Doctorate from Saint Peter’s College, where he delivered its commencement address.

inmInmaculada Lopez de la Cova is the Head of Asia for British Red Cross (BRC) International Division in London. In that position, she leads the teams and partnerships agreements that BRC holds in Central, South, South East and East Asia as well as focusing on the development of the strategic direction of BRC for those Regions. In her continued engagement with the Red Cross Movement for more than 13 years, she has undertaken several responsibilities across various geographies. She started as a volunteer with the Spanish Red Cross supporting communities affected by the conflict in Guatemala in 1997, followed by supporting the coordination of the relief efforts after the Huricane Mitch destroyed Central America in 1998. This was followed by Inmaculada holding numerous overseas positions, Head of the Spanish Red Cross delegations in Palestine, India and Paraguay; Organizational Development delegate for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Iraq ; before joining British Red Cross as South Asia Desk Officer in October 2004 taking over the Tsunami operation for India, Maldives and Sri Lanka in January 2005. Since then, Inmaculada has been the focal point for British Red Cross for South Asia and the Middle East and she has lead the implementation of key projects across continents, enabled teams and individuals to perform to their potential and influence the way BRC shapes its partnership with key organizations across the world. Inmaculada has participated in several national and international trainings, workshops, conferences and seminars. She has expertise in Community Participation Methodologies and Management for Humanitarian Organizations and has a special interest in Community Lead Disaster Risk Reduction. Inmaculada has a Master’s degree in Journalism and a post-graduate degree in International Development. She lives in London with her husband and son.

mercadoGonzalo L. Mercado, a native of Chile, serves as the Executive Director of El Centro del Inmigrante (The Immigrant Center). “El Centro” is a community based organization working to provide for the economic advancement and well being of immigrant workers through community organizing, education, advocacy, service provision and cultural activities as well as building bridges with receiving communities. Gonzalo has been actively involved in helping provide a voice and platform for immigrant workers and their families at both the local, state and national level. He has been involved in several campaigns, such as, the need for just and humane immigration reform as a moral and economic issue. He has worked as a liaison between various philanthropic organizations and local workers groups. He serves on the board of the New York Immigration Coalition, the North Star Fund and the Community Health Center of Richmond. He was appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the NYC Commission on Day Laborers and the NY HIV Planning Council. He has experience organizing immigrants from all over the world through the Staten Island Immigrants Council where he has served as the coordinator since 2006.

mugoJane Mugo is Director of Internal Controls at Habitat for Humanity International, a Christian organization that builds simple, decent homes in partnership with people living in substandard conditions worldwide. She has global responsibility for organizational process reviews, implementation of best practices, and the development of policies to address identified risks and emerging issues. Jane is currently managing a hands-on initiative to streamline processes and implement controls resulting in more efficient and effective use of resources, capacity building and knowledge sharing across the organization. Prior to joining Habitat, she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kenya and the U.S, which has given her unique insight of both developed and emerging country issues. Jane is also actively involved in community and education initiatives. Previously, she consulted for school and nonprofit boards and served on the Board of Directors of Logos Christian School in Kenya. Currently, she is assisting two underserved schools and a church community in Kenya with setting up libraries using donated books. Jane serves on the Atlas Corps Fellows Selection Board and is a 2011 American Express NGEN fellow. Jane holds a J.D. from the University of Nairobi, an International MBA from Temple University and CPA certification in Kenya.

nazarethKeren Nazareth is the Executive Director of SAATH since April 2011. SAATH is a nonprofit in India that works with vulnerable households in urban and rural areas. She started out her work in SAATH in 2009, as the Coordinator for their Research and Documentation cell, then moved up as Co-Director. She holds a Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Her work includes programs related to livelihoods for youth, women, informal sector workers; extensive documentation work post-tsunami in four countries; setting up a rural artisans marketing initiative; and working with displaced urban communities. One of her passions is encouraging youth initiatives, and she helped set up and strengthen the youth volunteer and internship opportunities in Saath. She has facilitated over 200 interns and volunteers in her career so far. Her energy is currently focused on partnership building and fundraising for SAATH, developing an environmental initiative and setting up SAATH’s Urban Research Cell. She has co-authored a paper on Community Mobilization. She has previously worked with organisations such as Centre for Environment Education, Animal Help Foundation, and Thalassemia Jagruti Foundation. Additionally, her passion and love for animals has kept alive a spirit of rescuing and protecting both stray and endangered animals.

patelMayur Patel joined Knight Foundation in 2009. As Vice President of Strategy and Assessment, he is responsible for aiding ongoing strategy development, strengthening research and knowledge management capabilities and assessing the impact and effectiveness of the foundation’s efforts. Mayur was previously a Project Associate with the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford, involved in research on international institutions and economic affairs, and a fellow with the World Trade Organization in Geneva. He has served as a consultant to Oxfam’s offices in Kenya and the UK, and as a trade and investment policy adviser to Realizing Rights, an NGO based in New York. He has previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Zimbabwe, his home country, on issues of civic engagement and parliamentary support. A Rhodes Scholar, Mayur has a Doctorate in international development from the University of Oxford, from which he also earned a Master’s degree. Prior to attending Oxford, he was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is a Junior Fellow with the EVA Business and Policy Forum based in Helsinki and a recipient of a Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award. Recently, Mayur was named a 2011 Independent Sector American Express NGEN Fellow and one of ’30 Under 30 Civic Leaders’ by Splashlife Magazine and the National Council on Citizenship.

petterssonAnders Pettersson is the Executive Officer to the Standing Group of UNICEF’s National Committees (NatComs). The NatComs represents the UN Children’s Fund in 36 of the more than 190 countries where the organization is working to improve the lives of women and children. The NatCom’s are UNICEF’s private sector arms for fundraising, communication, advocacy and corporate partnerships and they annually raise more than $1billion. Anders joined UNICEF in 2003 when he created and ran the organization’s global surge capacity program to support field offices in humanitarian crises. Before joining UNICEF, Anders worked for his government and developed and coordinated Sweden’s participation in civilian missions to support peace and security, democracy, human rights and rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. From the early to mid-90s, and prior to being a national and international civil servant, he did three tours as military peacekeeper with UNIFIL in Lebanon, UNPROFOR in Croatia and Bosnia and with NATO-IFOR in Bosnia. Anders did his undergraduate studies at University of Uppsala and Masters studies in Political Science and International Relations at Stockholm University, where he also participated in post-graduate research on the EU, commissioned by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He has also undertaken more recent studies at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, AZ.

quinonezJosé Quiñonez is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and the University of California at Davis. A former legislative assistant for Congressman Ruben Hinojosa and nonprofit lobbyist in Washington, D.C., José is a passionate advocate for immigration, hunger and welfare reform. After working to improve predatory mortgage and payday lending practices at the Center for Responsible Lending, Jose organized a statewide coalition of asset builders for the Asset Policy Initiative in Sacramento. José became Mission Asset Fund’s (MAF) founding Executive Director in 2007. MAF is an award-winning nonprofit organization that integrates financially excluded low-income and immigrant communities into the financial mainstream by offering innovative and culturally relevant financial programs, products and services.