The Arcus Foundation board of directors and staff are a diverse group, reflecting the diversity inherent in the world their work is shaping. They are thought leaders who have significantly influenced thinking, and action, in the social justice and conservation movements. They bring expertise, resources, and vision to their work – along with track records as catalysts of change.
Jon Stryker, Founder and Board President
Jon Stryker is the founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation with offices in New York City, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Cambridge, UK that supports groups advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights and groups working globally to promote great ape conservation. He is a founding board member of the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy in Northern Kenya, Save the Chimps in Ft. Pierce, Florida and Greenleaf Trust, a trust bank in Kalamazoo. Mr. Stryker also is a registered architect in the State of Michigan and is President of Depot Landmark LLC, a development company specializing in the rehabilitation of historic buildings. Mr. Stryker earned a bachelor of arts degree in Biology from Kalamazoo College in 1982 and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.
Stephen Bennett, Board Member
Stephen Bennett is CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, an international network of disability advocacy organizations and providers of services. He is a leader in disability public policy with roots in advocacy, organizing and strategy, having started his career as a Peace Corps/VISTA volunteer in South Central Los Angeles in the aftermath of the Watts riots. Mr. Bennett served as the CEO of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s; and his experience in the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, developing a response, organizing support and building public understanding, greatly impacted his life and later work. He has served on various boards, including ANGLE, Leadership 18, and the National Institute for the Severely Handicapped. He is a founding board member of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and he currently chairs the Disability PAC.
Evelynn M. Hammonds, Board Member
Evelynn M. Hammonds joined the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2002 after teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was also the founding director of the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology and Medicine. Her scholarly interests include the history of scientific, medical, and sociopolitical concepts of race and sexuality; the history of disease and public health; gender in science and medicine; and African-American history. She is the author of “Childhood’s Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930”, many scholarly articles and the co-editor of the book “The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics” published in 2010. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Physics, Electrical Engineering and the History of Science.
Ms. Hammonds served as the dean of Harvard College from 2008 to 2013. Prior to her appointment as dean, she served as Harvard University’s first Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity beginning in July 2005. She is currently the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies.
Janet Mock, Board Member
Janet Mock is a writer and activist whose essays, speeches and media criticisms aim to expand society’s limited idea of womanhood and raise visibility for trans women, specifically those of color.
While working as Staff Editor of People.com, Janet opened up about her teenage transition in Marie Claire, and concentrated her efforts on speaking out about the struggles, triumphs and portrayals of trans women. She has since helped develop programming for trans youth at the Hetrick-Martin Institute and founded the social media project #GirlsLikeUs to raise visibility of girls and women like herself.
Ms. Mock currently travels the country speaking about intersectional gender justice, and her commentary has appeared in a number of media outlets, from NPR and In The Life to the Melissa Harris-Perry show. She recently appeared in the HBO documentary The Out List (June 2013). In February 2014, her memoir will be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster.
In 2012, Mock was honored for her advocacy by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization created in the legacy of transgender activist Sylvia Rivera. She was also named one of the “Top 13 Women of Color to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, The Grio’s “100 Most Influential African-Americans” and part of GOOD magazine’s The GOOD 100 list. Her work has also been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award and Women’s Media Center Award.
Ms. Mock attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, earned her MA in journalism from New York University and resides in New York City with her boyfriend Aaron and their cockapoo Cleo. Follow her on Twitter (@janetmock) or Facebook (/msjanetmock).
Catherine Pino, Board Member
Catherine Pino is the co-founder and principal of D&P Creative Strategies, a company that she and her partner founded to advance corporate, philanthropic and legislative efforts that mirror her deep commitment to social justice and civil rights issues. Ms. Pino has over two decades of experience working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, including roles at Carnegie Corporation of New York, DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, Independent Sector and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), where she gained an expertise for developing strategic philanthropic efforts, designing and evaluating programs that target underserved communities, and creating successful public policy and advocacy agendas. Organizations with whom Ms. Pino has current or past affiliations include the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Victory Fund, Hetrick-Martin Institute, Nielsen, Independent Sector and NCLR.
Jeff Trandahl, Board Member
Jeff Trandahl joined the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in November 2005 after serving on Capitol Hill for 23 years. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Mr. Trandahl was elected Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998 to 2005. Mr. Trandahl was the second highest constitutional official in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as the chief legislative official. He led a staff of 300 highly specialized staff and oversaw an operating budget of more than $20 million. Prior to his election as Clerk, he served for various members of the House and Senate and held various committee staff assignments. As Executive Director and CEO, Mr. Trandahl leads the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit that protects and restores our nation’s native species and habitats.
Created by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private funds. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded grants to more than 3,800 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged—with its partners—$576 million in federal funds into more than $2 billion for conservation. Mr. Trandahl earned a B.A. in Government/Politics from the University of Maryland in 1987 and holds a Certificate in Management from the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. Mr. Trandahl currently serves on the boards of the Gill Action Fund, Jones Group, Arise Corporation, and The Arcus Foundation. Mr. Trandahl was raised in Spearfish, South Dakota, the son of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Trandahl has had a life-long commitment to conservation.
Darren Walker, Board Member
Darren Walker is President of the Ford Foundation. He served previously as Ford's Vice President, Education, Creativity and Free Expression Program, and brings to the Arcus board extensive experience in management, philanthropy, law, investment banking and community development. Mr. Walker was vice president for foundation initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, held positions in international law and banking, was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation and worked for a year as full-time volunteer staff for the Children’s Storefront School, serving families in Harlem. Passionate about advancing equality for disadvantaged communities, his board memberships have included the Association for Neighborhood Housing and Development, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, National Housing Institute and the National Low-Income Housing Coalition among many others. Mr. Walker is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas School of Law, and attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government’s Leadership Program.
Kevin Jennings, Executive Director
Kevin has a long and distinguished career as an educator, social justice activist, teacher, and author. He served as Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education, heading the department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools where he led federal efforts to promote the safety, health and well being of U.S. students and led the Obama Administration’s anti-bullying initiative. Kevin began his career as a high school history teacher and coach in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. During this time he served as faculty advisor to the nation’s first Gay-Straight Alliance leading him in 1990 to found the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national education organization tackling anti-LGBT bias in U.S. schools.
Kevin holds a BA from Harvard University, an MA in education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, from which he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012, and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has received numerous awards for his work, is a regular speaker on national and international platforms and is a board member of the Harvard Alumni Association, the Union Theological Seminary, the You Can Play Project, and is Board Chair for the Tectonic Theater Project, which created The Laramie Project. He is author of six books and is also a founding member of the New York City Gay Hockey Association, playing left wing on The Boxers. Along with his partner of 17 years, Jeff Davis, he is the proud owner of two Bernese mountain dogs.
Sandor Johnson, Executive Assistant
Sandor Johnson is a former CNN International/Asia finance correspondent. He is currently a small construction company owner, Ford fashion model and founder of Potter Settlement Vineyards and Winery – a boutique winery that he owns in his native Canada. Sandor is embracing his new administrative position at Arcus with verve and interest to add to his diverse resume. His passion for Conservation and Human Rights issues are evident in many of his former news stories. Sandor has earned a master’s in journalism and communication from Canada’s Carleton University and an honors bachelor’s in english literature from The University of Western Ontario.
Annette Lanjouw, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Great Apes Program
Annette Lanjouw is a highly regarded expert in great ape conservation, having worked with chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas in the wild as well as working extensively in conservation strategy, program implementation and research. For 15 years she was director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme which works to conserve the fewer than 800 mountain gorillas inhabiting the forests on the border of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Ms. Lanjouw served as scientific advisor to world-renowned wildlife filmmaker Alan Root, as Central Africa program officer for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and as project manager and field director for the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Chimpanzee Conservation Project in eastern DRC. Before joining Arcus, she was international program officer for the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. A native of the Netherlands, Ms. Lanjouw holds a BSc in zoology and psychology from Victoria University in New Zealand and a doctorandus degree in behavioral ecology from the Rijks Universiteit in the Netherlands. She is scientific advisor to the Trust for African Rock Art, and a member of the Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group, the Trans-boundary Conservation Specialist Group, and the World Commission on Protected Areas.
Jason McGill, Vice President, Social Justice Programs
Jason brings to the Foundation a deep engagement with progressive social movements and extensive knowledge of the ways institutional philanthropy can best partner with, support and advance these movements. Prior to joining Arcus, he worked for nine years at Philanthropy New York, the primary membership association for New York’s philanthropic sector. As Vice President of Member Services there, he conceived and implemented numerous platforms for philanthropic collaboration, learning, and collective action among the organization’s 285 member foundations. He also contributed key leadership in advancing Philanthropy New York’s role as a fulcrum for critical exchange between philanthropic and policymaking leaders. Earlier in his career, he served as the first Director of Alumni and Philanthropic Programs at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), where he built a robust international network of young professionals of color committed to giving back to their communities of origin. He completed his Ph.D. in African American and Early U.S. history at the University of Michigan, and A.B. (Sociology)and B.S. (Urban Studies) degrees at Cornell University, and has taught at Swarthmore College, the University of Michigan, Rutgers University.
Thomas W. Nichols, Vice President, Finance and Operations
Prior to joining Arcus, Thomas was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration at the Heinz Center in Washington, DC, where he led a team comprising financial management, grants management, human resources, information technology and administration. Before that, he served as Chief Financial Officer at the African Wildlife Foundation and, earlier, at the World Wildlife Fund. A Certified Public Accountant, Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. He serves on the Boards of Netcentric Campaigns, the Sitar Arts Center, and The Peter Fox Project, of which he is a founding member.
Cindy Rizzo, Vice President, Impact & Learning
Prior to joining Arcus, Cindy was director of Grantmaking at the Boston Foundation where she specialized in the areas of Health and Human Services, homelessness prevention, LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS. Cindy worked for more than six years on the staff of the Fenway Community Health Center. Past and present board positions include Funders Concerned About AIDS, Massachusetts Health Council, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Gay Community News and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. In 2009, Cindy was appointed to the New York City Commission for LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth. Cindy holds a JD from Suffolk University School of Law in Boston and is a published author on the subject of LGBT parenting.
Bryan Simmons, Vice President, Communications
Bryan has more than 20 years of global experience and deep expertise in communications, brand management and integrated marketing campaign development. He formerly held a number of executive positions in Marketing and Communications at IBM, including Vice President, IBM Americas, Vice President of Global Industry Communications and Vice President of Marketing, IBM Lotus Software. He also launched the company’s first global alumni outreach program and most recently led the planning for IBM’s Centennial. Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in Cambridge, MA.
Linda May, Captive Apes Program Director
Arcus’ founding executive director, Linda was the first staff person at the Arcus Foundation and helped establish the framework for the Foundation’s vision, grantmaking and general operations. Currently, she is the senior program officer for the Great Apes Program, specializing in sanctuary support. Prior to joining Arcus, Linda worked in financial management and the insurance industry. She is particularly interested in the fight for social justice, compassion regarding the treatment of animals and great ape sanctuary and conservation.
Adam Phillipson, Great Apes Program Officer
Adam Phillipson comes to conservation from a background in both the humanities and the natural sciences, with a particular interest in the cultural and behavioural traditions underlying the attitudes of resource users to their environments. Previous projects include community conservation with Frankfurt Zoological Society in Ethiopia, and research into the illegal trade in wildlife products in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan with Fauna and Flora International. He has also worked on Chimpanzee projects in Guinea, and undertaken Gorilla research in Gabon. He holds a master’s degree in conservation science from Imperial College, London, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Cambridge University.
Helga Rainer, Conservation Program Director
Helga has extensive experience in natural resource management, conflict and development. She has worked with both national and international NGOs in Europe, Asia and Africa on project development and implementation. Her work has included research on urban environment projects in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as development of regional conservation strategies in South West Uganda. Helga served as the Uganda Country Program Officer for the International Gorilla Conservation Program, where she strengthened community participation in conservation and also published work on transboundary natural resource management. She is a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where her doctoral research focuses on linkages between conservation and conflict. She holds an MS in environmental science from the University of Bath and BS in genetics from the University College London.
Marie Stevenson, Program Associate / UK Office Manager
Marie brings a wealth of administrative experience gained in working for a trade union, the legal sector and higher education. After many years working within these sectors and some part-time law study, Marie decided to make a change. She volunteered weekends at a north London cat shelter, and began looking into animal welfare and conservation degrees. Four years later, Marie graduated in 2009 with a BS degree — with honors — in ecology and conservation from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Prior to joining Arcus, Marie was a project administrator at her alma mater, Anglia Ruskin University. She enjoys wildlife photography and is a trainee bird bander. In addition to her most recent degree, Marie holds the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) Higher Professional Diplomas in Land Law and Conveyancing from the University of Westminster, London.
Adrian R. Coman, International Human Rights Program Director
Adrian brings 18 years experience in advocacy, NGOs, philanthropy, education, and politics. A native of Romania, Adrian began his career as a teacher of Chemistry and Physics in Romania and Spain. He was the first executive director of ACCEPT, the national LGBT organization in Romania, where he led campaigns contributing to the repeal of an anti-gay criminal law and the adoption of anti-discrimination provisions. Upon his immigration to the United States in 2002, Adrian worked in grantmaking with the Baltic-American Partnership Fund at the Open Society Foundations and as Program Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. In 2009, he went to the European Parliament in Brussels to advise a legislator working on human rights and anti-corruption. Adrian holds a degree in chemistry and physics from Romania, a BA in human rights from City University of New York, and an MA in human rights from Columbia University, where he also co-taught a class on strategic planning for human rights advocates and participated in the 2000 Human Rights Advocates Program. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Romanian and has a working knowledge of French.
Cheryl Dudley, Global Religions Program Director
As an ordained American Baptist minister, Cheryl Dudley has worked primarily in faith settings. Prior to coming to the Arcus Foundation, she was the Senior Advisor to the President & CEO of Church World Service, an ecumenical global humanitarian response organization based in New York. While there, she was the key liaison to organizational partners across the world, including Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the United States. Prior to this, Cheryl was the Associate Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She inhabited several roles while there, including supervising the denomination’s national programs that helped strengthen outreach to often marginalized sectors within the church, i.e., women, communities of color, anti-poverty organizations. She later served as the chief development officer (funds development), and later led their intercultural program team. Cheryl has worked on the grassroots level as a community organizer and later as the Executive Director at the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service, an ecumenical community-based anti-poverty organization located in central Illinois. Dudley received a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, a master’s of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary. Cheryl has created original design labyrinths for personal and community use, and appreciates using them and other meditative tools for personal inspiration and community integration and healing.
Desiree Flores, U.S. Social Justice Program Director
Desiree brings more than a decade of social justice grant making and program development experience supporting marginalized leadership and constituency building at the local, state and national levels. Most recently, she was the Director of Board Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its nonpartisan advocacy and political arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Prior to that, she was a Program Officer at the Ms. Foundation for Women leading programs on reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS and school-based sexuality education. Through this work, she advised and partnered with foundations, individual donors as well as national advocates and community-based organizations to create a more racially diverse and politically powerful domestic pro-choice movement. Having grown up on a dairy farm in California’s central valley as the granddaughter of Mexican farm workers, Desiree is committed to supporting equality and opportunity for the United States’ most vulnerable communities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Roz Lee, Racial, Ethnic and Gender Justice Senior Program Officer
Roz has dedicated her career to fighting all forms of oppression through social justice philanthropy, community organizing, political advocacy, and popular education. She most recently worked as Director of Programs of Stonewall Community Foundation, where she created a Racial Equity Initiative grantmaking and capacity-building program to support organizations led by and for LGBT people of color. She worked as a Program Officer for the Jewish Fund for Justice, making grants to social and economic justice groups across the country. In 2002, she received a Union Square Award for her work as a cofounder of the New York City Organizing Support Center, an organizing training and political education hub for grassroots social change organizations. Roz volunteers for numerous organizations committed to fostering progressive social change. Roz holds a BA from State University of New York at Albany.
Erica Lim, Program Associate / Coordinator
Ms. Lim has various experiences working in the non-profit, education, and government sectors. Prior to her work at Arcus Foundation she served as International Relations Coordinator for Grupo Fenix in Nicaragua where she managed programs for sustainable development, renewable energy, and women’s empowerment. Ms. Lim has also worked in projects for at-risk youth, HIV intervention, political organizing, and human rights activism. She received her master’s of social work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in international and macro issues as well as prior degrees in sociology and African/African-American studies.
Rafael Torres, Administrative Assistant, Social Justice Programs
Rafael Torres has varied experience in philanthropic, educational and cultural programming. Beginning with Hetrick-Martin Institute as a youth outreach/peer educator, he trained youth on health/safe-sex outreach. He’s also worked over six years in grantmaking, such as United Way of NYC, where he collaborated with community-based organizations and NYC public schools to work with at-risk youth on attendance improvement and drop-out prevention. Most recently, Mr. Torres comes from City College, in the Department of Community Health and Social Medicine where he was Administrative Coordinator and Assistant to the Chair. He holds a MA in Visual Arts Administration for Non-Profit from NYU.
Stephanie Wade, Administrative Assistant
Stephanie Wade brings a professional background in legal administration and an academic background of a B.A. in music from the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) to Arcus. She has spent her time in New York City exploring and furthering her interest in music and fine arts, exhibiting her paintings in small galleries and selling her eclectic sculptures, prints, paintings and other creations at various art fairs and conventions. An avid foodie, she also maintains a web blog of recipes and restaurant reviews, occasionally testing her culinary experiments on her coworkers.
Heather Antonissen, Communications Assistant
Heather comes to Arcus with more than 14 years’ experience in communications and administrative support. She has served as executive assistant to the General Partners of Spray Venture Fund and the President and CFO of Calydon, Inc., building on prior experience in office management and administrative assistant positions. Heather became a communications specialist at Cell Genesys generating and editing the bi-weekly company newsletter, press releases, web copy, articles for journals and publications, and advertisements. She continued this work as an independent consultant in the U.S. southwest for art galleries, small boutiques, and individual artists. Heather is also a teacher, writer and classically trained singer.
Andy Marra, Communications Manager
Andy possesses more than a decade of communications experience working with LGBT organizations worldwide. Prior to coming to the Arcus Foundation, she was the Public Relations Manager for the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Previously, she was Co-Director of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and Senior Media Strategist for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Andy’s work and commentary have been found on programs ranging from NPR’s “Tell Me More,” The Rachel Maddow Show, and Access Hollywood, as well as outlets including the Associated Press, Jezebel, The New York Times, People, Politico, Reuters, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. She has served on boards and advisory councils, including Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Funding Exchange, Human Rights Campaign, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. Andy has been honored by the White House for her contributions to the LGBT community, profiled in The Advocate’s “Forty Under 40,” and listed as one of The Huffington Post’s “Most Compelling LGBT People.” She is also the past recipient of the GLSEN Pathfinder Award, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Award and the Colin Higgins Foundation Courage Award.
Stephanie Myers, Online Communications Manager
Stephanie has worked in newsrooms, nonprofits and startups and brings her journalism background to Arcus and the communications team. Most recently, she comes from TechMediaNetwork, where she served as Copy Chief; her writing has appeared on CNBC.com, Diffuser.fm, Vault (book series and website), Texas Monthly magazine, NY Arts magazine, The Deli magazine and others. Born in Kansas and raised in Texas, Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. A lifelong animal lover who is passionate about animal rights, she and her rat terrier Adrian reside in Brooklyn, where she has lived for more than a decade.
Sebastian Naidoo, Global Media Director
Sebastian Naidoo is a communications and media specialist, having worked for 16 years in headquarters and field offices of civil society organizations and the United Nations. His professional tenure has included the UN Development Programme, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Doctors Without Borders and OneWorld International. He was Managing Editor of the ReliefWeb humanitarian news service and at OneWorld he delivered human rights news through Yahoo!, overseeing bureaus in New Delhi, Lusaka and Washington D.C. Previously, he worked as a reporter in Japan, Cambodia, and the UK, with his writing appearing in the London Guardian, the London Independent, The Washington Post, The Cambodia Daily, and New Internationalist among others. He is a member of Doctors Without Borders US Association and has received national and international awards for his work. A South African and British national, he holds master’s degrees in Japanese and in journalism and speaks English, Japanese and Spanish.
Linda Ho, Controller
Linda comes to Arcus from the national headquarters of the American Lung Association, where she most recently served as the Director of Accounting and Financial Reporting. Prior, she worked for the Renaissance Economic Development Corporation in the position of staff accountant. Linda enjoys driving and taking road trips whenever possible, and hopes to one day be able to take a cross country road trip. Linda holds a BBA in accounting from Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business, The City University of New York.
Melvin Jung, Accountant
Melvin joined the financial team of the Arcus Foundation in the Spring of 2009. Prior to Arcus, Melvin served as an accountant at Jazz at Lincoln Center and Amnesty International. A life-long New Yorker, Melvin raises tropical fish as a hobby and holds a BS in accounting from the New York Institute of Technology.
Linh M. Nguyen, Accountant
Before she joined the Arcus Foundation staff, Ms. Nguyen worked at Marks Paneth Shron LLP, TVR Communications LLC, XPlus One Solutions, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. She has broad experience in profit and not-for-profit accounting. She holds a BBA in accounting from Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business, City University of New York.
Jennene Tierney, Human Resources Director
Jennene comes to Arcus with nearly 20 years HR experience, primarily in national and international non-profits. Most recently, she came from The New Teacher Project where she was a Human Capital Business Partner and Talent Coach. Her previous leadership roles include Director of Talent Management at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Senior Learning and Organizational Development advisor at CARE USA. Prior to this, Tierney was a consultant in Accenture’s New York Change Management Practice, where she provided organizational change and development advice to Fortune 500 companies. Tierney began her career in human resources at the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome, Italy. She graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and earned an MBA with honors from St. John’s University.
Micah Wood, Assistant, Finance and Operations
Micah Wood comes to the Arcus Foundation from Lambda Legal, where he assisted with the Transgender Rights Project and worked on intersectional issues that affect the LGBT and HIV-positive communities, such as race, socioeconomic status, immigration status and incarceration. He is also an accomplished writer and has won awards for essays he has written for the American Constitution Society and Mensa. He graduated with honors from the City College of New York with a BA in Political Science. Micah is an active member of his synagogue and is constantly trying to improve his practice of Tikkun Olam, or “repair of the world.”
Ericka Novotny, Grants Management Director
Ericka oversees grantmaking processes and procedures; compliance, and overall grants management functions, including complex international grantmaking environments. She brings a wealth of grantmaking knowledge from her work at the Annenberg Foundation where she was a member of senior management and oversaw all operations of the grants management department and focused programmatically on community development and animal welfare grantmaking. Additionally, Ericka began her career in philanthropy with the Getty Foundation where she coordinated various internship programs, resulting in the placement of hundreds of undergraduate and graduate interns at arts organizations throughout Los Angeles County. Prior to this, Ericka worked in the advertising/marketing field in Minneapolis and Chicago. Ericka currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Grants Managers Network, and Co-Chairs the Nominating Committee. Other field contributions include serving as the Editor and contributing writer of the GMN Examiner and the Communications, Conference, and Collective Knowledge Committees. A Minnesota native, Ericka conducted her undergraduate studies at the College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University and during her 10+ years in Southern California conducted graduate studies at Antioch University, Los Angeles.
Monica Charles, Grants Management Associate
Monica Charles comes to Arcus from the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, where she assisted the Neonatology division director with administrative duties, budgeting and meeting logistics. Prior, she worked at the Ford Foundation for six years, overseeing international projects in the Office of Program Management, and was also a grants administrator for the Knowledge, Creativity and Freedom Program. She gained further philanthropy and grants management experience through her positions at Bloomberg, the Council for Economic Education, Twenty-First Century Foundation and United Hospital Fund. She is a long-time volunteer at Lighthouse International and holds an MPA in nonprofit management from Baruch College.
Daniel Werner, Social Justice Program Assistant
Daniel Werner brings a diverse skill set to the grants management team. Prior to joining Arcus, he worked at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission where he oversaw the organization’s database and donation processing operations. A native of California, Daniel worked as a Teach For America teacher in the Los Angles public schools system as well as a public policy fellow in Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cabinet office. These experiences solidified a deep commitment to advocating on behalf of disadvantaged communities. Daniel holds a BA degree in international political economy from UC Berkeley and an MA in education from Loyola Marymount University.
The Arcus Foundation’s social justice strategy aims to enable individuals and families of every sexual orientation and gender identity, race, and ethnicity to live their lives with dignity and respect, and express their love and sense of self wherever they are in the world.
The Arcus Foundation's social justice program focuses on maximizing impact in its three program areas: International Human Rights; United States; Global Religion.
The Foundation invites inquiries from organizations with projects falling under these areas. For more information on the submitting an inquiry, click the links below:
New York, NY $300,000
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Source © ILGA—International Lesbian and Gay Association—www.ilga.org
Leaders from several Kalamazoo nonprofits have been given a unique opportunity to look beyond immediate needs and work for long-term change through the Arcus Foundation’s Michigan Racial and Economic Justice Initiative. Read more >>
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum’s life traces the arc of the LGBT rights movement. Today, as the rabbi of the largest LGBT synagogue in the world, she is one of the country’s preeminent religious voices for progressive values. Read more >>
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