Next Generation Leadership Alumni Network
Cohort 1, 1997
Nilofer Ahsan has been working on policy, research and programmatic development in the field of children and family services for over ten years. She has focused her career on working closely with practitioners and those using services to develop materials and tools that can help to shape policy and programmatic development.
Work Update: We just initiated a seven state pilot of our Strengthening Families Initiative, which I have been working on for the last three years. The initiative focuses on helping to build the capacity of early care and education programs (child care, head start, preschool, etc.) to build protective factors in kids and families that the literature shows to be linked with abuse and neglect. The idea is to build off the positive, day-to-day contact that these programs have with kids and parents. I will have two new documents coming out based on the work I have been doing for the Annie E. Casey Foundation on resident leadership. The first is based on documenting the strategies their Making Connections sites have used to build resident leadership. The other is based on 60 interviews with resident leaders in Making Connections neighborhoods and is focused on learning how folks get involved in trying to make change happen in their communities, what keeps them involved, and how they want to grow and develop. The goal is to help foundations, leadership training programs, and community change initiatives learn from the lived experience of resident leaders trying to make change happen in tough neighborhoods. Finally, I will be taking on a new set of work in the upcoming year on social networks and the role they play in community change efforts.
Nilofer received both her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.
Before assuming her current responsibilities, Linda was the Director of the Intergovernmental and School-Linked Services, creating and strengthening partnerships that focus on supporting San Francisco’s young people. Prior to that position she was with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and their Families as chief planner for the $13 million Children’s Fund. She also was appointed to the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and served on the Youth and Education subcommittee. In Boston, as the Program Administrator and Acting Executive Director of a multi-service agency in Chinatown, she worked on such issues as adult English as a second language, early childhood education, after-school programming, gang prevention, youth development, and family support.
She received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley and her M.A. in Public Administration from Columbia University.
Isabela is an artist, curator, educator and commited pacifist. Her visual art, mixed-media installation and sculpture, explores internal states and life cycles. Isabela is also very interested in the connection between art and medicine and has been involved in various international projects related to that topic. Her current work involves death studies. She uses her art to create dialogue around death and dying. She is also currently studying, teaching and playing music. Isabela has developed innovative programs in art museums, including a Community Service Project at the Detroit Institute of Arts which involved intensive work with psychiatric patients, local hospital staff, women's shelters, HIV+ people and refugee groups. Further, she also created exhibitions and programs around tattoo, puppetry, grafitti and public art from different cultures. She has taught widely, organized conferences, created programs for special exbitions and researched contemporary art and museum practice. Isabela was a recipient of the Smithsonian award for museum leadership and conducted internships at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
She received her B.A in Journalism from Texas A&M University and M.A. in Art Museum Education from Wichita State University. Isabela was born and spent her childhood in Lima, Peru. She then immigrated to Texas and lived in various USA states before immigrating to Ireland.
Rita, formerly with the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, has designed and implemented a number of grass roots programs focussed on helping individuals and families to help themselves. She conceived and developed MAVA (Mothers Against Violent Acts), a support group of community mothers who successfully worked to save their sons from illegal drug activity while providing them with opportunities for job placement and educational enrichment. She also is a co-founder and board member of BIG WASH, a community-owned and managed laundromat which is maintained, staffed and operated by the residents of a community in Washington. Prior to her present position, she worked for the Community of Hope as Thrift Shop Manager, Office Manager, Program Director, and Chief Operating Officer, managing the day-to-day operations, coordinating five social service programs and administering a budget of $1.5 million. She is a board member of the Community of Hope Church and BIG WASH Inc., a volunteer tutor for The #10 Boys and Girls Club and a volunteer organizer for the 14th and U Streets Coalition.
Sharon currently directs, from the office of Jackie Goldberg, a diverse staff of twenty organizers and policy analysts. From the age of 15 when she dropped out of high school to work as an organizer for the United Farm Workers in California, Sharon has been involved in grass roots community organizing and initiative campaigns including Tax Big Oil, Community Watch Against Racial Violence, Ballot Access for the Citizens’ Party, and Nuclear Weapons Freeze Voting Power Political Action Committee. She was also the Northeast Campaign Manager for the Ron Carey for International Brotherhood of Teamsters President campaign. Before her current job, Sharon spent ten years as Program and Executive Director of LA Jobs with Peace. She helped build a network of people who work in their neighborhoods to inform, educate and mobilize citizens so that their needs are taken seriously by policy makers at all levels of government. Sharon was one of the first participants in UCLA’s Community Scholars Program and is founding member of Los Angeles Metropolitan Alliance, a multi-racial, multi-issue city-wide coalition working for democratic economic development and other quality of life issues.
In 1993, Ivan and his brother, Hans, formed The East Harlem School, an independent middle school for high-risk children of East Harlem, in what had been Exodus House, a community outreach program and halfway house founded and directed by their parents. In addition to academic success, the sixty students are expected to become exemplary parents, citizens and leaders and to return to the community to serve. Prior to his position at the school, he served as the Director of Multicultural Affairs and Coordinator of Community Service at The Collegiate School for Boys in New York and taught history in the New York Public Schools.
Ivan received his B.A. in Social Anthropology and his M. Ed. from Harvard University. He was a Columbia Teacher’s College Klingenstein Fellow.
Craig, a performance artist, directs Insight Arts, a program based in one of Chicago's working class neighborhoods. Insight Arts's mission is to increase access to cultural work that promotes social justice and defends human rights. Insight Arts has managed over the past eleven years to facilitate the presentation and development of a wide variety of contemporary artists and become a leader in the field of socially engaged arts education. Craig's diverse performance work includes innovative productions of classic theater, original collaborative performances and solo work. Craig is also a cultural critic whose writing has appeared in a number of arts and social justice publications. He is a former contributor editor of P-Form, a quarterly Journal of Performance and Interdisciplinary art.
Craig received his B.F.A. in Selected Studies from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and his M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Steven is responsible for the supervision of a coalition of 140 national, state and local organizations that work to abolish the death penalty. He came to his present position from the NAACP where he was a staff attorney for its Capital Punishment/Criminal Justice Project. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Death Penalty Information Center and is on the board of Trustees of the Center for International Studies at New York University. Steven has been a Skadden Arps Fellow, a Root-Tilden Scholar, and a Rockefeller Fellow. He is the recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award and the Civil Rights Advocacy Award of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
He received his B.A. in Economics from Harvard College and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Prior to her current position, Chung-Wha was the Executive Director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, Inc. NAKASEC works for the education and empowerment of the Korean- American community nationwide, with particular emphasis on immigrant rights. She has worked on health care issues at the Committee of Interns and Residents, and served as the Assistant to the Director at the Washington, DC-based Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO. Working with NAKASEC staff, Chung-Wha initiated a national campaign which encouraged thousands of immigrants to voice their opposition to anti-immigrant legislation. Through her national leadership, more than 800 volunteers around the country worked to bring immigrants of all backgrounds into the democratic process. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She recently received the Asian Pacific American Award from New York City Comptroller, Alan Hevesi.
Chung-Wha holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sherrilyn Ifill teaches Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Environmental Justice, Race and the Law in South Africa and a variety of civil rights courses. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Maryland School of Law, Professor Ifill was an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. in New York, where she specialized in voting rights litigation.
She has focused particular attention on efforts to achieve racial diversity on the bench. Her articles "Judging the Judges: Racial Diversity, Impartiality and Representation on State Trial Courts," and "Racial Diversity on the Courts: Beyond Role Models and Public Confidence" were published in the Boston College Law Review and the Washington & Lee Law Review, respectively. She has also published "Weaving Safety Net: Poor Women, Welfare, and Work in the Chicken and Catfish Industries" in the Margins Journal and "Do Appearances Matter?: Judicial Impartiality and the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore" in the Maryland Law Journal.
Sherrilyn continues to litigate on behalf of minority communities in environmental justice cases. She is currently finishing a book about the long-term effect of lynching on black and white communities on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Sherrilyn is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and Vassar College.
Martha I. Jiménez is the Project Manager for California Works for Better Health (CWBH), a $16 million dollar joint initiative between The California Endowment and The Rockefeller Foundation that is building strong community-based alliances in four regions in California to enable low-income communities increased access to regional economic and social opportunities as a means to improved health.
Prior to joining CWBH, Martha was the Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and Managing Attorney for Public Advocates. She has also served as Regional Counsel for the San Francisco office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where she was involved in education, outreach and litigation efforts on behalf of the Latino community.
Ms. Jiménez is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and the University of California's Boalt Hall School of Law.
Van Jones is the Founder and National Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC). Headquartered in San Francisco, EBC is a national organization that challenges human rights abuses in the U.S. criminal justice system. Van has been a pioneer in challenging police abuse, as well as the over-incarceration of young people. He helped to found the EBC to anchor multiple efforts to challenge the criminalization, incarceration and abuse of low-income people and people of color. Van has also worked diligently to build bridges between socially responsible business leaders and human rights activists. These efforts led him in to join and become a board member of the Social Venture Network, a powerful consortium of progressive business leaders.
Van has extensive background in media and communications. He has worked as a professional journalist, independent publisher, cartoonist, columnist and a national spokesperson. Van served on the board of Media Alliance in San Francisco, and was the founding Board President of We Interrupt This Message, a non-profit organization that helps low-income people and people of color more fair coverage from the mainstream media. Van is a regular guest on KPFA, the Bay Area's Pacifica network radio station, and has appeared as a guest on CNN, BET (Black Entertainment Television) and NPR. Van was a Thurgood Marshall fellow at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked for the Lawyers' Committee for Urban Affairs, The Center for Constitutional Rights and served on the Board of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Van earned his B.S. in Communications and Political Science from the University of Tennessee and his J.D. from Yale University.
Nancy Katz is Vice President of Client Relations at McCown De Leeuw & Company in Menlo Park, California. Founded in 1989, MDC is a private equity investment firm with approximately $1.2 billion of capital under management. With a mission to build companies that make a difference, MDC specializes in buying and building industry-leading middle-market companies in partnership with management. She joined the firm in January of 2000 and is responsible for investor relations, internal and external communications, recruiting and management of the Firm's Associate program.
From 1994 to 1999, Nancy was the founding Executive Director of Net Impact (formerly Students for Responsible Business), an international membership organization whose mission is to create a new generation of leaders who use the power of business to create a better world.
Nancy received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1993, where she participated actively in the Public Management Program and co-led Stanford's I Have A Dream program in its first year. Before business school, Nancy worked for four years at the RREEF Funds, an institutional real estate investment firm in San Francisco. Her most recent position at RREEF was Client Communications Supervisor, where she was responsible for the firm's communications with clients and consultants and was involved in new business development. Prior to RREEF, Nancy worked for Modulaire Industries in Corporate Communications.
Nancy graduated from Amherst College in 1986 with a B.A. magna cum laude in English Literature. She lives with her husband, John Hiss, daughter Hailey and son Eli in Palo Alto, California.
Tom is a clinical professor at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law, where he recently launched a Community Development Law Clinic to serve the legal needs of North Carolina's nonprofit community development organizations. He teaches courses about the law of nonprofit organizations and community development, and writes about charity and philanthropy. He also researches and publishes on the law of emerging nations, in particular the West African Republic of Niger. Before joining the Carolina law faculty, Tom founded and directed the Bridges Program, a Duke University-based education and service endeavor that trained and facilitated students and community leaders of all ages to use documentary photography, video, and oral history as tools for community building and education.
Tom received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Northeastern Law School in Boston.
Grosvenor Neighbor House and Center
New York, New YorkEmily Lopez has recently accepted the position as Director of Grosvenor Neighbor House and Center. In addition, Emily is also teaching a course on Race and Ethnic Studies in America at John Jay College. Prior to her role as Grosvenor, Emily served as Director of the Adolescent Program Department at the West Side YMCA. In that role, she served in a variety of ways on the issues of youth advocacy, community activism, and being an educator. Emily has created programs and educational curriculums that work with young people on an asset-based approach method. Her past work also includes being Founder and Board Co-Chair of Casa Atabex Ache, a non-profit created to offer womyn of color in the South Bronx alternative healing techniques, further offering them the opportunity to be active participants of their healing and their lives. Along with the creation of Casa Atabex Ache, she developed the Fuerza/Power program. Fuerza/Power is a peer-led community activist program for young womyn of color geared towards impacting issues of poverty, health and education. In addition, Emily continues to make an impact on such issues as HIV/AIDS prevention, youth violence and teen pregnancy. She is also the recipient of the Union Square Award for the creation of Casa Atabex Ache.
Emily attended Hunter College where she earned her B.A. in Sociology and her M.S.W. in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing and Administration.
Lester has served as pastor of Martin Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Chicago since 1998. He has served as pastor of congregations in Summerville and Winder, Georgia, and in Boston, Massachusetts. He also served as the senior pastor for five years at the Varick Memorial A.M.E. Zion where, under his stewardship, the Varick Family Life Center, an agency that teaches parenting skills to young parents, and The Hilton House, an independent living residence for young men, were initiated. Lester chaired the Anti-Racism Task Force for the Illinois Conference of Churches from 1999-2001. He was chosen as a fellow in Leadership Greater Chicago's 2002 class. Lester was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in April of 2002. Lester is the founding President/CEO of the Martin Temple Community Foundation (CDC). Lester served as Vice President of the New Haven Board of Education and he has also served on the Boards of Directors of the Dixwell Community House and L.E.A.P. (Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership), an AmeriCorps youth service program.
Lester holds a B.A. from Charter Oak State College in Newington, CT, attended the Gorden-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA and Morehouse College in Atlanta and is a graduate of Yale Divinity School. Lester and his wife Charlene have three children.
Amelita Pascual currently serves as Chief Operating Officer and Department Manager for the School of Medicine's Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF. She is responsible for meeting the teaching and research goals of 14 faculty and 160 postdoctoral students. She supervises a staff of 16 and oversees the management of an 11.9 million dollar operating budget. The Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology is one of the first departments to move to a new research campus on Mission Bay, San Francisco.
Between 1992 and 2001, Amelita was the founding executive director of the South of Market Foundation, a non-profit economic development organization. Among the Foundation's accomplishments are: 1) delivered over 8 million dollars in SBA and city-guaranteed loan funds to small businesses, 2) operated a homeless economic development business venture and 3) organized merchant and resident associations in the South of Market to push for economic and resident empowerment. Amelita is also a founding member of the GABRIELA Network, a U.S.-Philippine Women's Coalition whose current campaign is to end the sex trafficking of Philippine women and children.
Ami's proudest accomplishment is giving birth to her and her husband's first child, Quinn Pascual Spear on April 19, 2002. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature in 1987 from UCLA and a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley in 1989.
Tarso directs The Wise Use Public Exposure Project for the Western States Center, a regional research, education and training institute. The project monitors ideological anti-environmental interests. Previously, as project coordinator for the Coalition for Human Dignity, he coordinated the effort to educate communities about the rapidly expanding political activity of a fundamentalist group in the areas of civil rights and affirmative action, workers' rights and labor unions, the environment, religious freedom, the gay and lesbian community, and women's rights. Tarso serves on the Boards of Directors of the Applied Research Center, Mackenzie River Gathering Foundation, and the Funding Exchange.
Tarso holds a B.A. in History from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
As deputy director Surita is specifically engaged in an alliance called the Partnership for Child Nutrition that brings together UNICEF, Unilever and Synergos Institute to work with Indian counterparts to reduce child malnutrition in India. Prior to Synergos Institute, Surita worked for six years at the Rockefeller Foundation as a program officer directing the Next Generation Leadership Program. Her work has primarily been in the field of international human rights and she has held senior executive positions in Lambda Legal Defense Fund, Equality Now and Amnesty International.
Surita serves on the advisory board of the Human Rights Advocates Training Program at Columbia University. She is also a board member of the Leadership Learning Community and a member of the Steering Committee of the International Human Rights Funding Network.
Surita is originally from Singapore and has lived in the United States since 1986. She is an attorney by training, educated in London as a Barrister and has practiced law in Singapore and New YorkSurita was born and raised in Singapore and lives in New York City with her husband, Brandon, and daughter Dylan Jane. She is an attorney by training, educated in London as a Barrister and has practiced law in Singapore and New York. Top
Public Allies advances diverse young leaders to strengthen communities, nonprofits, and civic participation. Founding Public Allies Milwaukee in 1993, Paul joined the national staff as Vice President & Chief Strategist in 1997 and became President & CEO in February, 2000. In these roles, Paul helped build the organization's program model and expand it to 11 communities nation-wide with a leadership network of almost 1,400 diverse young adults who have completed Public Allies' full-time, ten-month long program of community apprenticeships and leadership education. Public Allies is currently expanding to 20 communities and has launched new programs to continue advancing the skills, networks, and experience of their alumni leadership network.
In addition to his work at Public Allies, Paul has supported many organizations as an advisor and board member, including two groups he co-founded mobilizing students and parents to promote school reforms and setting up youth-run credit unions in schools and community centers. Currently, Paul serves as a board member of the Youth Justice Funding Collaborative, a faculty member of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, and a member of the Select Committee for Metropolitan Government at the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Described by Milwaukee Magazine as "a tireless advocate for youth empowerment and diversity," "an excellent communicator with the ability to manage diverse groups and energize others," and "able to amass a wide field of support or money for a cause," Paul is recognized locally and nationally for his leadership on issues such as youth development, community development, civic engagement, and leadership development.
A 1994 honors graduate of UW-Milwaukee, Paul is currently pursuing a master's degree in Urban Studies there. Paul lives with his wife Tonieh, who leads educational programs for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and their daughter Olivia in Milwaukee.
Jai Sookprasert is the Senior Governmental Relations Representative for the California School Employees Association (CSEA), which represents more than 200,000 classified school employees in California. Jai is responsible for issues and legislation related to school finance for K-12 education and the community colleges. Before joining CSEA, he was the Principal Consultant to the Assembly Appropriations Committee in charge of all Kindergarten through higher education legislation. Prior to that, he was the Legislative Representative for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the California Legislature.
Jai is an appointed member to the California Democratic Party, and serves as a board member to the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project. Jai has a B.A. in Economics and a master's degree in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley.
Prior to taking a position at Indiana University, Bill was President of the Indianapolis Private Industry Council, a workforce development policy and planning organization. Before that, Bill served Indianapolis mayor, Stephen Goldsmith, in social policy positions. He was the Deputy Director of Youth and Family Services and also served as the Director of Workforce Development, managing the city's job training resources. Previously, after a brief period practicing law, he served as Senior Magistrate for the Marion County Juvenile Court, where in addition to his duties on the bench, he played a principal role in the re-design of juvenile services in Indianapolis and construction of a new juvenile court and detention center complex.
Bill holds a B.S. from Arizona State University in Economics and a Law Degree from the Indiana University School of Law.
Rachel Timoner has formed the Buena Vista Consulting (BVC) in 2003 to provide LGBT Awareness Trainings to government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations, and small businesses. These trainings will focus on creating a safe and productive environment for all personnel and constituents, and include team building, addressing myths and stereotypes, and site specific long-term planning.
This continues on with the work Rachel has provided since 1998, when she created The Organizing Project, an independent effort to plant seeds for multi-issue, multi-constituency, justice-based social healing and transformation. I n this role, Rachel acted as head facilitator and consultant which supported organizational development, strategic planning, and program design efforts. From 1995-1996, Ms. Timoner founded two leadership programs, the NGLTF Youth Leadership Institute and The Leadership Project. Both programs encourage young people to believe in their own power and in the power of working together---across race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. She also served as the Community Campaign Director of the San Francisco Women's Building, wrote about welfare advocacy and organizing in California for the Applied Research Center, helped start a national policy institute, field-organized an initiative campaign to ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, founded a peer hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, served as an aide to San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, and worked as a journalist for 16 community newspapers.
Ms. Timoner received a B.A. in 1991 from Yale University. In 1994, she was honored by the San Francisco Examiner and KQED as an "Unsung Hero" for working to break the isolation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and empowering young people to feel proud of who they are. In 1997 she was honored by Do Something with the BRICK Award for Community Leadership.
Rod is Vice President of the Private Wealth Management, Investment Management Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Formerly, he was Chief Operating Officer, Investment Management Services. Rod joined Goldman after serving 20 years on active duty in the US Marine Corps. A "Top Gun" grad, former Marine Fighter Pilot and combat veteran with multiple decorations for Valor, his military career included service as Director, National Security Council; Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; White House Fellow and Special Assistant for Foreign and Security Policy to the Chief of Staff to the President; and Senior Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
His professional achievements have been recognized in TIME Magazine. His publications on international affairs include Breaking the Cycle: A Framework for Conflict Intervention (St. Martin's Press 1997). He serves on the boards of the Atlantic Council of the United States, the Aspen Institute Berlin, Public Allies, and New York City Outward Bound. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Business Executives for National Security.
Roderick resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, Dr. Kori N. Schake of the National Security Council. Rod is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and has an M.A. in International Affairs from the Catholic University of America.
- Nilofer Ahsan
- Linda Asato
- Isabela Basombrio
- Rita Bright
- Sharon Delugach
- Ivan Hageman
- Craig Harshaw
- Steven Hawkins
- Chung-Wha Hong
- Sherrilyn A. Ifill
- Martha Jimenez
- Van Jones
- Nancy Katz
- Tom Kelley
- Emily Lopez
- Lester McCorn
- Amelita Pascual
- Tarso Lu�s Ramos
- Surita Sandosham
- Paul Schmitz
- Jai Sookprasert
- Bill Stephan
- Rachel Timoner
- Roderick von Lipsey