Independent Sector Members Elect New Directors

Three leaders in the charitable community are elected to serve on the Board of Directors at the Independent Sector Annual Business Meeting

(WASHINGTON, November 17, 2016) – Today, Independent Sector members, comprised of more than 500 nonprofits, foundations, and corporations advancing the common good, elected three new directors to the board.

The new directors were elected to a three-year term at the Annual Business Meeting held in conjunction with the 2016 Independent Sector Conference in Washington, DC. The directors are:

  • Fred Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer, The San Francisco Foundation
  • Sarah Kastelic, Executive Director, National Indian Child Welfare Association
  • Diane Melley, Vice President, Global Citizenship Initiatives, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM Corporation

“We are thrilled to welcome these three effective and impactful leaders to Independent Sector’s Board of Directors,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “Under their leadership and stewardship, we aim to continue moving Independent Sector ahead as the vital meeting ground and voice for the entire charitable community.”

“I am honored to serve alongside these three dynamic leaders,” said Neil Nicoll, president emeritus of YMCA of the USA and board chair of the Independent Sector Board. “These leaders’ expertise, vision, and perspective will ensure that we live up to our vision of a world of engaged individuals, robust institutions, and vibrant communities working together to improve lives and the natural world, and strengthening democratic societies.”

The following directors have also been re-elected to a second term:

  • Jeffrey Bradach, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, The Bridgespan Group
  • Robert L. Lynch, President, Americans for the Arts
  • Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation and Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, American Express
  • Sandra L. Vargas, Former President and CEO, Minneapolis Foundation

Independent Sector also thanks the following directors who are retiring from the board for their service to the organization:

  • Robert W. Briggs, Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC
  • Kyle Caldwell, Executive Director, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University
  • Bernard J. Milano, President and Trustee, KPMG Foundation
  • Paul Schmitz, CEO, Leading Inside Out

We also acknowledge and remember Julie Floch, a board member who passed away in September. Julie was a thoughtful and dedicated professional and colleague. Independent Sector, its board, staff, and members all benefited from her leadership and guidance.

Here are the new board directors’ biographies:

Fred Blackwell is the CEO of The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF). Blackwell, an Oakland native, is a nationally recognized community leader with a longstanding career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as interim city administrator for the City of Oakland where he previously served as the assistant city administrator. He was the executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in San Francisco; served as the director of the Making Connections Initiative for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the Lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland; was a multicultural fellow in neighborhood and community development at TSFF; and subsequently managed a multi-year comprehensive community initiative for TSFF in West Oakland. Blackwell currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Legacy Fund, UC Berkeley’s College of Environment Dean’s Advisory Council, and as an advisor for Google Impact Challenge: Bay Area. He previously served on the boards of California Redevelopment Association, Urban Habitat Program, LeaderSpring, SPUR and Leadership Excellence. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Morehouse College.

Sarah Kastelic became the executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association in January 2015, assuming the responsibility from founding director Terry Cross. Kastelic was selected to succeed Cross in 2011 and spent four years under his guidance, assuming increasing responsibility of operations and management of the 28-year-old national child advocacy organization. Prior to joining NICWA, Kastelic led the National Congress of American Indians’ (NCAI) welfare reform program and was the founding director of NCAI’s Policy Research Center. Her experience with NCAI gave her a sense of the need for timely, credible data to inform policymaking at the tribal and national levels. She also saw firsthand the tension between tribes reacting to the policy proposals of others and the opportunities for tribes to develop their own, proactive policy solutions. In November 2014, Independent Sector awarded Kastelic its American Express NGen Leadership Award, calling her “a transformational leader working to further policy research that empowers American Indian and Alaska Native communities.” Kastelic is Alutiiq, an enrolled member of the Native Village of Ouzinkie. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, she earned a master’s degree and doctorate from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.

Diane Melley is the vice president, global citizenship initiatives in IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. Melley has leadership responsibility over the IBM services grant portfolio globally, which includes offerings for nonprofits, schools and government organizations. Melley led the IBM Centennial Celebration of Service in 2011 when IBM had more than 300,000 volunteers in 120 countries participate. Melley also leads On Demand Community, IBM’s global strategic initiative to support employee and retiree volunteer efforts worldwide. On Demand Community is utilized by IBM employees and retirees in over 120 countries, and reflects 14 million hours of IBM community volunteer efforts. In addition, Ms. Melley leads the Business Integration team where Corporate Citizenship assets are integrated with IBM’s business strategies in Public Sector, Education, and the Small Medium Business industry segments. She is also the leader of IBM’s Humanitarian Disaster Response efforts worldwide as well as Corporate Social Responsibility and the annual CR report. Melley is a 2001 Eisenhower Fellow to Belgium and Ireland and is past chair of the Eisenhower Alumni Regional Fellows Group. She serves on the boards of the Points of Light, Philadelphia Education Fund (current chairperson), and Chamber of Commerce/Arts and Business Council. She is also on the Conference Board’s Corporate Contribution Council. Melley has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from La Salle University. She is certified by both IBM and the Project Management Institute as a Project Executive. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.

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Independent Sector is the leadership forum for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations whose member networks collectively represent tens of thousands of organizations locally, nationally, and globally. Learn more at

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: IS Board, IS Member