2016: Gender Equity in the Charitable Sector


Gender Equity in the Charitable Sector


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Gender Equity in the Charitable Sector makes the case for why gender equity is one of the most critical issues facing our sector and outlines how next generation charitable sector leaders and charitable organizations can champion gender equity.

This guide, created by the 2015 American Express NGen Fellows as part of their collaborative project, is designed to be used to understand the issue of gender equity in the charitable sector, reflect on what gender equity means for the future of the sector, and act from a personal, organizational, and sector-wide level to support and promote gender equity.

Through a collection of essays, blog posts, videos, and infographics, this document offers insights and recommendations for how individuals, organizations, and next generation leaders can increase the number of women in CEO and leadership roles in the charitable sector, close the gender pay gap, and empower women leaders from diverse communities. This content was created by next generation leaders after a year-long exploration of gender equity in the charitable sector that included an extensive literature review, interviews with sector leaders, and hours of reflection and discussion.

In an effort to help next generation charitable sector leaders use this document, we have divided it into three sections:

  • Understand
  • Reflect
  • Act

Supporting and promoting gender equity is a complex undertaking, and while we hope this document serves as a primer for next generation leaders to explore gender equity, we also recognize that it does not cover every aspect of gender equity in the charitable sector.

We encourage next generation leaders to continue to explore gender equity as well as their role in making it a reality in the charitable sector. To that end, we have included a list of additional resources in the appendix of this document.

We are particularly pleased to be able to provide this learning guide and look forward to working with others to understand, reflect, and act to support and promote gender equity.


2015-2016 American Express NGen Fellows

Janet Arias-Martinez serves as the associate director of alumni relations for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the nation’s premier Hispanic leadership development organization. In this role, she leads CHCI’s alumni engagement strategy, including the daily operations of the CHCI Alumni Association with ten regional chapters around the country and over 3,200 alumni worldwide. Previously, Janet has held leadership positions with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Paterson & Passaic and the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco in northern New Jersey, where she directed fundraising efforts benefiting thousands of at-risk youth. She has also served as a fundraising and program development counsel for several educational and advocacy nonprofits throughout the New York City metropolitan area. She earned a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish from Ball State University.
Gretchen Beesing has served as CEO of Catalyst Miami since November 2013. In her role, Gretchen builds on the work of Catalyst’s founder, working toward a just Miami in which residents are both prosperous and meaningfully engaged. Gretchen began her Catalyst career in 2007 with the Parent Leadership Training Institute. Before stepping into the CEO role, she directed Catalyst Miami’s civic leadership and advocacy programs for over five years. Gretchen’s areas of interest include storytelling for social change and the unique role of service providers in the fight for social justice. She is a student of network theory and she is excited about Catalyst Miami’s work facilitating networks in South Florida. Gretchen is a licensed clinical social worker and has several years of experience as a psychotherapist. She received her Master of Social Work from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College.
Maggie Dunne is founder and president of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, a nonprofit organization that empowers Native American youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota by providing opportunities in the arts, literacy, leadership, entrepreneurship, and sports. Maggie has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Her work has won many national awards and fellowships, and been featured in national publications such as Daily Beast and The New York Times. Maggie currently serves as a Trustee of Colgate University, a member of the Advisory Board of RFK Young Leaders, and a member of the Leadership Council of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. She is a 2013 magna cum laude graduate of Colgate University, where she received the Alumni Corporation’s 1819 Award, the University’s top honor. As an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow, Maggie studied Social Entrepreneurship at University of Cambridge and Cornell University. Maggie is a two-time recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (Bengali).
Cecilia Fong is a program officer at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) – a grantmaking institution that provides funding support to nonprofits and facilitates charitable services for donors throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Cecilia works on programs that address housing, undocumented youth, and issues concerning the entire nonprofit sector. Before joining HCF, Cecilia was a Management Analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where she provided customer service, strategic planning, and analytical work on issues relating to housing and homelessness. Previous to HUD, Cecilia worked as a Researcher for the Hawai‘i State Legislature, Senate Majority Office in Honolulu, and also as a Management Analyst for the Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel, in Washington, DC. Cecilia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace and Justice Studies from Wellesley College and her Master of Arts in Public Policy from the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University.

Raymond Foxworth serves as vice president of grantmaking, development and communications for First Nations Development Institute (First Nations). Raymond is responsible for the organization’s national grantmaking activities to Native nonprofits and tribal entitles, its fundraising activities, and all communications functions. He also participates in a wide range of research and programmatic activities, including work with the First Nations Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative. Prior to joining First Nations, Raymond served as a project officer for the American Indian College Fund in Denver, Colorado, where he managed more than $19 million in projects that supported tribal colleges and universities across the U.S. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in political science, and in May 2015 received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Raymond is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and his family is from Tuba City, Arizona. He serves on the Board of Directors of Native Public Media, located in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Michele Frix currently serves as the director of programs for the Seattle International Foundation (SIF). Under Michele’s leadership, SIF launched new initiatives focused on women’s rights, grassroots leadership development, and youth empowerment in Central America. Since 2008, SIF has provided over $16 million in grants to more than 180 nonprofit organizations working in 60 countries. Previously, Michele was a research analyst for the Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington. Her fieldwork focused on people with disabilities, at risk youth, and the role of technology in international development. Michele is a Commissioner with the Seattle Women’s Commission, which advises the Mayor and City Council on issues and policies affecting women and girls. Michele serves on the Board of Directors for Splash, a nonprofit and social enterprise committed to clean water for kids around the world. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, and a minor in Human Rights.

Christopher Johnson is the director of programs and learning at the Florida Philanthropic Network. In this position he is responsible for managing the planning and delivery of FPN’s programs and other services necessary to advance philanthropy the state of Florida. Christopher was previously executive director of the Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida, an organization he co-founded as the region’s first nonprofit resource center. In 2010 he was recognized as a 13 under 30 recipient by North Central Florida’s HOME Magazine. In 2012 he was the national recipient of the Nonprofit Leadership Award by Black Celebrity Giving and graduated from Leadership Florida’s Connect Florida Statewide Leadership Institute. A three-time Gator, Christopher received B.S., M.S. and MBA degrees from the University of Florida. He is an active board member with several nonprofits and volunteers frequently. His personal mantra is “people, passion and purpose”.

John Kern is a Senior Director at Community Wealth Partners, a consulting firm that works with nonprofits and foundations to solve large-scale social problems at the magnitude they exist. In this role, John leads Community Wealth Partners’ strategy practice, where he oversees client engagements and supports the overall growth and development of the firm. John has served as an advisor to senior executives across the social, corporate and government sectors on education, health and poverty-related issues. His primary areas of focus include organizational strategy, program design and innovation, governance, and organizational change. Prior to joining Community Wealth Partners, John spent six years in the strategy practice at Deloitte Consulting, where he advised public sector leaders on large-scale mission strategy issues. John began his career in the social sector, working both as a grant-maker at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and as a community organizer for Friends of Choice in Urban Schools. He currently serves as the board chair for Critical Exposure, a DC-based youth engagement organization that seeks to create new generation of civic leaders. John holds a MPP from The Johns Hopkins University and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ellen Liu is the Ms. Foundation’s Director of Women’s Health. Ellen is responsible for grantmaking, capacity building, and programmatic activities in the area of reproductive justice and oversees the Foundation’s portfolio on Women and the Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ellen was the program officer for the Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, where she worked with health and human rights organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and East and Southern Africa to strengthen national accountability mechanisms and advance policies and protections for people living with HIV/AIDS and TB, people with mental disabilities, ethnic minorities, and people in need of palliative care. Prior to OSF, Ellen worked as a consultant for a number of organizations including the UN World Food Program, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. She currently serves on the steering committee of the Asian Women Giving Circle. Ellen holds an M.A. in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University and graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in History.

Lindsay Louie is the program officer for Philanthropy Grantmaking at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In this role, Lindsay supports two grantmaking strategies that seek to increase and improve the effectiveness of all foundations: (1) Knowledge for Better Philanthropy, and (2) the Fund for Shared Insight. Prior to joining the Hewlett Foundation, Lindsay served as Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). At SV2, she worked closely with donors and grantees to help identify strong nonprofit organizations and then to strengthen those organizations with long-term funding and additional assistance in management, governance, and internal operations. Before leading SV2, Lindsay ran business development for Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. Lindsay holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business with a certificate in Public Management, as well as an M.A. in Education, M.A. in Sociology, and B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Rishi Moudgil is the founding and managing director of the Center for Social Impact at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He leads collaborative, multidisciplinary efforts to prepare and inspire emerging leaders to deliver social impact through mission-driven organizations. In the past Rishi has lead efforts in entrepreneurship, service-learning, and nonprofit management at the University of Michigan, where he has also received his bachelor’s degree, MBA, and M.A. in education. Rishi’s background includes management consulting for social enterprises and venture philanthropies, and directing strategic and financial initiatives for a broad range of educational institutions. He has also launched and led social sector organizations focused on youth development, new venture creation, and filmmaking for social change.

Brett Wiesel is the Director of Advocacy at Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. As the Director of Advocacy, Brett is responsible for designing and executing advocacy campaigns to raise public awareness, mobilize advocates, build capacity for advocacy across the Feeding America network, and educate lawmakers about public policy solutions to hunger in America. Prior to joining Feeding America, Brett served in multiple positions at DDC Advocacy, a grassroots public affairs firm, where he helped build their Advocacy Center and expand their field program. Brett received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Villanova University and his Masters in Applied Politics from American University.

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