2017 NGen Fellows Bios

2017 NGen Fellows Bios


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Devon Akmon became the second director of the Arab American National Museum (AANM) on July 1, 2013, succeeding founding director Dr. Anan Ameri. Under his aegis, the AANM was named one of just 160 Affiliates of the Smithsonian Institution and achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, a seal of approval earned by just 6% of America’s cultural institutions. In addition to leading the AANM, Akmon’s board memberships and committee affiliations include CultureSource, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The CivCity Initiative, Detroit Institute of Arts, Kresge Arts in Detroit, and Smithsonian Affiliations. Akmon is a graduate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s Emerging Leaders Class IX and Leadership Detroit Class XXXIV. In 2013, Akmon was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s “40 Under 40” business leaders.
Ivan Canada is executive director of The National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad (NCCJ), a community-focused human relations organization. He previously worked with Guilford Green Foundation as Executive Director, and Director of Special Projects. Ivan has been awarded the Triad Business Journal’s “Forty Leaders Under 40 Award,” the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s “Change Agent Award,” and has been recognized by Southerners On New Ground (SONG), and Emerging Practitioners of Philanthropy (EPIP). He currently is serving on the National Board of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), is a community board member of the S.J. Edwards Foundation, a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has served on numerous other boards and committees over the past decade. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, and in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Jane Cheung serves as Vice President of Programs at The Pablove Foundation. Jane is responsible for the organization’s service delivery of arts programs for children living with cancer and grant making for young scientists across the United States and internationally. She was instrumental in scaling the growth of Pablove’s photography program to fifteen new markets and increasing the foundation’s reach in funding cutting-edge pediatric cancer research. Prior to joining Pablove, Jane held roles in arts administration at The Music Center of Los Angeles County, and in museum education at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley and the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles. She attended the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and earned Masters of Arts degrees in Education from Stanford University and Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of California, Davis.

Paul Daugherty serves as President and CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia, a professional leadership organization for philanthropy in the Mountain State. He is the youngest CEO of a regional association of grantmakers in the country and he has transformed the organization with nearly 80 members. Nationally, he was recently elected to serve on the Forum of Regional Associations Board of Directors, the largest network serving philanthropy in America. He is a member of the National Government Relations and Public Policy Committee for the Forum. At the state level, he is one of the co-founders of the WV Nonprofit Association serving as a current strategic advisor, board member of Leadership West Virginia, former member of Generation WV’s Public Policy Committee, board member of Bethlehem Farm, and member of the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College as a double major in Communication Studies and Political Science and is a Doddridge County, WV native who now resides in Morgantown.

Radha Friedman is the Director of Programs at the World Justice Project, where she leads a portfolio of 90 pilot programs advancing justice in 61 countries. Prior to this, Radha was co-founder and Deputy Director of the world’s first Center for Women’s Land Rights at Landesa, an award-winning NGO. Previously, she was Associate Director of SKS Foundation, the largest micro-credit organization in India, providing micro-loans to rural women to start their own businesses. Radha has conducted fieldwork in 13 countries and holds an M.A. in International Development Studies / M.S. in Public Service Administration from DePaul University, a B.A. in South Asian Studies from Antioch College, and a post-graduate certificate in Cross-Sector Partnerships from University of Cambridge. She serves on the board of Rangzen, a Tibetan rights organization founded by the Dalai Lama’s family, and Lotus Circle, advancing women’s rights in the Asia Pacific region. Radha is also a leader of EPIP (Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy) Seattle. In 2014, Radha was selected as an emerging leader by the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and in 2009, she was selected by the Global Women’s Leadership Network as one of 20 “Global Leaders for Justice.”

Lisa Fasolo Frishman has served as the Executive Director of the NY Funders Alliance, a statewide network of diverse philanthropic organizations, since 2014. She currently serves on the board of Camp Cory, a branch of the YMCA of Greater Rochester, the Leadership Council for the Women’s Fund of Central New York, and the Community Investment Committee at the United Way of Central New York. Lisa has held various positions in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors including working at the Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, Executive Director for Social Venture Partners Denver, and as a Scholarship Officer at The Denver Foundation. She also served as the Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Madeira School in McLean, VA. Lisa is a graduate of the Citizen’s Academy through FOCUS Greater Syracuse, Leadership Denver, and is the 2016 Community Trustee Individual Award winner for Leadership Greater Syracuse. She holds a Masters of social science from the University of Colorado, and Bachelors of Arts in history from William Smith College.

Jeremie Greer is Vice President of Policy & Research at CFED. In this role, Jeremie oversees CFED’s Government Affairs and Applied Research teams, which are responsible for developing and executing the organization’s policy and research agendas and advocacy strategies. Previously, Jeremie served as CFED’s Director of Government Affairs. Prior to CFED, he was a Senior Policy Officer at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation where he led policy advocacy on an array of federal issues including public housing, workforce development, asset building, green development, community service, smart growth, transportation and community safety. Jeremie also spent time at the United States Government Accountability Office, where he provided non-partisan and fact-based federal policy analysis to the United States Congress in the areas of housing, community development, workforce, education, human services and environmental protection. He began his career providing capacity building and technical support to small community-based organizations in DC. Jeremie has a Bachelor’s of Social Work from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, and a Master’s of Public Policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.

Abby Laine Sienkiewicz is a social change agent, with a green thumb. Attending Western Michigan University, she received degrees in family studies and holistic health care while exploring a nonprofit career through prevention education programs. A Michigan native, Abby moved to Colorado in 2006 to serve the Girl Scouts through an AmeriCorps Fellowship. Over the past decade, she has developed arts education programs; helped start community gardens; managed building restoration with the State Historical Fund; and was Executive Director for FutureSelf. Abby currently serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado Springs, wearing many hats on a daily basis. Whether gardening or building relationships, she creates environments for things to flourish. She connects people and businesses to nonprofits, is an advocate for the next generation of leaders, and is a champion for human rights. When she’s not nerding out on nonprofits, you can find her gardening, cooking, or adventuring with her husband, Michael, and dog, Ruby.

Neesha Modi is a program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Detroit program and joined the foundation in 2015. She manages grantmaking in the areas of early childhood, leadership and talent and neighborhood development in Detroit. Before joining Kresge, Neesha worked at Deloitte Consulting, where she led talent strategy and culture transformation work. She also helped to lead the Detroit office’s Deloitte Center for Leadership and Community, which focused on capacity building for local nonprofit executives. Neesha has held positions with Accenture Consulting and the Civic Consulting Alliance in Chicago. Neesha earned a dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources and the Environment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management from Michigan State University.

Ola Ojewumi is an activist, journalist, and a community organizer based in Washington, DC. She founded two nonprofits, Sacred Hearts Children’s Transplant Foundation and Project ASCEND. These organizations provide college scholarships to low-income students, funding for women’s education programs, support for global mentorship groups and literacy programs and distributes teddy bears and books to children awaiting organ transplants across the United States. These initiatives have reached hundreds of young people living in Washington, D.C., West Africa and Central America. Ola initiated these charitable efforts after receiving a life saving heart and kidney transplant, which inspired her to begin giving back to her community. Presently, she works as a contract specialist for the federal government and works as a freelancer having written for CNN and The Huffington Post. As an advocate, she has advised the Obama Administration on policies to advance the lives of people living with disabilities and held internships in the White House, Democratic Leader/Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Committee (DNC/Democratic Party), and Congressmen Albert R. Wynn’s Congressional Office.

Kashif Shaikh is an experienced professional in the field of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and the nonprofit sector. He has worked both with large scale community initiatives and small grassroots nonprofits in the areas of education, workforce development, homelessness and hunger. His interests and primary experience lies in working with corporate and foundation partners to build public/private partnerships that benefit both the community and the organizations involved. Kashif co-founded and launched a national grantmaking initiative based in Chicago, IL called the Pillars Fund in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust. The Pillars Fund makes grants to American Muslim nonprofits around the country. Since inception, the Pillars Fund has made over 50 grants totaling more than $1M.

Jamie Smith works at the intersection of words, technology, and social change. She is an expert information detangler. Imagine a big wad of facts, analysis, and other intangibles. She can take that complex information, analyze it quickly, and explain it to others in a clear and compelling way. Her primary pleasure is figuring things out and she is most engaged when she at the edge of her expertise, taking pure possibility and turning it into programs that create social change. As YNPN’s second full-time employee, she’s helped build their communications infrastructure from scratch and has been instrumental in developing the model for the affiliation structure and shared database they are rolling out to their network of 42 chapters. She is passionate about using technology to help social change makers connect with organizations and with each other. She takes a grassroots, user-centered approach to her work because she has seen the power of activated and engaged citizen leaders and what they can accomplish.



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