Alexa Avilés, Scherman Foundation

TITLE: Program Director   

FOCUS AREAS: Reproductive Rights & Services, Social Welfare, and Arts

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PROFILE: Alexa Avilés is the program director at the Scherman Foundation in New York City. She has been in this position since March 2011. Before this, she worked as a principal for Karisa Consulting, a program manager for the JEHT Foundation, and a senior program associate for juvenile justice for JEHT.

Avilés has over 15 years of experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit world, working on numerous social justice issues throughout the U.S. Her specialties include grantmaking, non-profit management, juvenile justice, criminal justice, public policy analysis, non-profit financials, project management, and strategic analysis.

Her professional bio shares:

Alexa has been with the Scherman Foundation as Program Officer since March 2011. Prior to Scherman, she was a Program Manager at the JEHT Foundation, a national foundation focused on funding criminal and juvenile justice system reform; electoral reform; and expansion of the role of international justice norms and the rule of law in the U.S.  As the Program Manager for the Juvenile Justice Program, she managed a portfolio of grants aimed at reducing the numbers of youth in contact with the juvenile justice system and promoting more humane and effective models of care for justice-involved youth. While at the Fund of the Four Directions, Ms. Avilés provided seed grants to grassroots groups nationally addressing the areas of environmental justice, racial justice, workers rights, and the revitalization of Native American cultures and languages. She serves on the Board of Directors of Strategies for Youth, a national nonprofit working to improve police/youth interactions and the Management Assistance Group, a national non-profit management consulting organization working to strengthen social justice organizations.  She received her B.A. from Columbia University and M.P.A from CUNY’s Baruch College School of Public Affairs. A proud alumna of the National Urban Fellows and A Better Chance, she is also an active community member in her neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Several years ago, Avilés was a presenter at a Philanthropy New York event called “Grantmaking as a Career? One Grantmaker's Personal Experience.” She has also been on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s transition team and the co-president of the Parent Teacher Association of Public School 172. At Management Assistance Group, where she serves as board secretary, her bio shares the following information:

Alexa Avilés manages the work of the Reproductive Rights & Services Program, as well as co-manages grantmaking in the Social Welfare and Arts areas for the Scherman Foundation. Prior to her arrival at Scherman, she consulted with funders and nonprofit organizations on criminal and juvenile justice issues. Alexa is also a board member of Strategies For Youth, a national organization focused on improving police/youth interactions and ending disparate treatment of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.

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