Carolyn Dickson, O’Donnell Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director

FUNDING AREAS: K-12, Advanced Placement, teacher training, higher education, and STEM education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: For Carolyn Bacon Dickson, executive director of the O'Donnell Foundation, improving student achievement, especially in mathematics and science, and preparing students for success in college doesn't require magic or special programs. If students take academically rigorous courses taught by knowledgeable, qualified teachers, they are far more likely to achieve success in college and in the workplace.

That is why the O'Donnell Foundation has long championed initiatives designed to strengthen teacher knowledge so that they can better prepare students to take Advanced Placement (AP) and pre-AP courses in high school. Building on its work in the 1990s with a Texas public schools system, the O'Donnell Foundation has created non-profit organizations and funded programs designed to create outstanding teachers who can deliver an academically challenging curriculum, especially in math and science. This is a rather narrow focus for O'Donnell, but an important one. And Dickson is definitely a go-to person for all things AP.

Dickson's work with the O'Donnell Foundation has emphasized teacher training in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, but that doesn't mean she is not interested in other academic areas. The foundation also has supported AP incentive programs in art and music. 

Dickson's advocacy of greater academic rigor is not limited to AP-related programs in secondary schools or to traditional public schools. O'Donnell also has supported charter schools, giving grants such as $337,000 in 2010 to Dallas-based Uplift Education, a charter school operator. So if you're a charter school operator that's serious about challenging your students academically to better prepare them for success in college, Dickson is a funder you should get to know. It's important to remember, however, that the foundation concentrates most of its work in Texas. In addition, O'Donnell does not award grants or fellowships to individuals.

In addition to its K-12 programs, the O'Donnell Foundation under Dickson has supported higher education programs that emphasize STEM-related fields.

Elizabeth A. Smith, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation

TITLE: Grants Program Director

FUNDING AREAS: Cultural activities, health, education, environment, human services and public affairs.

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: It was April 2005, and Elizabeth Smith had just spent seven years advising nonprofits on how to obtain funding. She was campaign director for the consulting firm Coxe Curry & Associates. But then she found herself in a new role: She'd be the one offering the funding. That month was the beginning of her new job as grants program director at the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, a position she has holds to this day. 

Her foundation bio shares:

Lizzy joined the Foundations’ staff as Grants Officer in 2005 and became Grants Program Director in 2011. She previously worked for the fundraising consulting firm of Coxe Curry & Associates for more than seven years, and also served as Director of Special Events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Raleigh, NC. Lizzy is a former trustee of the Southeastern Council of Foundations and a past chair of the Foundation Center-Atlanta Advisory Board. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. degree in economics.

Carla D. Thompson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

TITLE: Vice President for Program Strategy

FUNDING AREAS: Education and vulnerable families

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: For Carla Thompson, the key to impacting the lives of children, especially those from low-income families, is to invest early. Her career in social work, education, philanthropy, and government has convinced her that early childhood education is a smart investment that yields future benefits—not only for the children themselves but for society overall.

Her foundation bio shares: 

In her current position, she is responsible for overseeing the national implementation of the Child Care Development Fund by managing 10 regional offices. The fund supports 1.7 million children monthly and distributes more than $5 billion annually.

Prior to joining the Office of Child Care, she served as Assistant Superintendent for Early Childhood Education for the District of Columbia public schools, where she managed all aspects of the system’s early childhood education program. Her professional experience in Early Childhood Education began in 2004 with United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, where she managed fund development and parenting and public engagement programs for United Way’s “Early to Learn” partnership.

In 2005, she became a special assistant in the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Public Welfare, where she helped shape and launch a new statewide early childhood education program.

Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and expects to receive her doctorate from Penn in 2013.

After graduating from college, she worked as a social worker for the Children’s Hope Foundation in New York City and at the Center for the Study of Youth Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2000 and 2001, she was a presidential management intern in Washington, D.C., working with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.

John Stephenson, J. Bulow Campbell Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director

FUNDING AREAS: Education, human services, youth development, arts and cultural institutions, and Christian-based charities

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: John W. Stephenson is executive director of the Atlanta-based J. Bulow Campbell Foundation, a position he has held since 1985. Previously, Stephenson worked for Emory University as vice president for development.

Atlanta businessman J. Bulow Campbell established the foundation in 1940, and it has since provided grants for education, youth development, cultural amenities, and Christian charities. Campbell was a devout Christian and an active member of the Presbyterian Church. He was committed to Christian education and was instrumental in bringing Columbia Theological Seminary to Atlanta from South Carolina.

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Kristen Whelan, Yawkey Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: Education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Many major philanthropic foundations are now outsourcing their senior program officer positions to third-party advisory teams. Boston baseball legacy the Yawkey Foundation relies upon the services of an advisory team known as The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) to evaluate grant applications and decide which worthy non-profit organizations to support. More specifically, Yawkey depends upon Senior Program Officer Kristen Whelan to dole out the foundation's education money. Her TPI bio shares: 

Kristen Whelan researches various topics and issues of interest to clients to assist them in developing funding strategies and grants programs. Kristen also assists corporations, individual donors, and family foundations with design and implementation of their initiatives. Specific efforts include creation of a grants program to improve reading skills; development and management of a youth-focused initiative for a family foundation resulting in multi-year grants to after-school and mentoring programs in Boston; and design of a contemporary music fund to promote the proliferation and awareness of classical music composed within the 20 years. 

For the past 10 years, she has worked closely with a family foundation serving as program officer and working closely with its trustees to structure and evaluate grantmaking partnerships. She has created and manages scholarship programs for corporations and foundations to meet their specific objectives and has worked with corporations to design, manage and train employees involved in corporate giving and volunteering programs.

Kristen has a Master's degree from the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University, where she wrote her thesis on the benefits of strategic and integrated corporate giving programs. Prior to joining TPI in 1998 she worked in a number of nonprofit organizations, including Planned Parenthood Clinic of Greater Boston, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Oxfam America. Kristen received her Bachelor of Arts in politics and psychology at Bennington College.

Miki C. Akimoto, Bank of America/US Trust

TITLE: Market Philanthropic Director                                         

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health care, human services

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Relationships between banking corporations and philanthropy foundations are generally convoluted and tangled in bureaucracy, so Market Philanthropic Director Miki Akimoto has the job of seeing the inner workings of Bank of America from a lot of different perspectives. Akimoto is in charge of managing the grants given several dozen private foundations under Bank of America's umbrella. Bank of America serves as the trustee for dozens of philanthropic foundations, including the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, the Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation, and the Harold Brooks Foundation.

Her CAF America bio shares:

Miki Akimoto is a Senior Vice President and a Practice Expert within the National Practice group of Philanthropic Solutions, U.S. Trust.  She has been with U.S. Trust since 2010, and works with clients and prospective clients to help them identify their philanthropic interests, define giving strategies, and implement best practices in grantmaking.  She works with her Philanthropic Solutions teammates nationally bring current thinking and informed practice to the discretionary trusts for which Bank of America, N.A. serves as Trustee. She provides thought leadership for the giving from several significant foundations for which Bank of America, N.A. serves as Trustee, and works with co-trustees to design and implement giving from accounts where the Bank serves as co-trustee.

Prior to becoming part of U.S. Trust, Miki was the Vice President and then Acting President of Associated Grant Makers, the regional association of foundations, corporate givers, and other key donors in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  She served as the first Director of Grants Management for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and as a program officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps National Direct division. She holds a Bachelor of Political Science degree from Stanford University.

She is actively involved in the philanthropic community nationally and locally.  Current and past board service includes Third Sector New England, the Maine Philanthropy Center, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (chair), The Full Frame Initiative, the YWCA Boston, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. She also helped found the Saffron Circle, the first Asian Giving Circle in Massachusetts. She was named a Balfour Fellow in 2008, and received the U.S. Trust® President’s Award in 2015.

Kevin Hall, Charter School Growth Fund

TITLE: President & CEO

FUNDING AREAS: Charter management organizations, charter schools, elementary and secondary education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Kevin Hall is the CSGF's President and CEO, and has led the fund’s investment strategy since 2009. His foundation bio shares: 

Kevin has served as CEO of CSGF since 2009. Before joining CSGF, Kevin was chief operating officer of the Broad Foundation, where he led various aspects of the foundation’s grant investment strategy. Prior to Broad, he cofounded and led business development for Chancellor Beacon Academies, a manager of charter and private schools across the United States. Previously, he also ran a division of infoUSA and worked at McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs, and Teach for America. Kevin taught elementary school in central Los Angeles. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Swarthmore College.

Paula Golden, Broadcom Foundation

TITLE: Executive Director

FUNDING AREAS: Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Paula Golden may be a trained lawyer with a history as a TV and radio host, but her true passion lies in science and engineering. Her Broadcom bio shares: 

Paula Golden initiates innovative partnerships with universities, non-profits and non-government organizations (NGOs) to create equitable access to STEM education, close the STEM education gap for young women and the underserved, and ensure that young people are STEM literate with the necessary skills to succeed in 21st century STEM careers.  She is a leader in the National STEM Funders Network and STEM Education Ecosystem Initiative that create collaborations among formal and informal STEM educators throughout the United States.  As a former host of community cable programs, Emmy finalist, TedX presenter and blogger for the Huffington Post, Paula promotes communication as a critical tool in STEM education.

Paula spearheads the Broadcom MASTERS® and Broadcom MASTERS® International, world-renowned middle school science and engineering competitions of the Society for Science & the Public that enable students to become future scientists, engineers, and innovators by encouraging them to elect requisite math and science courses in high school.  She has developed after-school coding programs such as Broadcom Presents: Design_CODE_Build that use the Raspberry Pi® to inspire middle schoolers to excel in algebra in order to gain access to ever-expanding career opportunities in computer science.

Paula earned her B.A. in English and Education from Wellesley College and her J.D. cum laude from New England School of Law where she later served as Assistant Dean and Instructor of Law.  Her contributions to nonprofit leadership and to creating inclusion, equality, and access to STEM education have been recognized by the University of California at Irvine, the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), and the Women In Defense (WID).

VIDEOS:

Gina Dalma, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

TITLE: Special Advisor to the CEO and Vice President of Government Relations

FUNDING AREAS: Education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Gina Dalma has long been active in Silicon Valley education grantmaking. Before joining Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) as program officer in 2008, she was director of innovation at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Her foundation bio shares: 

In her role as special advisor to the CEO and vice president of government relations, Gina D. Dalma is responsible for leading SVCF’s ongoing lobbying efforts in Sacramento and its emerging efforts in Washington, D.C. SVCF’s California lobbying work is currently centered around education, affordable housing, immigration and economic security; in Washington, D.C., SVCF hopes to be a leading voice on topics that have the potential to advance the philanthropic sector.

Gina was pivotal in the passage of the California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, signed into law by Gov. Brown on Oct. 5, 2015, and sponsored by Silicon Valley Community Foundation. She serves as a member of the California Department of Education’s STEM Taskforce Advisory Committee, is a member of the National Common Core Funders Steering Committee and an Advisory Board Member of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.

Prior to her promotion to special advisor in 2015, Gina was SVCF’s director of grantmaking. In that role, she led the grantmaking team in using a diverse set of tools, including strategic investments, to solve our region’s most challenging problems. She also led SVCF’s education grantmaking strategy, as well as the Silicon Valley Common Core Initiative.

Prior to joining SVCF, Gina was director of innovation at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Before moving to the United States, Gina held several positions related to urban economic development and regulatory economics in the federal and state public sector in Mexico.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from ITAM in Mexico City, a Master of Science in economics from the University of London and a Master of Arts in international policy studies from Stanford University. She resides in Palo Alto with her husband and children. Gina's personal interests include art, yoga and traveling. Follow her on Twitter at @ginadalma.

Huilan Krenn, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

TITLE: Director of Learning and Impact 

FUNDING AREAS: Literacy and school preparedness, birth through grade 3

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Huilan Krenn is the director of learning and impact at the Kellogg Foundation. An announcement about a past promotion shared:

Krenn joined the foundation in August 2002 as an evaluation manager providing leadership and technical assistance to grantmaking efforts in the area of impact assessment and program evaluation. Most recently, she was a program officer for Education & Learning. Prior to the foundation, Krenn was director of evaluation and research with a large child welfare agency, Starr Commonwealth, where she held the positions of director of research, assistant director of evaluation and research, research associate and program evaluator. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich., for six years. She holds a doctoral degree in evaluation, research and measurement and a master's degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. She also holds a master's degree in teaching English as a second language, and a bachelor's degree in English and American language and literature from Nankai University in China.
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Nike Irvin, California Community Foundation

Nike Irvin has been busy using her longtime experience to make some of Los Angeles’ charities even stronger. As Vice President of Programs at the California Community Foundation (CCF), Irvin has utilized her leadership skills to work on special initiatives in areas like arts, education, health care and human development. It’s safe to say that without Irvin many sectors of the population would be in dire straits.
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Fawzia Ahmed, Walton Family Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer

FUNDING AREAS: K-12 education reform

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Fawzia Ahmed, a Yale MBA, is no outsider to the world of education. As a tutor in an inner city school in Boston, Ahmed witnessed the dysfunction of schools firsthand, attributing it to not so much the teachers or the pupils, but to the organizational structure and management of the school system itself. That's when she became interested in educational reform. In 2005, she contributed to a publication comparing the educational policy governing ethnic minorities in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her interest in the management of low-income schools and those with diverse student populations didn't end there, though. As a director at Arabella Advisors, Ahmed consulted with donors in the education space and in 2010, contributed to a brief that advised funders to "look for organizations that hire leaders and effective implementers for every team." Of course, this is a notion that is in keeping with the Walton Family Foundation's overall philosophy as well. In 2010, Walton Family Foundation Executive Director Buddy Phillpot threatened to withdraw funds intended to provide D.C. teachers with raises and bonuses, arguing, "The Foundation reserves the right to discontinue support for this initiative if there is a material change in DCPS' leadership."

The message for grant-seekers is clear: If you're looking for the monetary support for a cause that involves education reform for minorities, low-income students, or inner city schools, then you're more likely to attract Ahmed's attention, so long as you can prove that the leadership is in place to realize the goals for the initiative. Remember, though, that the foundation is currently focusing on select "Investment Sites," which include schools in Albany, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Harlem (NYC), Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Newark, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.

Jessie Rasmussen, Buffet Early Childhood Fund

TITLE: President

FUNDING AREAS: Early childhood education ages 0 to 5

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

IP TAKE: Over a four-decade career, Jessie Rasmussen has remained staunchly focused on child protection, safety, and education. 

PROFILE: Rasmussen is President of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, an organization she joined in 2007. Her foundation bio shares: 

Jessie Rasmussen’s career has focused on improving outcomes for children and families, first as an early childhood practitioner and administrator and later as a Nebraska state senator and state human services director in both Nebraska and Iowa. At the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, she played an instrumental role in the development and passage of legislation that established a $60 million early childhood endowment funded through a public and private partnership. She is now president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, where she manages early childhood investments.
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Sanjiv Rao, Ford Foundation

TITLE: Senior Program Officer, Youth Opportunity and Learning

FUNDING AREAS: Educational equity, redesign and scalability of a new school day

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE:  Sanjiv Rao completed a bachelor's degree in History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master's in education from University of California, Berkeley. Rao began his career as an elementary school teacher in California, Texas, and Mexico. His first position in the world of policy was at Brown University's Annenberg Institute for School Reform. His foundation bio shares: 

Sanjiv Rao is a program officer on the Youth Opportunity and Learning team. He has focused on educational equity issues in the United States, making grants that have supported improvements in the public education system’s school day to benefit low-income communities in particular. He has supported innovative efforts around the development, advocacy, and scalability of a redesigned school day and year to close opportunity gaps so that underserved youth have access to the high-quality educational and other learning experiences they need to succeed.

Sanjiv has been with Ford since 2012. Earlier, he served as executive director of the New York State Afterschool Network, where he led policy efforts to link and integrate youth development and expanded learning more effectively with the public education system. Sanjiv began his career as an elementary school teacher in California, Texas, and Mexico. He has worked in school system improvement as a senior associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University and as a member of the research team studying the Ford-funded Leadership for a Changing World program while a doctoral student at New York University.

Sanjiv has a PhD in public administration from New York University, a master’s degree in education from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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John Fisher, Charter School Growth Fund; KIPP Foundation

TITLE: Chairman, KIPP Foundation; Co-Chair, Charter School Growth Fund; Board member, Silicon Schools Fund

FUNDING AREAS: Charter management organizations, KIPP Foundation, charter schools

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: John Fisher's Charter School Growth Fund bio shares:

John is president of Pisces, Inc., a company he founded in 1992 as a family investment and management office for the Fisher family. In addition, John is a founding partner of Sansome Partners, a private equity investment group with investments in timber, hotels, and several operating businesses. He has a BA from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University.
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Lynda Resnick, Resnick Family Foundation

TITLE: Co-President

FUNDING AREAS: Art, education, health, environment

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Lynda Resnick is the co-president, alongside her husband Stewart Resnick, of the Resnick Family Foundation. While her foundation doesn't publish her official bio, a recent Aspen Institute bio shares:

Lynda Resnick is vice chair and co-owner, along with her husband Stewart Resnick, of The Wonderful Company. This privately held, Los Angeles-based multi-billion dollar global company is dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world through its iconic brands, bringing consumers everywhere the freshest, highest quality pistachios, almonds, citrus and pomegranates; bottling the finest water and wines; and creating colorful floral arrangements that truly touch the heart.

From the orchard to family dinner tables, The Wonderful Company’s vertically integrated business model ensures the highest standard of quality, integrity and consumer satisfaction across all its brands. As a result, every year, nearly half of all American households purchase The Wonderful Company’s products, which is a reflection of the husband-and-wife team’s deep commitment to inspiring healthier choices by growing wholesome foods that nourish naturally. This long-standing commitment is evident in their market share, with Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Halos, POM Wonderful, FIJI Water, Teleflora and JUSTIN Wine all ranking #1 in their respective categories.

Mrs. Resnick runs worldwide marketing and product development for The Wonderful Company and all of its brands, and she is renowned as the creative spirit behind such innovative and inspiring campaigns as Teleflora’s successful “Flowers in a Gift”; for making POM Wonderful, the antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice, a national sensation; and for producing the iconic Wonderful Pistachios commercials. She also authored the best-selling book on marketing, Rubies in the Orchard.

In 2015, she ranked #11 among Forbes’ inaugural Top 50 Most Successful Self-Made Women in America, and in 2012, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by New York’s prestigious Bard College.

Central to Mrs. Resnick’s successful approach is “doing well by doing good,” a core value that places tremendous importance on corporate social responsibility. Under her personal supervision, The Wonderful Company continues its rich heritage of giving back, especially in the communities in which its employees live and work, specifically California’s Central Valley and the island nation of Fiji. Through the generosity of the Resnicks and The Wonderful Company, an average of $40 million or more is contributed annually, which is largely directed toward ongoing community development efforts; a new comprehensive employee health and wellness program, featuring two fully staffed health clinics; and robust educational initiatives ranging from scholarships, school grants, two preschools, art programs and summer schools to the acclaimed Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep program and Wonderful College Prep Academy, a Central Valley charter school established by the Resnicks in 2009. To date, the couple’s varied educational programs have already enriched the lives of more than 60,000 Central Valley youth.

Mrs. Resnick’s extensive philanthropic interests and activities extend beyond The Wonderful Company, including her role as a major donor to and board of trustees vice chair of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; an executive board member of The Aspen Institute board of trustees; a member of the Milken Foundation executive board; and a board member emeritus for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.

Mrs. Resnick is a proud parent of five and grandparent of four, and she calls Beverly Hills and Aspen home.

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Alexander Nicholas, Lemelson Foundation

TITLE: Program Officer

FUNDING AREA: Innovation, invention, secondary education, postsecondary education

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Since 2012, Alexander Nicholas has managed invention and education funding at Lemelson Foundation, a Portland-based outfit. He funds the process from start to finish: inventions, their inventors, and the organizations employing the inventors. Many of those organizations are universities and hospitals, but not all.

In his pre-foundation life, Nicholas earned a PhD in neuroscience from Florida State University. He went on to do postdoctoral work at Harvard's medical school and served on the Harvard Postdoctoral Association Governing Board. He also did research at Beth Israel Medical Center. In 2009, The American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded him a fellowship that he served at National Science Foundation for several years, seguing to a year as a senior policy advisor in the Department of Commerce's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurshipbefore Lemelson picked him up in 2012.

Lemelson's partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a central component to Nicholas's work. Jerome Lemelson, a prominent inventor and entrepreneur, along with his wife, Dorothy, established this partnership in 1994; it administers a variety of prizes and other cash-incentives to creative problem solvers:

  • They give a $500,000 prize to inventors who have successfully "developed and patented a product or process of significant value to society," and seem likely to continue doing so.
  • The $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation goes to inventors whose inventions benefit economically marginalized populations and inspire young people to try their own hand at innovation.
  • Lemelson also gives $30,000 prizes to graduate-level student inventors at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MIT Illinois
  • Lemelson-MIT "InvenTeams," collaborations between high school students, teachers and mentors, can apply for grants of up to $10,000 from the foundation.

Another aspect of Nicholas's work with Lemelson involves the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). NCIIA helps college-level students with the business end of inventorship. They give college students "instruction, mentoring, and financial support to invent, prototype, patent and market their new inventions and innovations." The organization has an "E-grant" program that mirrors the Lemelson-MIT "InvenTeam" project described above, although it works at college level. E-grants have enabled as many as 70 businesses to get off the ground. NCIIA also gives curricula development grants to over 350 universities nationwide involved with invention and innovation.

VIDEO:

Watch the video below to learn more about the MIT-Lemelson partnership:

Florence A. Davis, The Starr Foundation

TITLE: Director and President

FUNDING AREAS: Education, medicine, health, human needs, public policy, culture, and environment

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Davis is the director and president of the Starr Foundation. Her foundation bio shares: 

Florence A. Davis has served as President and a member of the Board of Directors of The Starr Foundation since March 1999. A graduate of Wellesley College (highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa) and New York University School of Law (Root-Tilden Scholar), she began her legal career in private practice with Sullivan & Cromwell in 1979. From 1986-1995, Ms. Davis served in a number of positions at Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated, where she rose to become a Principal and Director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs. From 1995-1999, Ms. Davis was Vice President and General Counsel of American International Group, Inc. ("AIG"). She is retired from the practice of law.
Ms. Davis is a trustee of New York University School of Law, a director of the International Rescue Committee, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a trustee of the New York Botanical Garden, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Newman's Own Foundation. Ms. Davis served as a member of Mayor Bloomberg's Committee on Economic Opportunity, and the board of the Eisenhower Fellowships.

Alexander von Furstenberg, The Diller-von Furstenberg Foundation

TITLE: Director 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, community reform, environmental advocacy, disease research, child care, arts and humanities, and human rights

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Alexander von Furstenberg serves as a Director of the Diller-von Furstenberg Foundation. His foundation shares:

Alexander von Furstenberg is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Ranger Global Advisors. He previously served as Co-Managing Member and Chief Investment Officer of Arrow Capital Management, LLC, a private investment firm focused on global public equities which he established in 2003. Since 2001, Mr. von Furstenberg has acted as Chief Investment Officer of Arrow Investments, Inc., the private investment office which serves his family. Mr. von Furstenberg is also a Partner of Diane von Furstenberg Studio, LP. 

Mr. von Furstenberg serves on the board of directors of IAC, a U.S.-based internet conglomerate, and is on the board of W.P. Stewart & Co., Ltd., a Bermuda-based asset management firm.  In addition to the philanthropic work accomplished through his position as a Director of The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, Mr. von Furstenberg also serves on the board of directors of Friends of the High Line.  He is a graduate of Brown University.