Michael Brown (@MichaelCBrown18 and @SeattleFdn)
Civic Architect, Civic Commons
Michael Brown is the chief architect of the Civic Commons, a project of Seattle Foundation, aimed at uniting diverse groups of people to address King County’s serious economic and social challenges. Most recently, Michael served as the foundation’s vice president of community programs, where he oversaw its community impact efforts, strategic grantmaking initiatives, convening activities and impact investing program.
A seasoned strategic leader in the philanthropic field, Michael brings perspective as a veteran of funder collaboratives and collective impact efforts, including:
- SkillUp Washington to improve economic opportunity for low-income adults.
- The Road Map Project to improve education and student achievement.
- Communities of Opportunity to improve health and well-being outcomes for low-income communities in the greater Seattle region.
- The Sustainable Communities Funder Group to address issues at the intersection of environmental sustainability, equitable inclusion and economic opportunity.
Michael received Grantmakers in Health’s 2018 Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy, which recognizes outstanding health grantmakers whose work is distinguished by leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement.
Seattle Foundation is a grantmaking supporter of NCRP.
Lauren J. Spokane (@LJSpokane and @FIAnational)
Director of Development
Faith in Action
Lauren J. Spokane is Faith in Action’s director of development. She oversees Faith in Action’s fundraising and supports fundraising capacity building in the network. Lauren began her career in Boston as a community organizer with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and the Union for Reform Judaism.
In 2012, she joined the fundraising field as associate director of Jewish Studies at the University of Washington and as a Giving Project participant and board member of Social Justice Fund Northwest. Lauren is passionate about democratizing philanthropy and helping people translate their skills as organizers and community leaders into fundraising to resource social justice movements.
A Washington, D.C., resident, she serves on the board of Jews United for Justice and is the founding board chair of the New Synagogue Project. She has a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Urban Studies from Yale University and an MPA from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.
Faith in Action is a nonprofit member of NCRP.
Jenifer Fernandez Ancona (@WomenDonors)
Vice President, Strategy & Member Engagement
Women Donors Network
Jenifer Fernandez Ancona is vice president at Women Donors Network (WDN), a national network of progressive women donors who leverage their wealth, power and community for a more fair, just and sustainable world. Jenifer also directs WDN Action, a 501(c)(4) organization advancing justice through advocacy, funding and civic engagement of underrepresented communities.
She is a co-founder of Way to Win, a new research and strategy hub upending politics as usual. She has a wide range of experience in communications, donor organizing, strategy development, grassroots organizing, and multi-racial coalition building.
Jenifer has worked as Director of Strategic Communications at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, as a consultant to the Democracy Alliance, as a top legislative aide in the California State Assembly and as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Dan Ancona, and their 8-year-old son.
Storme Gray (@Storme1913 and @EPIPNational)
Director of Programs
Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
Storme Gray is a passionate change agent and servant leader, with a deep commitment to justice. Her professional career includes nearly 15 years of experience in the philanthropic sector, with a focus on youth development and gender equity.
Storme is the director of programs for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), a national network of early and mid-career professionals who seek to advance social justice through inclusive philanthropic practice. Prior to joining EPIP, Storme was a program officer for the Washington Area Women’s Foundation where she developed their Young Women’s Initiative, a city-wide effort to improve educational, economic and life outcomes for cis and trans young women, girls and gender-expansive youth of color.
Storme credits her upbringing in Camden, N.J., with providing her with the tenacity and authenticity that fuel her approach to the work. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a graduate of American University, and board member of Women of the Dream, a nonprofit organization that strengthens the leadership, power and voices of girls from marginalized and underserved communities in Camden.
EPIP is a core partner in the CHANGE Philanthropy network, of which NCRP is a collaborating partner.
Peter Long (@PeterLongBSCF)
President and CEO
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Peter Long, Ph.D., is the president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation, leading the foundation in its mission to build lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence.
In addition, Peter has extensive experience working on health policy issues at the state and national levels. Prior to serving in leadership roles at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and The California Endowment, Peter was executive director of the Indian Health Center of Santa Clara Valley, and, earlier, a legislative analyst for the Progressive Primary Health Care Network in Cape Town, South Africa during the country’s transition to democracy.
He currently serves on the boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Grantmakers in Health and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Leadership Consortium for Value & Science-Driven Health Care.
Blue Shield of California Foundation received an NCRP Impact Award in 2015.
Diana Lopez (@swujustice)
Southwest Workers Union
Diana Lopez is a Xicana born and raised in San Antonio. As executive director of Southwest Workers Union (SWU), she works on linking issues around environmental justice, living wage and accountable governance.
SWU works to reframe public policy to protect the community and include the voices of local residents. It has led to successful strategic campaigns targeting wages, environmental clean-up, economic revitalization, healthcare and energy policy.
As a representative for SWU, Diana has brought local struggles to 6 United Nations Conventions on climate change. She also sits on coordinating committees of the Grassroots Global Justice and South by Southwest Experiment, and is currently a member of the Climate Equity Working Group for the city of San Antonio, working towards the cities first Climate Action Plan.
Vivek (Vik) Malhotra (@vmalhotra_)
Strategy and Organizational Development Consultant
Vivek Malhotra supports leading social justice and philanthropic organizations in strengthening program strategy, organizational development and capacity, evaluation and landscape analysis. He currently serves as a senior adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union and recently worked at the Ford Foundation as director of civil and human rights.
At Ford, he managed an annual grantmaking budget of more than $60 million. In this role, he oversaw global programming and strategy for the foundation’s initiatives to advance immigrant and migrant rights, racial justice and minority rights, civil and criminal justice reform, and human rights worldwide, leading a team of program officers and administrative staff based in the U.S., Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Prior to joining the Ford Foundation in 2011, Vik held leading positions at the American Civil Liberties Union, including advocacy and policy counsel with the national office, where he developed and led nationwide strategies on immigrant rights and racial justice through a comprehensive program of policy advocacy, public education and litigation.
Vik is a member of NCRP’s board and serves as treasurer.
Maria Nakae (@justicefunders)
Maria Nakae is the engagement director at Justice Funders, a partner and guide for philanthropy in reimagining practices that advance a thriving and just world. She coordinates the Bay Area Justice Funders Network and leads communications strategies that reimagine philanthropy’s role in supporting thriving social justice movements to accelerate a Just Transition toward a regenerative economy. In 2018, she curated Liberate Philanthropy, a blog series to inspire a new kind of philanthropy that redistributes wealth, democratizes power and shifts economic control to communities.
Prior to Justice Funders, Maria served as development director at Forward Together. She is a member of the Hella Heart Oakland Giving Circle and serves on the Advisory Board of BoomShake Music, a community program that uses music and drumming to support grassroots movements and build the leadership of people of color to be cultural creators for our liberation. She is also a member of BoomShake’s drum corps for women, trans and gender non-conforming people of color. Maria is a 2006 New Voices Fellow and holds a M.P.H. from University of California, Berkeley.
Rami Nashashibi (@RamiNashashibi and @imancentral)
Inner-City Muslim Action Network
Rami Nashashibi is the executive director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). He is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and a 2018 Opus Prize laureate. He received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago and has taught courses at multiple universities since, including a teaching appointment at the Chicago Theological Seminary.
Rami is listed as among the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in concert with Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Rami serves on the board of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and is an advisor to a number of strategic initiatives across the country. His work with IMAN continues to feature in many national and international media outlets.
IMAN is a nonprofit member of NCRP.
Donald (Don) M. Ragona (@NDNrights)
Director of Development and House Counsel
Native American Rights Fund
Donald M. Ragona (Matinecock) serves as the Native American Rights Fund’s (NARF) director of development and house counsel. He is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Long Island University, C.W. Post College.
After law school, Don worked at Merrill Lynch specializing in tax law and securities offerings and later joined the Allstate Insurance Company specializing in insurance defense litigation. Don joined NARF in 1993 and was appointed director of development in 2006.
In 2009, he went into private practice advising tribes and tribal businesses on a variety of matters. In 2013, Don returned to NARF and, in 2017, was appointed director of development and house counsel. Don served as a board member of the National Indian Prisoners Support Group in Minneapolis and as a member of the NARF-sponsored American Indian Religious Freedom Act Coalition where Don wrote state and federal legislation regarding the right to worship for American Indian prisoners.
Don is a frequent presenter on federal Indian law and Indian issues at academic institutions’ national and regional Native conferences.
Don is a member of NCRP’s board.
Note: Affiliations for identification purposes only.