First Nations Development Institute’s Michael Roberts joins NCRP’s board

First Nations Development Institute’s Michael Roberts joins NCRP’s board

NCRP also announces staff restructuring

Washington, D.C. (9/26/2019) — The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) board of directors yesterday elected Michael E. Roberts of First Nations Development Institute to a three-year term.

“We couldn’t be happier about Mike joining the board,” said the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and chair of NCRP’s board. “His leadership at First Nations Development Institute and commitment to serving Native American communities comes at a critical time as we work to drive more money to grassroots movements working to move the needle on equity and justice.”

NCRP also announced that three current board members have been elected to new three-year terms: Mary Lassen, managing director at Community Change; Daniel Lee, executive director of Levi Strauss Foundation; and Ruth Messinger, global ambassador at American Jewish World Service.

Lee was also elected to another two-year term as vice-chair of the board’s executive committee, as were Wilson, Secretary Cristina Jiménez, Treasurer Vivek Malhotra and At-Large Jocelyn Sargent.

Taj James, the founder, former executive director and current senior advisor to the executive director at Movement Strategy Center, is moving on from the board after six years.

“We are deeply thankful for the passion and leadership that Taj provided NCRP during his time on the board,” said Aaron Dorfman, NCRP’s president and CEO. “I am thrilled about Mike joining the board, and that Mary, Daniel and Ruth are continuing for their final terms. Their leadership for supporting movements in these challenging times is invaluable.”

Changes to NCRP’s staff structure

To better position NCRP to achieve its goals in the coming years, NCRP also made changes to its staffing structure.

Three new positions were created, including a chief operating officer, a director of strategic communications and a senior associate position that will focus on expanding NCRP’s relationships with movement groups. Job listings will be posted soon on NCRP’s website.

Three employees were also promoted into new roles. Ben Barge was promoted to field director, Janay Richmond to director of marketing and membership and Stephanie Peng to senior associate for movement research.

Three senior positions were also eliminated in the restructuring. NCRP is extremely grateful to long-time staff members Kristina C. Moore, senior director of communications, Beverley Samuda-Wylder, senior director of HR and administration, and Dan Petegorsky, senior fellow and director of public policy, for their dedication and years of exemplary service. They will be missed.

Michael E. Roberts

Roberts became president of First Nations Development Institute in 2005, two years after returning for a second stint at the organization. Previously, he had been its chief operating officer until 1997.

He has an MBA from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. He is the board chairman of First Nations Oweesta Corp., a member of the steering committee of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders Network and on the investment committee of Three Affiliated Tribes.

Earlier this year, he received a fellowship from Neighborhood Funders Group’s Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change Fellowship program.

He is an enrolled member of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

About NCRP

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy amplifies the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in the philanthropic sector. Through research and advocacy, it works to ensure that grantmakers and donors contribute to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world.


Contact: Peter Haldis (202) 328-9351 or phaldis[at]

Complete List of NCRP’s Board of Directors:

Executive Committee

  • Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson (Chair), Deaconess Foundation
  • Daniel Lee (Vice-Chair), Levi Strauss Foundation
  • Vivek Malhotra (Treasurer), Strategy and Organizational Development Consultant
  • Cristina Jiménez (Secretary), United We Dream Network
  • Jocelyn Sargent (At-Large)


  • Sharon Alpert, Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Bill Dempsey,
  • Mary Lassen, Community Change
  • Ruth W. Messinger, American Jewish World Service
  • Donald M. Ragona, Native American Rights Fund
  • Michael E. Roberts, First Nations Development Institute
  • Joseph Scantlebury, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Molly Schultz Hafid, TCC Group
  • Pamela Shifman, NoVo Foundation
  • Lateefah Simon, Akonadi Foundation
  • Katherine S. Villers, Community Catalyst