Lorella Praeli of Community Change, Dr. Dwayne Proctor of the Missouri Foundation for Health and Maria Torres-Springer of the Ford Foundation elected to serve on NCRP’s board
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) started off what it expects to be a momentous month by electing three dynamic leaders to its board, expanding its diverse steering body to 19 members.
The DC-based philanthropic advocacy group announced this week that Lorella Praeli, Co-President of Community Change and Community Change Action, Dwayne Proctor, President and CEO of the Missouri Foundation for Health, and Maria Torres-Springer, the Ford Foundation’s Vice President of US Programs, had joined the board effective October 1.
“We are thrilled to welcome these three accomplished leaders to our board,” Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and chair of NCRP’s board. “Lorella, Dwayne and Maria all have invaluable experience supporting some of today’s most effective social justice movements and we look forward to their participation as collaborative thought partners.”
Rev. Wilson, Cristina Jiménez (United We Dream Network), Bill Dempsey (Amalgamated Charitable Foundation), Molly Schultz Hafid (Butler Family Fund) and Don Ragona (Native American Rights Fund) were also re-elected to three-year terms as board members. The board’s executive committee was also elected to serve two-year terms, with Rev. Wilson continuing to serve as board Chair, Crystal Hayling (The Libra Foundation) as Vice Chair, Pamela Shifman (Democracy Alliance) as Secretary, Molly Schulz Hafid as Treasurer and Daaiya Bilal-Threats (National Education Association and NEA Foundation) as At large delegate to the executive committee.
“NCRP’s board represents some of the most impactful grant makers – and the communities and organizations impacted by those grants,” said NCRP President and CEO Aaron Dorfman. “Our board’s leadership and guidance plays an important role in making our work with nonprofits and funders both responsive and effective.”
Dorfman also announced that after nine and eight years of board service, respectively, board members Vik Malhotra and Ruth Messinger have stepped down from their duties as board members.
“Their commitment and contributions to the board have been tremendous,” said Dorfman. “We are so thankful for the energy, insight and perspective that they both brought to our work. Their service will not soon be forgotten.”
NCRP has been serving as philanthropy’s critical friend and watchdog for 45 years, challenging grant makers to be responsive to the communities they serve. The organization is capping off the month with its biennial celebration of philanthropy’s most impactful funders, the NCRP Impact Awards, on Oct. 27th. The virtual ceremony is one of the many events of CHANGE Philanthropy’s Unity Summit, an annual gathering of top philanthropic and nonprofit leaders dedicated to exploring, examining and expanding their individual and institutional practices in order to advance equity with an intersectional lens, and with community at the center of their efforts.
About the New Members
Lorella Praeli is the Co-President of Community Change and Community Change Action.
Lorella is passionate about building collective power to win transformative policy change at all levels of government, so that people can thrive. Most recently, she was the ACLU’s Deputy National Political Director, where she fought to defend and expand the rights of immigrants and refugees. Prior to joining the ACLU, Lorella mobilized the Latinx vote as Hillary Clinton’s National Latino Vote Director.
Lorella moved from Peru to Connecticut with her family at the age of ten. Her life was transformed after coming out as “undocumented and unafraid” and organizing undocumented students to step into their power in Connecticut. She then served as United We Dream’s Director of Advocacy and Policy, where she led the campaign to implement DACA and was part of the team that persuaded the Obama administration to protect four million undocumented Americans through DAPA.She currently serves as a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Board, Edward W. Hazen Foundation Board of Trustees, FWD.us Board of Directors, and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) Board of Directors.
Lorella is a proud Latina who believes that we will win.
Vice President for US Programs
Maria Torres-Springer is vice president for US programs at the Ford Foundation. She oversees all of the foundation’s domestic programming for Civic Engagement and Government, Creativity and Free Expression, Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice, Future of Work(ers), Just Cities and Regions, and Technology and Society.
Maria’s extensive experience includes almost 15 years in public service with the City of New York, where she led three agencies addressing some of the city’s most significant public policy challenges such as housing affordability, economic development, and workforce development. Throughout her tenure in the public sector and in previous roles in the non-profit and private sectors, she has worked to create powerful partnerships among communities, business, and government in pursuit of expanded economic opportunity and justice for the historically marginalized.
Maria earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
President and CEO
Missouri Foundation for Health
During his nearly 20 years in philanthropy, Dr. Dwayne Proctor has always worked to ensure that American communities were healthy and thriving.
Before becoming president and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health in 2021, he served in a variety of roles at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2002, he joined as a senior communications and program officer, providing strategic guidance and resources for several child health and risk-prevention initiatives such as Nurse-Family Partnership, Free to Grow, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol-Free, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, and the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy.
In 2005, Dr. Proctor was tapped to lead RWJF’s national strategies to reverse the rise in childhood obesity rates. In this role, he worked with his colleagues to promote effective changes to public policies and industry practices, test and demonstrate innovative community and school-based environmental changes and leverage sustainable changes using both “grassroots” and “treetops” advocacy approaches to educate local and national leaders on their roles and opportunities to prevent childhood obesity.
Prior to RWJF, Dr. Proctor was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine where he taught courses on health communication and marketing practices to reach multicultural populations. During his Fulbright Fellowship in Senegal, West Africa, his research team investigated how HIV/AIDS prevention messages raised awareness of AIDS as a national health problem.
Dr. Proctor received his doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in marketing and communication science from the University of Connecticut. He is the former chairman of the board of directors for the Association of Black Foundation Executives and currently is the chairman of the board of trustees for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Foundation.