New Era of Board Leadership Begins at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Three new members and a new executive committee mark smooth transition as
Missouri Foundation for Health President & CEO Dr. Dwayne Proctor  succeeds
Children’s Defense Fund President & CEO Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson as Board Chair.  

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) ushered in a new fiscal year this week by announcing the election of a new Executive Committee and welcoming three nonprofit and foundation leaders as members of its Board of Directors.

The DC-based philanthropic advocacy group announced this week that Sarita Gupta (Vice President of U.S. Programs at The Ford Foundation), Nana Gyamfi (Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration) and Eric Ward (Executive Vice President of Race Forward) had joined the board effective October 1. They also announced that President and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health Dr. Dwayne Proctor had been elected the Board’s new Chair, succeeding Children’s Defense Fund President & CEO Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson.

Dr. Proctor has more than 20 years working in philanthropy, holding a variety of roles at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation before becoming President and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health in 2021.

headshots of NCRP's new Executive Committee: (from top left to top right) Board Chair Dr. Dwayne Proctor (President and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health), Vice-Chair Daayiah Bilal-Threats (National Education Association), Secretary Don Ragona (Native American Rights Fund) , Treasurer Molly Schultz Hafid (Butler Family Fund), and At-Large member Farhad Ibrahimi (Chorus Foundation).

NCRP’s new Executive Committee includes (from top left to top right): Board Chair Dr. Dwayne Proctor (President and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health), Vice-Chair Daayiah Bilal-Threats (National Education Association), Secretary Don Ragona (Native American Rights Fund) , Treasurer Molly Schultz Hafid (Butler Family Fund), and At-Large member Farhad Ebrahimi (Chorus Foundation).

“I am honored and humbled to lead NCRP’s board at such an important time for the sector and the nation,” said Dr. Proctor. “While building an equitable, multiracial democracy is not the sole responsibility of philanthropy, our financial and social capital play an important role in ensuring that all communities have the resources to thrive and heal from systemic injustices and obstacles.”

“Dr. Proctor’s extensive experience in philanthropy has been consistently dedicated to ensuring that all of our communities have the same opportunities to be healthy and successful,” said Rev. Dr. Wilson. “I can’t think of a better person to lead what is an outstanding group of leaders committed to pushing philanthropy to increase their support of movements and to be more transparent with and accountable to the communities we all serve.”

Dr. Proctor heads a new Executive Committee that includes Daayiah Bilal-Threats of the National Education Association as Vice Chair, Don Ragona of the Native American Rights Fund as Secretary, Molly Schultz Hafid of Butler Family Fund as Treasurer, and Farhad Ebrahimi of Chorus Foundation as the At-Large member.

Bilal-Threats, along with current Board members Sharon Alpert, Jocelyn Sargent, Joe Scantlebury and Pamela Shifman, were also re-elected to serve another three-year term on the Board.

“We are blessed to have had – and continue to have — a board that is involved in so much of the change that we want to see happening in the sector,” said NCRP President and CEO Aaron Dorfman. “Their commitment and contributions are vital as we continuously push philanthropy to boldly invest in intersectional movements and leaders that are working to build a more just and equitable world.”

A former Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Proctor was also 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. He is the current chairman of the board of trustees for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Foundation, and former chairman of the board of directors for the Association of Black Foundation Executives.

Bold Leadership that Continues to Support Movements & Push Philanthropy to be Better

While he remains a Board member, Rev. Dr. Wilson steps down as board chair after six years that saw the organization’s release of popular publications like Power Moves and the launching of important initiatives like the Movement Investment Project.

Dorfman credited Rev. Dr. Wilson for building on the important work of past Board Chair Sherece West-Scantlebury, who presided over the creation of NCRP’s bold strategic framework nearly a decade ago.

“I couldn’t have had a better partner and friend in the trenches of some of this work,” said Dorfman. “Rev. Dr. Wilson’s leadership over these last six years has been crucial in helping our Board and staff execute a vision for philanthropy that not only centers and prioritizes impacted communities, but also shifts power to the movements and grassroots leaders that are on the frontlines of important battles against systemic inequities and injustice.”

“It’s been a pleasure and honor to work with such a remarkable group of nonprofit and foundation leaders.” said Rev. Dr. Wilson, who assumed the Board Chair position when he was President & CEO of the Deaconess Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri. “From the Trump presidency through the pandemic through this current period of social uncertainty, I have always been surrounded by those who have always been lovingly committed to each other and our work in ensuring that philanthropy uses its wealth to be transformational agents of just, equitable social change.”

Dorfman also announced that long-time board members Kate Villers, Crystal Hayling, and Cristina Jiménez have stepped off the board.

“We are so thankful for the energy, insight, and perspective that Kate, Crystal and Cristina brought to our work,” said Dorfman.  “Their leadership, relationships and values-based commitment have helped root our research and advocacy in the urgent practical needs of movements and other community-centered groups.”

For a full list of the current NCRP Board of Directors, visit the NCRP website at


The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has served as philanthropy’s critical friend and independent watchdog since 1976. We work with foundations, nonprofits, social justice movements and other leaders to ensure that the sector is transparent with, and accountable to, those with the least wealth, power and opportunity in American society.

Our storytelling, advocacy, and research efforts, in partnership with grantees, help funders fulfill their moral and practical duty to build, share, and wield economic resources and power to serve public purposes in pursuit of justice.

About Our New Members 

Color Headshot of Sarita GuptaSarita Gupta  
Vice President of Programs
The Ford Foundation

Sarita Gupta is vice president of U.S. Programs, overseeing the Ford Foundation’s domestic work including Civic Engagement and Government, Creativity and Free Expression, Future of Work(ers), Technology and Society, Disability Rights, and Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice. Gupta joined the foundation in 2019 as director of the Future of Work(ers) program, bringing more than two decades of experience working to expand people’s ability to take collective action to improve their workplaces, communities, and lives by creating meaningful solutions.

Gupta has played a key role in building numerous workers’ rights campaigns, previously serving as executive director of Jobs With Justice and co-director of Caring Across Generations, a national movement transforming the way America defines care so all families can live well and age with dignity. She is also co-author of The Future We Need: Organizing for a Better Democracy in the Twenty-First Century.

Color Headshot of NCRP Board Member Nana GyamfiNana Gyamfi 
Executive Director
Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Nana Gyamfi is the Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), a Black national organization that fights for the rights of Black migrants and African Americans through organizing, legal advocacy, research, policy, and narrative building to improve the conditions of Black communities by advancing racial justice and migrant rights.

A Movement attorney for over 25 years, Nana is co-founder of Justice Warriors 4 Black Lives and Human Rights Advocacy, organizations dedicated to fighting for human rights and Black liberation. She is a former professor in the Pan African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles and the former President of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL)

Color headshot NCRP Board Member and Race Forward Executive Vice President Eric WardEric Ward 
Executive Vice President
Race Forward

Eric K. Ward is a nationally-recognized expert on the relationship between authoritarian movements, hate violence, and preserving inclusive democracy. He brings over three decades of leadership in community organizing and philanthropy to Race Forward, having worked with leaders from government, law enforcement, business, and civil rights groups to advance civil rights work. Eric also serves on the boards of several organizations.

An author, in-demand speaker, and media source, Eric has written multiple works and has been quoted in various widely read mainstream media outlets. His singer-songwriter talents helped launch the Western States Center Inclusive Democracy Culture Lab.  In 2021, Eric became the first American recipient of the Civil Courage Price, adding to the awards and distinctions he has received throughout his career, including the Peabody-Facebook Futures Media Award.

His previous work in philanthropy includes holding various positions with Atlantic Philanthropies and the Ford Foundation.