Board of Trustees

Joshua Fryday

Board Chair

Chief Service Officer  
California Volunteers

Josh Fryday was appointed California’s Chief Service Officer by Governor Newsom in 2019 to lead service, volunteer and civic engagement efforts throughout California. Prior to this appointment he served as the President of Golden State Opportunity (GSO), working to provide financial security to millions of low-income working people in California. He served in the military as an Officer in the United States Navy (‘09-‘13) as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). He was also stationed in the Office of Military Commissions, working on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detainee cases, and testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the closing of Guantanamo. Before serving in the Armed Services, Josh worked as a political advisor and organizer on local, state and national campaigns, including the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections. Josh received his law degree from the UC Berkeley School of Law and his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his current position, he served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for NextGen Climate, a leading national organization focused on climate change and clean energy.

 

Rupa Balasubramanian

Vice Chair

Strategic Advisor

Rupa Balasubramanian is a strategic advisor, working at the intersection of philanthropy, policy advocacy and social movements. Currently she serves as a Senior Advisor to the Pop Culture Collaborative, a philanthropic resource and funder learning community that uses grantmaking, convening, narrative strategy, and research to transform the narrative landscape for marginalized communities. Formerly a Partner at Fundamental, a boutique philanthropic advising firm, Rupa has nearly 20 years of experience managing private and family foundations in Los Angeles, supporting organizations focused on education, women’s health, the environment, civic engagement, and civil rights. Rupa worked with Barbra Streisand and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to create the Women’s Heart Alliance, a national non-profit organization aimed at increasing the awareness of women’s heart disease and advocate for gender-specific research. She serves on the board of directors of Vote.org and Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Rupa previously worked in crisis management at Hill & Knowlton, Inc., a leading international communications firm. During the Clinton Administration, Rupa worked in the Press Secretary’s office at the White House. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her Masters degree in Public Administration at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development.

For Information or Questions, Contact Our Board Liaison

Ruth Wooden

Board Treasurer

Former President
Public Agenda

Ruth Wooden is a retired Communications and Policy professional who served as President of both the Advertising Council and Public Agenda. She has served as a Director or Trustee of a number of nonprofit boards including CARE, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Columbia University School of a Public Health, Independent Sector, Research America, Partnership for Drug Free America, and Encore.org where she served as board chair for six years. She is currently the board chair of Futures Without Violence. She also served as a Director of the US Trust Company. She has been a Director of Demos since 2000. She is a native of Minnesota and a graduate of the University there. She received an MA in Religious Studies in 2016 from Union Theological Seminary and currently directs the Encore Transition Program there. She lives in New York City and Callicoon, New York. 
 

Paul Egerman

Board Secretary

Software Entrepreneur

Paul Egerman is businessman and entrepreneur. Paul was previously CEO and co-founder of eScription, Inc., a software company that provides speech recognition services to physicians. Formerly, Paul was the COO of IDX, a worldwide supplier of software solutions for healthcare organizations. Paul is also active with many community organizations. 
 

Wally Adeyemo

President
Obama Foundation

Wally Adeyemo is the President of the Obama Foundation, where he manages the Foundation’s day-to-day operations, implementing the organization’s overall strategic goals and vision. He has spent his career working with organizations at the intersection of public policy, the private sector, and non-profit that are focused on empowerment and economic opportunity.

Mr. Adeyemo was Appointed as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council by President Obama in 2015, serving as the President’s senior international economic advisor. He was responsible for coordinating the policymaking process related to international finance, trade and investment, energy, and environmental issues. He also served as the President’s representative to the G-7 and G-20. Prior to this, Wally held several management positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, including senior adviser and deputy chief of staff.

Raised east of Los Angeles, California, Mr. Adeyemo is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Yale Law School.

 

Shakeeb Alam

Investor

Shakeeb Alam is an investor and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in finance. His firm manages investments for many mission-driven organizations including philanthropic foundations, universities, museums and other institutional investors.

Beyond his business activities, Shakeeb is deeply engaged is his community and is active with several philanthropic and community organizations. Shakeeb currently serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Illinois Foundation where he is a member of the Investment Policy Committee that oversees the university’s endowment. Shakeeb also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Hartford Seminary where he is a member of the Strategic Planning and the Investment Committees.

Shakeeb grew up in Chicago and is a graduate of Chicago Public Schools. He earned a B.S. in Finance and from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

 

Xavier de Souza Briggs

Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business, Public Service & Sociology
New York University

Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program
Brookings Institute 

Xav Briggs is an award-winning scholar and educator whose work addresses economic opportunity and inequality, housing and urban development, democracy, and government effectiveness, he is also an experienced leader in government and philanthropy. Xav was a senior policy official in the Obama White House, a faculty member at Harvard and later the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and most recently vice president of the Ford Foundation. He serves on the boards of the Global Impact Investing Network, Just Capital, and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences and is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. His books include The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in AmericaDemocracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities across the Globe, and Moving to Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty. Xav earned an engineering degree at Stanford University, an MPA at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD in sociology and education at Columbia University. He was a Rotary Scholar at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.

 

Taifa Butler

Executive Director
Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

Taifa Smith Butler is Executive Director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, where she leads and inspires the GBPI team to accomplish the nonprofit’s mission to advance lasting solutions that expand economic opportunity and wellbeing for all Georgians. She is a problem solver, tireless champion for equity, working families and investing early in children — Georgia’s greatest asset.

Taifa brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Taifa is an avid education and family advocate. She has served on a host of statewide and national steering committees, advisory boards and coalitions.  She was a member of Leadership Georgia Class of 2016 and a Rockwood Leadership Institute Leading from the Inside Out Fellow, Class of 2017. Taifa currently serves on the board of trustees of the Betty & Davis Fitzgerald Foundation.
 

Jun Choi

CEO
Menlo Realty Ventures

Jun Choi is CEO of Menlo Realty Ventures, a real estate investment firm focused on converting brownfield sites to clean, modern industrial use. He has held leadership roles in government and business. Before entering real estate, he served as Mayor of New Jersey’s fifth largest municipality, Edison Township, where he led a good government movement to improve government services, make democracy more inclusive and build a stronger sense of community.  Edison received several honors under his watch including the “Best Place to Raise Kids” in NJ according to BusinessWeek magazine. Jun also served as Executive Director of a statewide Task Force to improve NJ's student achievement measures and began his career as a management consultant. Jun serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of NJ Policy Perspective, the leading progressive policy organization in NJ, and serves on the Executive Committee of the Regional Plan Association.
 

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder

Bishop
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder, a San Francisco native, is the founder and Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational fellowship of churches and faith-based organizations throughout the United States, Mexico, Asia and Africa. Her roots are in the Church of God in Christ, and she is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church. Bishop Flunder is the founding pastor of City of Refuge UCC. She holds degrees from Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley (MA) and San Francisco Theological Seminary (D.Min). She recorded and performed with Walter Hawkins and the Family and the Love Center Choir. She serves as a Board member of Starr King School for the Ministry and as a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary. She is an educator, and an adjunct professor at several seminaries including New York Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and Pacific School of Religion. 
 

Richard E. Goldman

Co-Founder (Retired)
Men's Wearhouse

Richie Goldman is currently the President of Encardia Wellness and Board Chair of San Domenico School. In his earlier career he was the co-Founder of Men’s Wearhouse (TLRD:NYSE). He is widely recognized as the marketing mastermind of MW, from his insistence on using TV as the main form of advertising as far back as 1975, to his careful nurturing and managing of the MW brand and image as the company expanded from one part of the country to another. In January of 2009, Richie released his book, Luck by Design Certain Success in an Uncertain World. The book, aimed at the children of Baby Boomers, received praise from educators, fellow authors, and reviewers. It won “Best General Non-Fiction” at the San Francisco Book Festival in 2009 and was a finalist in the Self-Help: Motivational category at the National Best Books 2009. Richie graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in English.
 

David Johnson

Founder
Act 4 Entertainment

David Johnson is the founder of Act 4 Entertainment, a filmed entertainment and new media content company created to inspire social action. David was previously Senior Executive Vice President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and a partner of the law firm White & Case. David is a Life Trustee and former Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art and a board member and former Chair of Public Counsel. Additionally, David serves on the boards of California Institute of the Arts, Demos, Human Rights Watch (California), Public Media Group of Southern California, The Smithsonian National Board, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, and the Yale School of Drama. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.
 

Stephen McConnell

President 
Civic Participation Action Fund

Stephen McConnell, Ph.D., is the President of the Civic Participation Action Fund, a non-partisan 501(c)4 grantmaking organization devoted to creating a more progressive policy and political environment by expanding civic engagement among low income communities and communities of color. Prior to launching CPAF, Stephen was U.S. Country Director for the Atlantic Philanthropies. He has also served as Vice President for Advocacy and Public Policy at the Alzheimer’s Association, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, and professional staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on Aging.  Earlier, he held a research associate appointment at the Andrus Gerontology Center of the University of Southern California. Stephen earned both his Ph.D. in Sociology and a B.A. from the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Washington, DC. 
 

Mary Mountcastle

Trustee
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Mary Mountcastle is a trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds and Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundations, a Distinguished Fellow with the National Center for Family Philanthropy, an executive committee member with the Committee on States and has served on the boards of numerous state and national organizations. Previously, Mary was a senior manager at Self-Help, the nation's largest nonprofit community development lender, and served in senior positions at the Center for Responsible Lending and MDC Inc, a nonprofit policy research center as well as other private and public sector organizations. Mary holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA from Williams College.

 

Michael D. Tubbs

Mayor of Stockton, California

On November 8, 2016, Michael Tubbs was elected to serve as the mayor of his hometown—Stockton, California. Upon taking office in January 2017, Mayor Tubbs became Stockton’s first African-American Mayor and the youngest mayor of any major city in America. Mayor Tubbs’ leadership paired with an ambitious progressive agenda has received national recognition. He has been recognized as one of Politico’s Top 50, Fortune’s 2018 Top "40 under 40," Forbes' 2018 list of the “30 Under 30”, and received the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award in 2019. In his first year, Mayor Tubbs secured $20,000,000 to launch Stockton Scholars, a place-based scholarship that aims to dramatically increase the number of Stockton students entering and graduating from college. Mayor Tubbs also brought Advance Peace to Stockton, a data-driven program that works to reduce gun violence in communities. With an innovative public-private partnership supported by a $1,000,000 grant, Tubbs launched the nation’s first-ever mayor-led guaranteed income pilot known as Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED). Based on the success of SEED, Tubbs’ latest initiative is Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI). MGI is a coalition of mayors advocating for a guaranteed income to ensure that all Americans have an income floor. Under his leadership Stockton has been named an All-America City three times, in 2018 was named the second most fiscally healthy city in the country, and homicides have been reduced by 40%.

 

Tom Unterman

Founding Partner
Rustic Canyon Partners

After a long and successful business career, Tom Unterman  is primarily active  in charitable activities and progressive causes. He is Chairman of the California Community Foundation, Chairman of UCLA Technology Development Corp. and a Trustee of  CalSTRS. He is also a member of the board of The Advancement Project, Youth Policy Institute and The Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles. Professionally, he is the Founding Partner of Rustic Canyon Partners, a venture capital investment firm. He is also a member of board of several of Rustic Canyon’s  portfolio companies, as well as a director of Praedicat, and Blackline Systems (BL). Prior to forming Rustic Canyon, Tom was the Executive Vice President and CFO of The Times Mirror Company. Earlier, Tom had a 25 year career as a corporate lawyer;  first as a partner of Orrick and then as a partner of Morrison & Foerster. 
 

Charles R. Halpern

Trustee Emeritus

Founding Board Chair
Demos

Charles Halpern was cofounder of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Bazelon Center for Law and Mental Health, The City University of New York School of Law, and the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. He was the founding president of the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Currently, he consults on issues relating to the preservation and improvement of democratic practices and institutions, and on mindfulness and law.

 

Stephen Heintz

Trustee Emeritus

President
Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Stephen Heintz is the president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a foundation that advances social change for a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. In 2010, he set an ambitious path to align investment of the Fund’s financial assets with its mission, resulting in the Fund’s 2014 decision to divest from fossil fuels. Stephen is a co-founder of Demos, and has devoted his career to strengthening democratic culture and institutions. In 2018, he was named by the Academy of Arts and Sciences as one of three co-chairs of a national Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. He also served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the EastWest Institute in Prague during the 1990s.He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. He is the recipient of the Council on Foundations 2018 Distinguished Service Award.

 

Heather C. McGhee

Trustee Emeritus

Advocate/Author

Heather C. McGhee joined Demos in 2002 and served as its president from 2014 through June, 2018. She was the Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos from 2018 to 2020. As an NBC News Political Analyst, Heather regularly elevates the concerns of working families on shows including “Meet the Press” and “Real Time with Bill Maher”. She has testified in Congress, drafted legislation, and developed strategies for organizations and campaigns that won changes to improve the lives of millions.

Her upcoming book, The Sum of Us, is available for pre-order now from One World, an imprint of Random House. Heather graduated from Yale University and University of California Berkeley School of Law, and has an honorary degree from Muhlenberg College. She is the chair of the board of Color of Change, the country’s largest online racial justice organization, and volunteers for numerous other boards in philanthropy and social justice.

 

Miles Rapoport

Trustee Emeritus

Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy
Ash Center for Democratic Governance, The Harvard Kennedy School

Miles Rapoport served as President of Demos for 13 years, from 2001-2014, helping to lead the organization from a start-up to a strong and well-established progressive policy center. Prior to his tenure at Demos, Miles served as an elected official for 14 years in the state of Connecticut, where he was a strong advocate for economic and racial justice, and a fully inclusive democracy. He was a state legislator from 1985-1994, and then Secretary of the State from 1995-1998. In his current role at the Kennedy School, Miles works to connect the faculty and students at the school to the ‘field of practice’ of democracy reform, including issues of expansion of voting participation, gerrymandering, and campaign finance reform. He writes frequently on democracy issues for The American Prospect magazine, and serves on the Boards of State Voices, Everyday Democracy, The American Prospect, and the Scherman Foundation.

 

Amelia Warren Tyagi

Trustee Emeritus

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Business Talent Group

Amelia Warren Tyagi is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Business Talent Group. She was previously a management consultant and an entrepreneur, and is a nationally recognized writer.

Amelia co-founded HealthAllies, a venture capital-backed health benefits firm which was later acquired by United Health Group, the second largest health insurer in the U.S. She has completed numerous consulting engagements, first as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey&Company and later as an independent consultant.

She is the co-author of two best-selling books, “The Two-Income Trap” and “All Your Worth”. She has written for Harvard Business Review, Time, USA Today, and other publications on a variety of topics including the US economy, health care, and women and work. She was a regular commentator for the nationally syndicated radio show Marketplace.

Amelia serves on the board of Fuse Corps, a leading nonprofit that enables local governments to leverage independent professionals to more effectively address biggest challenges facing cities today. Amelia holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from the Wharton School. She lives in Los Angeles.