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Board of Trustees

Rupa Balasubramanian

Board Chair

Vice President
Pop Culture Collaborative

Rupa Balasubramanian is a strategic advisor, working at the intersection of philanthropy, policy advocacy and social movements. Currently she serves as a Vice President at 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 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 about our board, please contact [email protected]


Xavier de Souza Briggs

Vice Chair

Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Washington, DC

Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, What Works Plus Funder Collaborative

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 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.


Stephen McConnell


Former President 
Civic Participation Action Fund

Stephen McConnell, Ph.D., is the Past President of the Civic Participation Action Fund, a time-limited 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, Steve 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. Steve earned both his Ph.D. in Sociology and a B.A. from the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Santa Fe, NM.


Cliff Albright


Executive Director

Black Voters Matter Fund

Cliff Albright is a 2020 Soros Equality Fellow and co-founder/Executive Director of Black Voters Matter Fund (and BVM Capacity Building Institute) which builds community and oters organizational capacity related to Black voting power. BVM received national attention in 2017 when they helped mobilize Black voters during the U.S. Senate race between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Since then, Cliff and the BVM team have traveled throughout twenty primarily southern states in “The Blackest Bus in America” energizing voters and exposing voter suppression. He and his team recently played a critical role in the 2020 election cycle, including the historic Georgia runoff elections for U.S. Senate. Cliff was also at the forefront of the battle for voting rights legislation throughout 2021, during which he was personally arrested five times while engaging in non-violent civil disobedience. Cliff has served as an instructor of African-American Studies at several universities, and he has contributed articles to and been featured on the following outlets: CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Politico and more. Cliff previously worked in the field of international development, focusing on the political economy of Eastern and Southern Africa, and he later lived in historic Selma, Alabama, where he focused on bringing financial resources to Alabama’s blackbelt region. Cliff attended Cornell University, where he obtained his B.S. in Applied Economics and an M.P.S. in Africana Studies. He also has an M.B.A. from the University of Alabama.


Naomi Aberly

Political Activist

Naomi Aberly is a political activist, civic volunteer and donor who devotes her efforts to building progressive infrastructure, with a particular focus on reproductive justice.  She has been deeply involved in progressive politics, policy making and fundraising at the state and federal levels for two decades.

Naomi has extensive experience in the formation and governance of political and charitable organizations — as an advisor, board member, committee chair, and board chair. 

Naomi began her work in politics and policy in Texas, helping to found Annie’s List in 2003, chairing the board of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, and co-founding Battleground TX in 2013. In addition, Naomi served as co-chair of Wendy Davis’ gubernatorial race in 2014.

As a political fundraiser at the federal level, Naomi began hosting events for Congressional candidates in 2005. Naomi joined the Obama for America National Finance Committee in early 2007 and continued as a National Finance Committee member for the 2012 election.  Naomi served as a Vice Chair of the DNC from 2012-2015 and was a member of the Democratic Victory Task Force of the DNC in 2014- 2015.

Naomi served as Board Chair of Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 2017 – 2019 and co-chaired Planned Parenthood’s $250 million Second Century Campaign. She is a former member of the board of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and former Chair of the Planned Parenthood Federal PAC.

She currently serves on the board of the ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts, the Texas Future Project, the Fairness Project, the Voter Formation Project and the executive committee of Invest to Elect Boston. Naomi is a member and supporter of the Planned Parenthood Leadership Council, the Women Donors Network, Way to Win and the Movement Voter Project.

She lives in Boston, MA and shares her work with her husband, Larry Lebowitz, and their two young adult sons.


Ashley Allison

Founding Partner

The Turner Conoly Group

Builder, creator, advocate, and organizer, Ashley Allison is an Obama-Biden Administration and Biden-Harris campaign senior staffer with more than 15 years of experience building campaigns and strategies that lead to victory. As the National Coalitions Director for Biden-Harris 2020 presidential campaign, she led nearly 500 staff and paid fellows to activate the most robust coalition of voters in modern history. Ashley's commitment to racial equity and civil rights has been proven throughout her career. She served as the Executive Vice President at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights from 2017-2021. Under her leadership, she led the organization’s strategies on how to run campaigns and policy efforts during the Resistance. Prior to joining The Leadership Conference, Ashley was the deputy director and senior policy advisor for the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement from 2014 to 2017. She honed her crisis management skills while leading the White House efforts on criminal justice and policing reform. Ashley’s organizing skills were first noticed in national politics when she joined the Obama campaign in the most contested battleground state of Ohio to run African American outreach for the Obama 2012 reelection. Before entering politics, Ashley began her career as a high school special education teacher in Brooklyn, New York and earned her master’s in education. She earned her law degree with a specialty in public interest law focusing on housing rights, voting and democracy, and racial equity. Ashley serves as the Board Chair for the Color of Change PAC Board and is a member of the Free Press Action Fund Board, is a political commentator for CNN, and the former host of the podcast, Pod for Cause.


Ann O'Leary


Jenner & Block

Ann O’Leary is a partner at the international law firm Jenner & Block with decades of experience in government, politics, social policy, and non-profit leadership. As a lawyer and crisis leader, she has worked on significant equity, climate, economic, and public health issues.

Ms. O’Leary currently serves in the firm’s Litigation Department and is Co-Chair of Jenner’s Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation Practice. In addition, Ms. O’Leary created Jenner & Block’s Post-Dobb’s Task Force to address complex client facing issues that continue to develop in the aftermath the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Prior to joining Jenner & Block, Ms. O’Leary served as Chief of Staff to the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, serving during an unprecedented time of challenge for California in which she worked with the Governor to address the COVID-19 public health and economic response and manage the worst wildfires in the state’s history. Additionally, she led the development and implementation of the proactive agenda of the Governor to expand opportunity and affordability in California, including notable expansions of California’s Earned Income Tax Credit and Paid Family Leave. 

Ms. O’Leary previously served as Senior Policy Advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Co-Executive Director of the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project. She was a Deputy City Attorney in San Francisco; Executive Director of UC Berkeley Law’s Center on Health, Economic, and Family Security and lecturer-in-law at UC Berkeley Law; legislative director for Senator Hillary Clinton; and a policy advisor with the White House Domestic Policy Council under President Bill Clinton.

Ms. O’Leary received her law degree from Berkeley Law, her master’s degree from Stanford University, and her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College.


Andrea Cristina Mercardo

Executive Director
Florida Rising

Andrea Cristina Mercardo leads scaled civic engagement programs, and strategic campaigns that center Black and Brown communities. Florida Rising is the result of the merger of New Florida Majority and Organize Florida. Under her leadership, New Florida Majority registered over 150,000 Floridians to vote. The daughter of immigrants from South America, who made South Florida home, Andrea has been organizing in communities of color and immigrant communities for twenty years, she helped build Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a grassroots organization focused on domestic violence and immigrant rights in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She is also one of the Co-Founders of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, where she served as Director of Organizing. She led the California Domestic Worker Coalition, a statewide effort to include domestic workers in labor laws, which successfully passed Domestic Worker Bill of Rights Legislation in 2013, and over seven states have now passed similar legislation. She went on to lead nationally recognized campaigns for immigrant and worker rights such as We Belong Together, and the 100 women 100-mile pilgrimage for migrant dignity. The mother of two is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. She is a graduate of Brown University, Fulbright Scholar and Emily’s list awardee, recently named best South Florida Activist by the Miami New Times.


René Spellman


René Spellman is a media and entertainment executive who deeply believes that cultural organizing ignites people-powered change. She has 15 years of experience advising C-suite executive leaders, entertainment influencers, and elected officials to build power and inspire impact.

René is now Chief Impact Officer and a founding partner in Obsidianworks, the full-service marketing agency from executive chairman Michael B. Jordan and co-founder Chad Easterling. The agency is purpose-built for a more inclusive era of brand storytelling that reflects our diverse community, with a roster of clients including Marriott International, Target, YouTube, Nike, and Moët Hennessy.

Previously, she was an executive at sports and entertainment powerhouse CAA and at an award-winning public relations firm. She began her career by working in grassroots organizing and political strategy, including on five US presidential campaigns. Recently, she was the deputy campaign manager for a presidential campaign and serves as a general consultant and campaign manager at the presidential through mayoral levels.
René is passionate about service and leadership as a board member for nonprofit organizations including Michael B. Jordan's Outlier Society Fellowship, Norman Lear's People for the American Way, Kendrick Sampson's BLD PWR, and Quentin & Stephanie James' The Collective PAC. She also co-founded advocacy initiatives I am a Voter and #ChangeHollywood.

René is proud alumnae of Stanford University, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, and a recovering rower and ballerina. She recently received the Agency Leader award from Ragan PR & PR Daily in the Top Women in Marketing Awards.


Sabrina Stratton

Senior Vice President 
Head of Commercial Banking – Northeast

Sabrina Stratton is a seasoned banking executive with a successful track record in the financial services industry. As the Senior Vice President and Northeast Regional Director for the Commercial Bank at Amalgamated Bank, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the bank’s commercial strategy, fostering client relationships, and driving growth.  She joined Amalgamated Bank over a decade ago, drawn by the institution’s commitment to social responsibility and community impact.  Throughout her tenure, Sabrina has spearheaded initiatives that bridge financial services with positive societal change.  Prior to becoming Northeast Regional Director, Sabrina served as First Vice President, Commercial Banking where she managed $4 billion in client assets within the social impact, nonprofit, and union sector. Prior to joining Amalgamated Bank, Sabrina took on roles of increasing responsibility at Wachovia Bank (acquired by Wells Fargo), SunTrust Bank, Arvest, and JP Morgan Chase.   Sabrina’s leadership style is characterized by collaboration, transparency, and a deep understanding of market dynamics.  Under her guidance, the Commercial Banking division has expanded its portfolio and achieved significant growth. 

Beyond her corporate role, Sabrina actively serves as Board Chair for Women Creating Change and Board Director for Community Health Center Capital Fund and Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

Sabrina holds a BSBA and MS in Accountancy. Sabrina is a certified public accountant and certified treasury professional. 

In her personal time, Sabrina enjoys running marathons and spending time with her family.


Michael D. Tubbs

Mayors for Guaranteed Income and Ending Poverty in California

Michael Tubbs is the Founder of EPIC; the Founder of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income; and the Special Advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom for Economic Mobility. In 2016, he was elected Mayor of Stockton at 26-years-old. He was the city’s first African-American Mayor, and the youngest Mayor of any major city in American history. As Mayor, Tubbs was lauded for his leadership and innovation. He raised over $20 million dollars to create the Stockton Scholars, a universal scholarship and mentorship program for Stockton students. Additionally, he piloted the first mayor-led guaranteed income pilot in the country.​

Under his leadership, Stockton was named an “All-America City” in 2017 and 2018 by the National Civic League. The city saw a 40% drop in homicides in 2018 and 2019, led the state of California in the decline of officer involved shootings in 2019, and was named the second most fiscally healthy city in California. Additionally, it was recognized as one of the most fiscally healthy cities in the nation and was featured in an HBO documentary film, Stockton on My Mind.

Tubbs has been named a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics and The MIT Media Lab, a member of Fortune’s Top 40 under 40, a Forbes 30 under 30 All Star Alumni, "the Most Valuable Mayor "by The Nation, the 2019 New Frontier Award Winner from the JFK Library, and the 2021 Civic Leadership Award winner from The King Center. Prior to his tenure as Mayor, Tubbs served as a council member for the City of Stockton District 6, a high school educator, and a fellow for the Stanford Design School and the Emerson Collective.​

On November 16, 2021, Tubbs released The Deeper The Roots: A Memoir of Hope and Home. The book relates Tubbs’ story of growing up in poverty, but lays his vision for leadership and policy that is more empathetic and responsive to people who are struggling.


June Wilson

Executive Director
Compton Foundation

June Wilson, a celebrated philanthropic leader in racial justice advocacy and alternative approaches to legacy and perpetuity, is Executive Director of the Compton Foundation. She is guiding the 75-year-old philanthropic organization’s trajectory as it moves all of its assets toward its purpose: climate resilience, peace and security, democracy, reproductive justice, and narrative strategy. To that end, Wilson is shaping the foundation’s reparations strategy and transitioning its partners toward new avenues of support. Overall, the foundation’s process of “spending up,” in alignment with its mission, will enable Compton to close its doors at the end of 2025.

Wilson brings extensive hands-on expertise to this effort, having guided the sunset process of the Quixote Foundation in Seattle, Washington. She has engaged philanthropic families and foundations in examining and designing practices and policies that promote racial equity and justice, repair, and return, and encourages foundations to consider increased financial payout and alternative models to perpetuity. Wilson’s background as a choreographer, movement-based performer, and community arts organizer are foundational to her leadership style. She values reflective listening and utilizes creative and improvisational approaches to feed and sustain her life, her leadership, and her relationships with others. Wilson uses the pronouns she, her, and hers, and cherishes her identities of mother, daughter, sister, spouse, and friend.


Heather C. McGhee

Trustee Emeritus


Heather designs and promotes solutions to inequality in America. Over her career in public policy, Heather has crafted legislation, testified before Congress and helped shape presidential campaign platforms. Her book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was longlisted for the National Book Award and Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. The paperback version will be out in February 2022. The Sum of Us will be adapted into a Spotify podcast by Higher Ground, the production company of Barack and Michelle Obama in June 2022, and into a young adult readers’ version by Random House Children’s in 2023. Heather is an educator, serving currently as a Visiting Lecturer in Urban Studies at the City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies. She has also held visiting positions at Yale University’s Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Program and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. She is the recipient of honorary degrees from Muhlenberg College, Niagara University, and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. For nearly two decades, Heather helped build the non-partisan "think and do" tank Demos, serving four years as president. Under McGhee’s leadership, Demos moved their original idea for “debt-free college” into the center of the 2016 presidential debate, argued before the Supreme Court to protect voting rights in January 2018, helped win pro-voter reforms in five states over two years, provided expert testimony to Congressional committees, including a Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 2017, and led the research campaigns behind successful wage increases for low-paid workers on federal contracts, as well as at McDonalds, Walmart and other chain retailers. As an executive, McGhee transformed Demos on multiple levels. She led a successful strategic planning and rebranding process. She designed a Racial Equity Organizational Transformation which led to an increase in staff racial diversity (from 27 percent people of color to 60 percent in four years), an original racial equity curriculum for staff professional development and a complete overhaul of the organization’s research, litigation and campaign strategies using a racial equity lens. McGhee also nearly doubled the organizational budget in four years. A strong coalition-builder and trusted cross-movement leader,  She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law,. McGhee is the chair of the board of Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, and also serves on the boards of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Open Society Foundations’ US Programs and Demos.


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.