Staff

Paul Di Donato

Paul Di Donato

President and CEO

Paul has been President and CEO of Proteus Fund since 2016. He is a deeply committed activist for comprehensive, progressive social change with a record of over thirty years of accomplishments.

Prior to becoming President, Paul directed Proteus Fund’s Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC) for eight years. The CMC was a groundbreaking donor col...

Paul has been President and CEO of Proteus Fund since 2016. He is a deeply committed activist for comprehensive, progressive social change with a record of over thirty years of accomplishments.

Prior to becoming President, Paul directed Proteus Fund’s Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC) for eight years. The CMC was a groundbreaking donor collaborative that played a critical role in winning the freedom to marry in the United States in 2015. Under his leadership, the program awarded over $20 million in grants strategically targeted to support a cultural sea change on the issue of marriage equality and LGBTQ justice at the state and national levels.

Before the CMC, Paul worked in New York and San Francisco pursuing his social justice values and vision as a philanthropic leader, non-profit executive, public policy advocate, consultant, and civil rights litigator. As Executive Director, he transformed Funders Concerned About AIDS into a leading international philanthropic actor in the response to the pandemic while advancing a variety of other initiatives mobilizing grantmakers to fight HIV/AIDS. At the beginning of Paul’s tenure in 1997, global investment in HIV/AIDS by American philanthropy was under $50 million. By the time he left FCAA in 2005, that figure had leaped to over $350 million. As Federal Affairs Director and Public Policy Director at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Public Policy Director at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Paul provided key leadership on a wide range of national and California-specific HIV/AIDS public policy victories on issues ranging from health care reform and privacy rights to housing and government appropriations. He also served as both Executive and Legal Director for National Gay Rights Advocates, one of the first national LGBTQ legal rights organizations.

Paul has also consulted on high-level strategy, program development and evaluation, leadership coaching and governance with a wide range of philanthropic, non-profit, and academic clients. He has served in several volunteer leadership positions, including the last eighteen years as a Trustee for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS – one of the largest HIV/AIDS grantmakers in the United States, having awarded over $200 million since its founding in 1987.

Paul became an activist as an undergraduate at University of Pennsylvania, where he dedicated his energies to anti-Apartheid, gender, and LGBTQ justice issues. While at Harvard Law School, his summer work at the National Women’s Law Center led to his appointment as the first man to be named a Revson Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. As an attorney in private practice, Paul litigated prison reform, employment discrimination, and voting rights cases. Paul is an honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School.

"Resist much, obey little." - Walt Whitman

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Beery Adams Jiménez

Beery Adams Jiménez

Director of Philanthropy and Fiscal Sponsorship

Beery joined Proteus Fund in August 2008. She began as a one-woman grants management shop, and has stewarded that function through exponential growth over the last decade. She now oversees our grants management team and directs our fiscal sponsorship and donor advised fund programs.

Beery started her career as the Baltimore City Immigrant ...

Beery joined Proteus Fund in August 2008. She began as a one-woman grants management shop, and has stewarded that function through exponential growth over the last decade. She now oversees our grants management team and directs our fiscal sponsorship and donor advised fund programs.

Beery started her career as the Baltimore City Immigrant Program Coordinator out of the Mayor’s Office of Community Investment. In this capacity, she piloted the City's immigrant outreach program and developed and instituted its language access policy. She also previously worked in the International Trade & Investment Office of the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development and served as the Associate Editor of the University of Arizona’s Global Water News Watch.

Beery was a 2014-15 Community Fellow at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. She has served on various boards and advisory committees, and is currently on the steering committee of PEAK Grantmaking’s New England chapter.

She holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona, and a BA in International Relations and Cultural Anthropology from James Madison University. She is a southern transplant to Massachusetts, and lives outside of Boston with her family.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Brenda Thomas

Brenda Thomas

Administrative Services Manager

Brenda has been with Proteus Fund since September 2006 and provides the organization with the structure that allows for smooth day to day functioning, and included in this is her work as project manager for the Proteus website and management of various Proteus data systems. Her skill at devising and maintaining organizational structures and systems is a c...

Brenda has been with Proteus Fund since September 2006 and provides the organization with the structure that allows for smooth day to day functioning, and included in this is her work as project manager for the Proteus website and management of various Proteus data systems. Her skill at devising and maintaining organizational structures and systems is a critical piece of Proteus’ ability to work in a continually changing, fast-paced environment. She earned her BA at Smith College in 2006 with a major in Afro-American Studies, and a Masters in Religion and Human Services from Liberty University. Before joining the staff at Proteus, she held the position of Development Assistant at the National Priorities Project. Her experience also includes administrative/support staff responsibilities at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

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Claire Downing

Claire Downing

Program Associate, Security & Rights Collaborative

Claire joined Proteus Fund as the Security & Rights Collaborative (SRC) Program Associate in December 2016. In her role, Claire works to support the administrative, communications, grant making and partnership development work of the SRC. Prior to joining Proteus, Claire was the Finance and Administration Officer at Namati, an international legal empowerm...

Claire joined Proteus Fund as the Security & Rights Collaborative (SRC) Program Associate in December 2016. In her role, Claire works to support the administrative, communications, grant making and partnership development work of the SRC. Prior to joining Proteus, Claire was the Finance and Administration Officer at Namati, an international legal empowerment NGO. Claire’s previous positions were in banking, finance, and government contracting, and she has also interned at Kroll, Transparency International-USA and on the Hill for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs (summa cum laude) from George Mason University, and a Master of Arts in International Affairs, concentration in Conflict and Conflict Resolution from the George Washington University. Claire is a current PhD student at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR).

"O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for God, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives" - Quran, Chapter 4, Verse 135

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Dini Merz

Dini Merz

Director, Colombe Peace Foundation

Dini joined Proteus Fund in 2003. Prior to joining the Proteus team, Dini was the Program Director for the Tremaine Foundation for which she designed grant-making strategies and evaluation frameworks for the foundation's three focus areas: Learning Disabilities, Arts, and the Environment. She also helped design Board-engagement programs and governance str...

Dini joined Proteus Fund in 2003. Prior to joining the Proteus team, Dini was the Program Director for the Tremaine Foundation for which she designed grant-making strategies and evaluation frameworks for the foundation's three focus areas: Learning Disabilities, Arts, and the Environment. She also helped design Board-engagement programs and governance structures that reflected the family's philanthropic needs and developed their first program-related policies. Prior to Tremaine Foundation, Dini worked as an environmental policy consultant on sprawl and contamination remediation for Public Sector Consultants. Dini has served as a Board member and Secretary of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and currently serves on the Board of Beyond the Choir. She has also served on the Steering Committee and as Chair of the Peace and Security Funders Group. She earned a JD from George Washington University and graduated cum laude in international relations from Cornell University.

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe. The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice." - Theodore Parker

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Estevan Muñoz-Howard

Estevan Muñoz-Howard

Program Officer, Piper Fund

Estevan is a Program Officer with the Piper Fund, where he oversees grant making to support state and municipal money in politics reform. Before joining Proteus Fund, he helped lead the successful Honest Elections Seattle campaign of 2015—the historic initiative to create and implement the nation’s first democracy voucher program, which provides adult res...

Estevan is a Program Officer with the Piper Fund, where he oversees grant making to support state and municipal money in politics reform. Before joining Proteus Fund, he helped lead the successful Honest Elections Seattle campaign of 2015—the historic initiative to create and implement the nation’s first democracy voucher program, which provides adult residents with four $25 coupons to contribute to qualified candidates of their choice.

Estevan comes to Proteus Fund from Seattle’s nonprofit sector. He previously worked as Development Director for Arts Corps and Social Justice Fund NW, and as Executive Director of the Youth Media Institute. He is passionate about youth engagement, community organizing, and the diffusion of power. Estevan previously served as president of the Washington Bus Education Fund and currently serves on the board of Rainier Valley Corps. In 2015, he was named democracy volunteer of the year by Fix Democracy First. He holds a BA in Political Theory from the University of Puget Sound, and he is thrilled to call Seattle home (especially in the summer).

"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." - Audre Lorde

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George Holt Jr.

George Holt Jr.

Accounting Manager

George has been at Proteus since 2017. Before Proteus Fund he was at Center for Human Development in Springfield, MA for seven years, where he served as an Accounting Manager, supporting payroll, budgets, and managing accounting functions like AP/AR. CHD provided direct care services to clients ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. Before CHD, he work...

George has been at Proteus since 2017. Before Proteus Fund he was at Center for Human Development in Springfield, MA for seven years, where he served as an Accounting Manager, supporting payroll, budgets, and managing accounting functions like AP/AR. CHD provided direct care services to clients ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. Before CHD, he worked as accounting manager for insurance, construction and manufacturing companies.

George is on the Board of Arbors Gives Back Foundation, and has worked as a dedicated volunteer to Alzheimers Foundation of America and Cancer House of Hope in West Springfield. He has been fortunate to have some great mentors over the years that have helped in increasing his knowledge and understanding of Accounting procedures and best practices. George grew up in Western Massachusetts.

"If we do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction." - Michael Kornfeld

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Jason Constantine

Jason Constantine

Director of Information Services

Jason joined Proteus in March of 2017. As Director of Information Services he provides strategic vision and support to ensure that the technology needs of Proteus Fund, our staff and partners are met with the highest satisfaction. He is responsible for the direction of information systems including project management, stability, security and support of al...

Jason joined Proteus in March of 2017. As Director of Information Services he provides strategic vision and support to ensure that the technology needs of Proteus Fund, our staff and partners are met with the highest satisfaction. He is responsible for the direction of information systems including project management, stability, security and support of all technology services and systems for the organization. Prior to joining Proteus, Jason spent 16 years at Dr. Hauschka Skin Care where he started as a helpdesk tech and worked his way up to managing the Information Technology & Solutions department. Application development, database programming, E-Commerce systems, web development, training and user support are just a few of the things he handled. When he isn’t busy fixing computers or coaching hockey, you can usually find Jason trying to keep up with his two growing boys.

"If you are going to do something, do the best you can do. Don’t do less than that and don’t worry about how someone else might do it."

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Jill Price Marshall

Jill Price Marshall

Chief Operating Officer

Jill spent ten years working as the public relations manager for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, a premier international brand whose mission is "to support the healing of humanity and the earth". Her leadership role in the development and execution of national philanthropic partnerships between Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and organizations such as Farm Aid and Heifer ...

Jill spent ten years working as the public relations manager for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, a premier international brand whose mission is "to support the healing of humanity and the earth". Her leadership role in the development and execution of national philanthropic partnerships between Dr. Hauschka Skin Care and organizations such as Farm Aid and Heifer International shaped her passion to use her professional talents and energy to make the world a better place.

In 2009, Jill began her journey with Proteus Fund, where she currently serves as Chief Operating Officer. Jill plays a key leadership role in implementing and monitoring strategies and processes across the organization. She works in partnership with the President and Boards of Directors to guide, implement, and assess the organization’s overall strategy and operations. The areas in which she provides strategic vision and direction include organizational oversight and coordination, risk management, human resources, and information systems. She oversees the organization’s grants management function as well as our fiscal sponsorship, Donor Advised Fund, and family foundation management services.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style." - Maya Angelou

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Kathy Bonnifield

Kathy Bonnifield

Program Officer

Kathy Bonnifield is an accomplished, connected leader with 20 years of experience building the space for and power of justice-based collective action - across the United States and globally. Through her fundraising and grantmaking activities, Kathy has supported a diversity of groups, including those working on behalf of democratic institutions that secur...

Kathy Bonnifield is an accomplished, connected leader with 20 years of experience building the space for and power of justice-based collective action - across the United States and globally. Through her fundraising and grantmaking activities, Kathy has supported a diversity of groups, including those working on behalf of democratic institutions that secure and protect human rights: an independent judiciary operating beyond political interference and unencumbered access to fair elections.

As a Program Officer, Kathy works to unite groups across traditional divides to unleash the power of common purpose. In support of that mission, Kathy has spearheaded specialized trainings and shared-learning forums to expand the impact of individual organizations by drawing them into a larger community of advocates.

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Kyrstin Thorson Rogers

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers

Grants Manager

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers is the grants manager at Proteus Fund and brings over five years’ experience in grantmaking and nonprofit administrative and programmatic roles. She oversees the grantmaking for Proteus’ donor collaboratives, managed family foundation, and group and donor advised funds and partners with program staff and grantees in order to ensure...

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers is the grants manager at Proteus Fund and brings over five years’ experience in grantmaking and nonprofit administrative and programmatic roles. She oversees the grantmaking for Proteus’ donor collaboratives, managed family foundation, and group and donor advised funds and partners with program staff and grantees in order to ensure a smooth process for all. Prior to joining Proteus, Kyrstin interned at the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Firelight Foundation while pursuing her master’s degree in international policy studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Kyrstin also holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies and Middle Eastern and African studies from the University of San Francisco.

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

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Lauren Bence

Lauren Bence

Director of Human Resources

Lauren joined Proteus Fund in November 2017. In this role, she provides strategic consultation to leadership regarding organizational culture, compliance, strategic workforce planning, organizational development and the overall administration of the HR function. Prior to joining Proteus, she worked in the for-profit sector and higher education. Lauren hol...

Lauren joined Proteus Fund in November 2017. In this role, she provides strategic consultation to leadership regarding organizational culture, compliance, strategic workforce planning, organizational development and the overall administration of the HR function. Prior to joining Proteus, she worked in the for-profit sector and higher education. Lauren holds an MA degree in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University and a BS in History from Suffolk University.

"Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future." - David Whyte

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Leah Pryor-Lease

Leah Pryor-Lease

Program Director, Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative

Leah Pryor-Lease is the Program Director of the Rights, Faith, and Democracy Fund at Proteus, where she leads efforts to support state-based cross-movement work to build a united front for LGBTQ and reproductive justice, and their allies in the faith community.

She began her professional life working for over a decade in the nonprofit and ...

Leah Pryor-Lease is the Program Director of the Rights, Faith, and Democracy Fund at Proteus, where she leads efforts to support state-based cross-movement work to build a united front for LGBTQ and reproductive justice, and their allies in the faith community.

She began her professional life working for over a decade in the nonprofit and public sectors at organizations such as The Hetrick-Martin Institute, Harvard University, and the New York City Department of Education, where she oversaw a broad range of community partnership and external relationship work. After moving to Colorado, Leah served as the Strategic Partnerships Officer with the Gill Foundation, then as Program Officer with Voqal, a philanthropic fund dedicated to advancing equity for those who are the least well off politically, economically, and socially.

Leah holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University. She lives in Denver with her family, where she serves on the Denver LGBTQ Commission and the boards of ProgressNow Colorado and the Movement Advancement Project.

"You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time." - Angela Davis

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Marcus J. Williams

Marcus J. Williams

Partnership & Communications Associate

Marcus James Williams is a proud product of the Springfield Public School System, having graduated from The High School of Commerce in 2007. To pursue a possible career in television broadcasting, Marcus chose to attend the New York Institute of Technology, where he completed his freshman year. In New York, he landed an AT&T commercial and was selected by...

Marcus James Williams is a proud product of the Springfield Public School System, having graduated from The High School of Commerce in 2007. To pursue a possible career in television broadcasting, Marcus chose to attend the New York Institute of Technology, where he completed his freshman year. In New York, he landed an AT&T commercial and was selected by "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner to play an extra in motion picture "New York, I Love You." Marcus’s educational pursuits trumped the fast-paced life of the city, and he transferred to Boston College, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 2012.

After returning home to Springfield, Marcus dove into the world of politics. He was employed by the Elizabeth Warren for MA Senate campaign then by President Obama’s former Chief of Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Don Berwick, for his gubernatorial run in Massachusetts. In that election, Marcus coordinated the two Western Massachusetts counties that Dr. Berwick won.

Marcus has served as the Grants and Contracts Coordinator for the YWCA of Western MA and the Grant Writer for WayFinders, Inc. Marcus is serving his second term as a Springfield City Councilor.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Mark Abrahams

Mark Abrahams

Chief Financial Officer

Mark Abrahams joined Proteus Fund in May 2018. He previously worked as CFO and Chief Investment Officer for FJC, which managed $280 million of philanthropic donor advised funds, managed a $60 million loan portfolio committed to nonprofit growth and a fiscal sponsorship program which helped to incubate 160 start-up nonprofit programs globally. Prior to joi...

Mark Abrahams joined Proteus Fund in May 2018. He previously worked as CFO and Chief Investment Officer for FJC, which managed $280 million of philanthropic donor advised funds, managed a $60 million loan portfolio committed to nonprofit growth and a fiscal sponsorship program which helped to incubate 160 start-up nonprofit programs globally. Prior to joining FJC he was the SVP and CFO of the national ASPCA. He has also held global leadership positions at Credit Suisse Group and CFO roles with technology startups, and began his career with ten years of large accounting firm experience. He is a CPA and holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BS from Boston University.

Mark has a life-long commitment to philanthropy and social good. He serves as a trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee of the American Theatre Wing Board (the Tony Awards). He has also served in governance and advisory capacities for organizations including Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Taproot Foundation, Bideawee, and the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at New York University.

"Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom - and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech." - Benjamin Franklin

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Melissa Spatz

Melissa Spatz

Program Director, Piper Fund

As director of the Piper Fund, Melissa Spatz brings over 25 years of experience as a community organizer, non-profit executive, and attorney. Prior to joining Piper in 2012 (and assuming the director role in 2014), she led two award-winning Chicago-based organizations and national organizing campaigns through the National People’s Action network. Her work...

As director of the Piper Fund, Melissa Spatz brings over 25 years of experience as a community organizer, non-profit executive, and attorney. Prior to joining Piper in 2012 (and assuming the director role in 2014), she led two award-winning Chicago-based organizations and national organizing campaigns through the National People’s Action network. Her work has addressed a wide range of issues including media justice, housing rights, police accountability, health care, and gender equity. Melissa has founded and co-founded numerous projects and organizations, including the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, the Women’s Rights Project at Human Rights Watch, the Chicago Freedom School, Chicago Youth United, and the Center for Emerging Leadership. She holds a BA from Swarthmore College and a JD from Columbia Law School.

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Sameen Piracha

Sameen Piracha

Officer for Partnerships, Security & Rights Collaborative

Sameen joined the Proteus Fund as the Officer for Partnerships in December 2016. She is responsible for establishing and maintaining, win-win-win, leveraged, strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders. Prior to joining the Security & Rights Collaborative, she was the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Asian Americans Advancing Justic...

Sameen joined the Proteus Fund as the Officer for Partnerships in December 2016. She is responsible for establishing and maintaining, win-win-win, leveraged, strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders. Prior to joining the Security & Rights Collaborative, she was the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. She also worked at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center where she led the Center's fundraising efforts including for the groundbreaking exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation. She is a tireless advocate for women’s rights, working closely with Muslim women from her community in Florida for the past 25 years. Sameen holds a law degree from The Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida.

"Show me the money!" - Jerry Maguire

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

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Sara Muller-Ravett

Sara Muller-Ravett

Sponsored Projects Associate

Sara Muller-Ravett is the Sponsored Projects Associate at Proteus Fund and brings over 15 years of project management, program evaluation and operations oversight to the organization. Sara oversees grants and contracts management for Proteus' fiscally sponsored projects. Prior to joining Proteus, Sara worked for 11 years at MDRC, a social policy research ...

Sara Muller-Ravett is the Sponsored Projects Associate at Proteus Fund and brings over 15 years of project management, program evaluation and operations oversight to the organization. Sara oversees grants and contracts management for Proteus' fiscally sponsored projects. Prior to joining Proteus, Sara worked for 11 years at MDRC, a social policy research organization based in New York City, specializing in the implementation of rigorous evaluation design, management and evaluations of prisoner reentry programs across the United States. Sara holds a bachelors degree in juvenile justice and sociology from Hampshire College and is a 2000 graduate of City Year Philadelphia.

"I see people give away what money cannot buy: a grace, a kindness, an authentic connection and recognition of shared humanity. These are my heroes. They demonstrate the use and value of dignity, wholeheartedness and generosity." - Rebecca Solnit

"Touch magic, and pass it on." - Jane Yolen

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Sheila Bapat

Sheila Bapat

Program Officer, Security & Rights Collaborative

Sheila joined the Proteus Fund team in February 2018. Before joining Proteus Fund, Sheila served as Program Director at California Bar Foundation, where she launched a statewide Legal Fellowship program which helped to build capacity for legal aid while generating career entry points for law students and attorneys of diverse backgrounds. In addition, Shei...

Sheila joined the Proteus Fund team in February 2018. Before joining Proteus Fund, Sheila served as Program Director at California Bar Foundation, where she launched a statewide Legal Fellowship program which helped to build capacity for legal aid while generating career entry points for law students and attorneys of diverse backgrounds. In addition, Sheila is an author and freelance writer focusing on social movements and economic justice. Her first book, "Part of the Family: Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers, and the Battle for Domestic Workers’ Rights," was published by Ig Publishing in June 2014. Sheila received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Arizona.

"Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Shireen Zaman

Shireen Zaman

Program Director, Security & Rights Collaborative

Shireen Zaman is the Director of the Security & Rights Collaborative (SRC) at the Proteus Fund, where she leads efforts to mobilize resources to grow promising, innovative, community-based organizations in America’s Muslim, Arab and South Asian (MASA) communities. The SRC’s support to the MASA field has led to an increase in grassroots leadership, higher ...

Shireen Zaman is the Director of the Security & Rights Collaborative (SRC) at the Proteus Fund, where she leads efforts to mobilize resources to grow promising, innovative, community-based organizations in America’s Muslim, Arab and South Asian (MASA) communities. The SRC’s support to the MASA field has led to an increase in grassroots leadership, higher levels of civic engagement, diverse coalitions, and coordinated, strategic messaging. Shireen comes to the SRC having led organizational transformation, resource development, and program management at several nationally recognized nonprofits. Most recently, she was Executive Director at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, DC. In 2013, Shireen was recognized as a White House "Champion of Change" for her work as an Asian American woman leader. She currently serves as an advisor to the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She holds a B.A. in Human Development from Boston College and an M.A. from the School of International Service at American University.

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Lilla Watson

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Sofia Jarrín-Thomas

Sofia Jarrín-Thomas

Program Associate, Piper Fund

Sofía Jarrín-Thomas joined the Proteus Fund in April 2015 as the program associate for the Piper Fund, bringing with her many years of experience in communications and PR strategies in nonprofit and academic institutions. A committed advocate for human and environmental rights, as well as media reform, Sofía has worn multiple hats, from radio producer and...

Sofía Jarrín-Thomas joined the Proteus Fund in April 2015 as the program associate for the Piper Fund, bringing with her many years of experience in communications and PR strategies in nonprofit and academic institutions. A committed advocate for human and environmental rights, as well as media reform, Sofía has worn multiple hats, from radio producer and investigative reporter to a copy editor, web administrator, and communications specialist at Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. From 2009-2014, she lived in Quito, Ecuador, where, among other things, she joined an environmental group to push a nationwide ballot initiative to keep the oil underground in Yasuní National Park. Sofía brings to Piper a keen insight for undue corporate influence in the political and the judicial systems, both in the United States and in Latin America. She has a Master’s in Journalism from Harvard University Extension School, where she won the 2009 Dean’s Prize for Outstanding ALM Thesis for her investigative work on Salvadoran refugees living in Boston.

"If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution." - Emma Goldman.

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Stephanie Jones

Stephanie Jones

Partnerships Associate, Piper Fund

Before joining Proteus Fund in 2015 as Grant Writer, Stephanie was a Research Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who worked on foundation-funded research into the mechanisms underlying mobility impairments in people with Multiple Sclerosis. She has worked extensively as research staff in laboratories at the University of Vermont, Univer...

Before joining Proteus Fund in 2015 as Grant Writer, Stephanie was a Research Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who worked on foundation-funded research into the mechanisms underlying mobility impairments in people with Multiple Sclerosis. She has worked extensively as research staff in laboratories at the University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, coordinating large scale federally-funded grant activities. Stephanie has over 10 years of writing experience seeking grants from government, private foundation and corporate entities. She earned her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from McGill University, her Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph, Canada.

"'How do you know so much about everything?' was asked of a very wise and intelligent man; and the answer was 'By never being afraid or ashamed to ask questions as to anything of which I was ignorant.'" - Lord Billingsley

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Tito Crafts

Tito Crafts

Director of Partnership & Communications

Tito joined the Proteus Fund team in January 2015. Before Proteus, he worked as Foundation Assistant to the Schooner Foundation, a family foundation based in Boston, MA and Washington, DC. At Schooner, he worked in partnership with the Foundation’s Executive Director to administer a broad grantmaking portfolio that included support for civil rights and de...

Tito joined the Proteus Fund team in January 2015. Before Proteus, he worked as Foundation Assistant to the Schooner Foundation, a family foundation based in Boston, MA and Washington, DC. At Schooner, he worked in partnership with the Foundation’s Executive Director to administer a broad grantmaking portfolio that included support for civil rights and democracy, women’s empowerment, nuclear disarmament, and international human rights.

Before joining the philanthropic community, he worked in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Maine, Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina as a Field Organizer and Deputy Regional Field Director on President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, a life-changing experience that inspired him to dedicate his professional life to social change, the progressive movement, and shifting national power dynamics. A film major in college, he started his professional career in the entertainment industry, working for Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Lee Daniels and Mira Nair. He holds a BA from Vassar College, and is a proud native of the Pioneer Valley.

"I cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world." - Adrienne Rich

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Victoria Yam

Victoria Yam

Executive Assistant

Victoria joined Proteus Fund in September 2017. In her role, Victoria provides essential support in all areas of work and operation under the purview of the President. She came to Proteus with several years of high-level administrative experience and customer service, having worked in higher education administration at New York University, along with havi...

Victoria joined Proteus Fund in September 2017. In her role, Victoria provides essential support in all areas of work and operation under the purview of the President. She came to Proteus with several years of high-level administrative experience and customer service, having worked in higher education administration at New York University, along with having taught at several private and public universities and institutions in the U.S. and Germany. In addition, she has previously taught middle school in the U.S. public sector. She is passionate about authentic methods of inclusion as it relates to diversity and LGBTQ issues and folding minority voice awareness into everyday discussion.

Victoria holds an M.A. in German Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on minority voices in German culture and literature and foreign language education. Victoria also obtained her B.A. in French and German from the University of Rochester.

"Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat." - Anais Nin

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