Paul Di Donato
President and CEO - New York, NY
Paul Di Donato (He, Him) is President and CEO of the Proteus Fund, a nationally recognized public foundation. Proteus Fund, along with its affiliated 501(c)(4) organization Proteus Action League, partners with donors, grantees, and other social justice allies to advance racial, gender, and queer justice and an inclusive, representative democracy. Currentl...
Paul Di Donato (He, Him) is President and CEO of the Proteus Fund, a nationally recognized public foundation. Proteus Fund, along with its affiliated 501(c)(4) organization Proteus Action League, partners with donors, grantees, and other social justice allies to advance racial, gender, and queer justice and an inclusive, representative democracy. Currently, Proteus Fund supports 24 initiatives through its donor collaboratives, fiscally sponsored projects, and fund management services. The foundation granted more than $27 million in 2020, with funds going to 377 organizations.
Paul has worked on social justice issues and movements at the state, national, and global level for over thirty years. Prior to becoming Proteus Fund’s president in 2016, Paul directed its Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC), a groundbreaking donor collaborative that played a critical role in the successful fight for marriage equality in the United States. Under his leadership, the CMC created a space for committed donors, visionary activists and advocates, and talented allies from across many sectors to partner on groundbreaking strategies and tactics. The CMC also awarded over $20 million in grants and played a major role in organizing other funders to collectively resource a cultural sea change on LGBTQ justice.
Before leading the CMC, Paul pursued his social justice vision as a philanthropic and nonprofit leader, lobbyist, consultant, civil rights litigator, and activist. As Executive Director, he transformed Funders Concerned About AIDS into a leading international philanthropic actor in the global response to the pandemic. Paul provided key leadership on national and California-specific HIV/AIDS public policy victories as Federal Affairs Director and Public Policy Director at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Public Policy Director at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. 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 consulted on strategy, program development and evaluation, leadership development, and governance with a wide range of philanthropic, non-profit, and academic clients. He has also served in several volunteer leadership positions. As an attorney in private practice, Paul litigated prison reform, employment discrimination, and voting rights cases.
Paul developed his passion for activism as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, dedicating his energies to anti-Apartheid, gender, and LGBTQ justice issues. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School and was the first man to be named a Revson Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.