Staff

The Proteus Fund staff brings decades of experience as nonprofit professionals, organizers, advocates, philanthropic thought partners, grantmakers, and strategic leaders across the spectrum of social justice work.

Staff - Proteus Fund
Paul Di Donato (he/him/his)

Paul Di Donato (he/him/his)

President and CEO - New York, NY

Paul Di Donato (he/him/his) has been President and CEO of the Proteus Fund and Proteus Action League since 2016. His over 30 years of leadership includes work as a social justice activist, lobbyist, litigator, philanthropic and nonprofit executive, and Board member working across many progressive issues and movements.

At Proteus Fund, Paul...

Paul Di Donato (he/him/his) has been President and CEO of the Proteus Fund and Proteus Action League since 2016. His over 30 years of leadership includes work as a social justice activist, lobbyist, litigator, philanthropic and nonprofit executive, and Board member working across many progressive issues and movements.

At Proteus Fund, Paul oversees a wide range of dynamic programming—from Donor Collaboratives and Donor Advised Funds to Fiscally Sponsored Projects (FSPs)—aimed at mobilizing and partnering with foundations and individual grantmakers to support local, state and national movement actors to advance equity, justice, and an inclusive, representative democracy.

Under Paul’s leadership, Proteus Fund has doubled its annual grantmaking to approximately $23 million, with a deeper focus on the local and state level. During this time, the organization has also transformed its donor collaborative model to not only provide essential funding, but also create additional tools, capacities, and networks to further strengthen grantee impact. Since 2016, Proteus Fund has also doubled the number of FSPs to 15 while completely overhauling and deepening its approach to the FSP portfolio to better incubate and nurture these critical social-justice initiatives. Today, Proteus is a $40-million progressive philanthropic organization supporting 33 funds and initiatives with a highly skilled and committed staff of over 90 individuals.

Prior to becoming President, Paul served as the Director of Proteus Fund’s Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC) for eight years. The CMC was a groundbreaking donor collaborative that played a critical role in helping to win the freedom to marry in the United States in 2015. Under Paul's leadership, the CMC created a space for committed donors, visionary activists and advocates, and talented allies from across many sectors to innovate and advance the most effective strategies to advance marriage equality. The CMC awarded over $20 million in grants and played a significant role in organizing non-CMC funders to provide $20 million in additional grantmaking.

Prior to his work with Proteus Fund, Paul worked in New York and San Francisco in a variety of capacities in service to social justice movements. As a consultant, Paul specialized in program and organizational development, strategic planning and evaluation, and leadership and governance coaching, and governance with a wide range of philanthropic, nonprofit, and academic clients.

As Executive Director, Paul evolved the programming of Funders Concerned About AIDS to better educate and mobilize U.S. grantmakers to address the domestic HIV/AIDS crisis. Paul also transformed the organization into a leading international philanthropic actor in the response to the global pandemic. 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 legislative and related public policy victories. He also served as both Executive and Legal Director for National Gay Rights Advocates, one of the first national LGBTQ legal rights organizations. In private civil-rights practice, Paul litigated a wide range of cases from prison reform and employment discrimination to voting rights. Upon graduating law school, Paul was the first man to be appointed a Revson Women’s Law & Public Policy Fellow.

Paul graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received his law degree from Harvard Law School.

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Alexandra Rachelle Siclait (she/her/hers)

Alexandra Rachelle Siclait (she/her/hers)

Director of Fiscal Sponsorship

Alexandra joined Proteus Fund as Director of Fiscal Sponsorship in June 2023. In her role, Alexandra leads Proteus’ fiscal sponsorship practice, implementing strategy, service coordination, business development, and stewardship for a rich ecosystem of social justice initiatives. She is excited to forge a deep understanding of each project's needs. Specifi...

Alexandra joined Proteus Fund as Director of Fiscal Sponsorship in June 2023. In her role, Alexandra leads Proteus’ fiscal sponsorship practice, implementing strategy, service coordination, business development, and stewardship for a rich ecosystem of social justice initiatives. She is excited to forge a deep understanding of each project's needs. Specifically, she hopes to provide innovative movement leaders with tailored, holistic, and comprehensive support as they work to transform our communities.

With over a decade of experience, Alexandra has worked in the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors. However, she has found her true passion in coaching and advising leaders and organizations on how to unlock their highest level of performance, scale operations, and provide strategic support through moments of change. Alexandra has built a career portfolio with a never-ending source of discovery and fulfillment — working at Creative Capital, the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Meridian International Center, and Arnold & Porter, LLP.

Most recently, she served as the Leadership Programs Officer at the Bush Foundation, co-leading the Bush Fellowship and Leadership Ecosystem grant programs and developing the leadership of individuals to think bigger and differently about problem-solving. At the Foundation, she created and led the Bush Fellowship Quarterfinalist Mentorship experience, increased the organization's capacity to coach prospective Bush Fellows, expanded the grant term of general operating support for grant partners, and strengthened the effectiveness of the Bush Fellowship Executive Coaches through strategic planning and rebranding efforts.

Before joining the Bush Foundation, Alexandra worked at Creative Capital, where she supported socially engaged, forward-thinking artists grappling with pressing social issues in media, incarceration, spatial justice, gender politics, and contemporary cultural history. In partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), she produced an entire season of NYC-based professional development workshops–celebrating the value of over 360 individual artists annually.

She has master's degrees in public relations and international Relations from Syracuse University, certificates of advanced study in Arts Leadership and Conflict Resolution, and a bachelor's degree in political communication from George Washington University. She is currently on the Pollen Midwest board. Additionally, she served on the board of Minnesota Humanities Center and Burnaway, an Atlanta-based digital magazine of contemporary art and criticism from the American South. She enjoys photography, graphic design, and traveling. She is a 2017 Association of Performing Arts Professionals Leadership Fellow and 2020-2021 Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Fellow.

Alexandra was born in Miami, raised in Haiti, and lives in the state of 10,000 lakes (Minnesota).

"I want to be remembered as a woman … who dared to be a catalyst of change." — Shirley Chisholm
"If you always try to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." — Maya Angelou.

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Amardeep Singh (he/him/his)

Amardeep Singh (he/him/his)

Vice President for Programs

Amardeep Singh (he/him/his) is a seasoned grassroots activist, attorney, organizational founder, and philanthropy professional. Amar came to Proteus from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) where he served as a senior program officer, issuing $11 million in grants to build the advocacy power of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians—including successful efforts ...

Amardeep Singh (he/him/his) is a seasoned grassroots activist, attorney, organizational founder, and philanthropy professional. Amar came to Proteus from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) where he served as a senior program officer, issuing $11 million in grants to build the advocacy power of Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians—including successful efforts to repeal the Muslim Ban. Amar has overseen multi-year convenings and grantmaking to strengthen bonds among racial-justice organizations across the United States, and the distribution of nearly $6 million in grants to support youth activism in response to the murder of George Floyd. Prior to beginning his philanthropic work, Amar co-founded the Sikh Coalition in the wake of 9/11—now the largest Sikh civil-rights organization in the United States.

At the Sikh Coalition, Amar played a significant leadership role in several critical social-justice victories:
• Creating the first federal hate-crime tracking category for Sikhs, Hindus, and Arabs
• Ending the U.S. Army’s ban on turbaned Sikh soldiers and the NYPD’s ban on turbaned police officers
• Ensuring airport travel search rules for Sikh, Muslim, and other travelers respect their civil rights

Amar also served for four years on President Barack H. Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He has taught a course at Columbia University on law and ethnic identity. He has received a number of awards for his public-interest work and was recognized as a “Top Lawyer Under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Amar received his JD degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and his BA from Rutgers University.

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Amy Rymer(she/her/hers)

Amy Rymer(she/her/hers)

Accounting Associate

Prior to joining Proteus Fund in January 2023, Amy Rymer (she/her/hers) worked in operations and administration for several nonprofits and corporations, helping manage budgets, fundraise, create marketing materials, and run daily accounting activities. She is most passionate about doing this work within the context of an organization committed to social c...

Prior to joining Proteus Fund in January 2023, Amy Rymer (she/her/hers) worked in operations and administration for several nonprofits and corporations, helping manage budgets, fundraise, create marketing materials, and run daily accounting activities. She is most passionate about doing this work within the context of an organization committed to social change. And she loves the opportunity at Proteus to help make the business of doing this work easier so that the people on the ground can continue to do the most good.

Earlier in her career, Amy was involved in youth work, developing and facilitating nonviolence curriculum at Starfinder Foundation and the Good Shepherd Mediation Diversion Program in Philadelphia. In addition, she spent a few years living in El Salvador to coordinate programs and facilitate nonviolence and trauma healing workshops in schools, churches, and communities in Central America. Before that, during her time as a journalist, she looked for ways to tell stories about people and perspectives that are often misunderstood or underrepresented. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Principia College and an MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Ashleigh Clyde (she/her/hers)

Ashleigh Clyde (she/her/hers)

Senior Accountant

Ashleigh (she/her/hers) joined Proteus Fund in September 2023 as a senior accountant. Prior to Proteus Fund she was the Finance Manager for a publishing firm specializing in sustainable and WELL practices education where she heavily focused on the development and analysis of financial strategic plans, operational budgets, and the development and analysis ...

Ashleigh (she/her/hers) joined Proteus Fund in September 2023 as a senior accountant. Prior to Proteus Fund she was the Finance Manager for a publishing firm specializing in sustainable and WELL practices education where she heavily focused on the development and analysis of financial strategic plans, operational budgets, and the development and analysis of associated performance indicators.

Throughout Ashleigh’s career, she has demonstrated a deep understanding of financial principles and has extensive experience in budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, and analysis, as well as managing financial systems and processes.

Prior to returning to the United States five years ago, Ashleigh lived overseas for eleven years throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia regions working as an educator and a volunteer for various NGO’s supporting the rights of refugees and children.

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Beery Adams Jiménez (she/her/hers)

Beery Adams Jiménez (she/her/hers)

Chief Operating Officer

Beery (she/her/hers) has extensive experience designing effective programs and operational infrastructure for organizations in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and public sectors. She joined Proteus Fund in August 2008 as the sole grants management staff and stewarded that function through exponential growth with a focus on aligning processes and resources f...

Beery (she/her/hers) has extensive experience designing effective programs and operational infrastructure for organizations in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and public sectors. She joined Proteus Fund in August 2008 as the sole grants management staff and stewarded that function through exponential growth with a focus on aligning processes and resources for maximum social impact and efficiency. Over the years, Beery has continued to oversee our grants management team and donor advised fund program, while also leading the growth and development of our fiscal sponsorship practice, creating the operational scaffolding and coordination of services for a dynamic ecosystem of progressive initiatives. During that time, she has overseen the award of more than $300 million in grants and operational infrastructure for more than 30 initiatives. As COO, she plays a key leadership role providing strategic vision and direction for the organization’s operations particularly around fiscal sponsorship, grants management, information systems, people and culture, and risk management.

Beery started her career as the Baltimore City Immigrant Support & Outreach Coordinator in 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 through the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. She has served on various boards and advisory committees, most recently the Steering Committee of PEAK Grantmaking’s New England Chapter and the Waltham Dual Language School Leadership Team.

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 in Virginia. She is a southern transplant to Massachusetts, and lives outside of Boston with her family.

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Ebony T. Simpson (she/her/hers)

Ebony T. Simpson (she/her/hers)

Grant Writer and Partnership Manager

Ebony T Simpson (she/her) is the woman with the signature big smile and an even bigger level of commitment to diligence, efficiency, and creating a lasting impact. She is a Newark (NJ) Native, having served various non-profit organizations in a wide array of development roles. She has an extensive background in grant writing, individual fundraising, major...

Ebony T Simpson (she/her) is the woman with the signature big smile and an even bigger level of commitment to diligence, efficiency, and creating a lasting impact. She is a Newark (NJ) Native, having served various non-profit organizations in a wide array of development roles. She has an extensive background in grant writing, individual fundraising, major gifts, and partnership management. She has raised over 6 million dollars throughout her career in support of vital community programs and initiatives.

Ebony is an alumnus of Kean University receiving her BA in English and an alum of Seton Hall University receiving her MA in Strategic Communication. She is a member of Delta Sigma Epsilon, Honor Society, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated. She is an active sports mom often volunteering at her daughter’s school during the basketball season. She believes in service and being of service to others often volunteering at community human service organizations where she donates items and packs food boxes for community distribution.

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George Holt Jr. (he/him/his)

George Holt Jr. (he/him/his)

Accounting Manager

George (he/him/his) 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...

George (he/him/his) 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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James Denis (he/him/his)

James Denis (he/him/his)

Senior IT Associate

James (he/him/his) joined Proteus in March of 2022. As Senior IT Associate James brings nearly a decade of experience working with Microsoft products and services to Proteus Fund's ongoing projects and IT directives. Prior to joining Proteus, James worked with organizations across industries such as education, construction, healthcare, and legal services,...

James (he/him/his) joined Proteus in March of 2022. As Senior IT Associate James brings nearly a decade of experience working with Microsoft products and services to Proteus Fund's ongoing projects and IT directives. Prior to joining Proteus, James worked with organizations across industries such as education, construction, healthcare, and legal services, supporting hundreds of networks with often unique
sets of technology.

James started working in the field of Information Technology at the age of sixteen, working for a development firm in Miami Florida building luxury hotels.

After graduating high school with honors he went on to work in the IT department of the university he attended, before moving on to work for a local managed services provider. Email migrations, cyber-security threat analysis and remediation, network design, implementation and maintenance as well as specialized software support and help desk services are only a few of the responsibilities he was entrusted with. All the while maintaining a focus on providing those in need with white glove service. Working in the field James was also able to continue his education by attaining several industry leading certifications.

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Jason Constantine (he/him/his)

Jason Constantine (he/him/his)

Director of Information Services

Jason (he/him/his) 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 ...

Jason (he/him/his) 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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Jennifer Noonan (she/her/hers)

Jennifer Noonan (she/her/hers)

Human Resources Manager

Jennifer (she/her/hers) joined Proteus in 2020. She has several years of human resources experience, spanning the full spectrum of HR functions. Over a career at both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, her work has included recruiting, HR administration, employee relations, performance management and training, and her specialty, employee benef...

Jennifer (she/her/hers) joined Proteus in 2020. She has several years of human resources experience, spanning the full spectrum of HR functions. Over a career at both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, her work has included recruiting, HR administration, employee relations, performance management and training, and her specialty, employee benefits.

Her previous experience includes working as the HR Specialist for the Founders Affiliate of the American Heart Association, specializing in employee health and wellness. In that role she was the subject-matter expert on all aspects of the benefit process as well as technical lead for internal HR systems. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

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Jenny Cunningham (she/her/hers)

Jenny Cunningham (she/her/hers)

Senior Associate, Donor Services

Jenny (she/her/hers) joined Proteus as Senior Donor Services Associate in June 2022. She has over a decade of nonprofit experience in donor relations, grants management, and major gifts fundraising project management in the healthcare, higher education, urban planning, and disability justice fields. She most recently managed government contracts for Acces...

Jenny (she/her/hers) joined Proteus as Senior Donor Services Associate in June 2022. She has over a decade of nonprofit experience in donor relations, grants management, and major gifts fundraising project management in the healthcare, higher education, urban planning, and disability justice fields. She most recently managed government contracts for Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. Jenny works closely at Proteus with the Donor Services Manager and Finance team to manage the funding database and support the Donor Collaboratives, Donor Advised Funds, and Fiscally Sponsored Projects in all grant application, reporting, and income-related needs. She holds a Master of Public Policy from DePaul University where she focused on U.S. and European Union asylum and refugee policy; she is a strong advocate for immigration rights and reform. Jenny also holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!)

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Wiesel

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Julia Reticker-Flynn (she/her/hers)

Julia Reticker-Flynn (she/her/hers)

Director, Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative

Julia Reticker-Flynn (she/her/hers) is the director of the Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative at Proteus Fund. Julia first joined Proteus Fund as the Program Officer for the right to protest with Piper Fund in 2019. In this role, she mobilized philanthropic resources to support state and local organizations protecting protest rights; convened a natio...

Julia Reticker-Flynn (she/her/hers) is the director of the Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative at Proteus Fund. Julia first joined Proteus Fund as the Program Officer for the right to protest with Piper Fund in 2019. In this role, she mobilized philanthropic resources to support state and local organizations protecting protest rights; convened a national table representing 70 organizations united in defense of the freedom of assembly; and partnered with communications consultants to strengthen the field’s narrative frame and communications infrastructure. During this period, she was also able to help nearly double the grantmaking capacity of the program, increase the support for directly impacted communities, pilot a series of wellness and resilience grants, and expand Piper Fund’s support for litigation efforts to protect protest rights.

Prior to joining Proteus Fund, Julia spent almost a decade at Advocates for Youth, where she worked alongside organizers, policy wonks, and young leaders boldly championing young people’s sexual health and rights. Julia serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Abortion Access Fund and previously served on the Board of Nurses for Reproductive Health for five years. She earned a Masters in Public Administration from George Washington’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers." — Bayard Rustin

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Kamardip Singh (she/they/them)

Kamardip Singh (she/they/them)

Program Officer, RISE Together Fund

Kamardip (she/they/them) joined the Proteus Fund team in September 2022. Prior to joining the RISE Together Fund, Kamardip completed her Masters in Human Rights Law at Oxford University, while consulting with several philanthropic and human rights groups in the US and internationally. Kamardip comes from a background in international women’s rights with o...

Kamardip (she/they/them) joined the Proteus Fund team in September 2022. Prior to joining the RISE Together Fund, Kamardip completed her Masters in Human Rights Law at Oxford University, while consulting with several philanthropic and human rights groups in the US and internationally. Kamardip comes from a background in international women’s rights with over 15 years advocating for gender justice, economic justice, and feminist causes. Currently, Kamardip serves as a Commissioner for the Alameda County Human Relations Commission, a human rights and equity focused county commission. Their local community organizing work with racial justice and anti-caste work brought them to the RTF team where they’re delighted to support the work of BAMEMSA organizers across the US.

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

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Kathy Bonnifield (she/her/hers)

Kathy Bonnifield (she/her/hers)

Senior Program Officer, Piper Fund

Kathy Bonnifield (she/her/hers) 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 institut...

Kathy Bonnifield (she/her/hers) 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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Kenyetta Chinwe (they/she)

Kenyetta Chinwe (they/she)

Program Officer, Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative

Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe (they/she) is the Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative’s first program officer. Kenyetta brings faith-based leadership, arts, and management skills to their new role at RFDC. For the last four years, they have strived to advance the work of reproductive justice and LGBTQ freedom as the faith advocacy coordinator for SisterSong, the...

Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe (they/she) is the Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative’s first program officer. Kenyetta brings faith-based leadership, arts, and management skills to their new role at RFDC. For the last four years, they have strived to advance the work of reproductive justice and LGBTQ freedom as the faith advocacy coordinator for SisterSong, the national, women of color reproductive justice collective. At SisterSong, Kenyetta led successful work to organize faith voices in support of reproduction justice and trans rights. In 2020, they became a founding member of the Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity(SACReD) that works to shift culture through congregation and community education on reproductive dignity and serves as co-chair of the Interim Steering Committee.

As a Black, queer, genderfluid woman and the descendant of generations of Pentecostal Christian ministers, Kenyetta has been immersed in a faith community since birth. Previously a youth minister in the apostolic church, they became an ordained minister in the Madonna Interfaith Ministries in 2006. Their background and experience as an organizer informs their work at RFDC, supporting faith-based reproductive justice and LGBTQ organizations.

“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” — June Jordan

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Kyrstin Thorson Rogers (she/her/hers)

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers (she/her/hers)

Director of Grants Management

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers (she/her/hers) 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 ...

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers (she/her/hers) 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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Laila Agily (she/her/hers)

Laila Agily (she/her/hers)

Senior Contracts & Operations Associate

Laila (she/her/hers) is the Senior Contracts & Operations Associate at Proteus Fund and brings over a decade of experience in sponsored project management, operations oversight and grantmaking – both domestic and globally. At Proteus, she oversees contract management, provides operational support for fiscally sponsored projects, and works in partnership ...

Laila (she/her/hers) is the Senior Contracts & Operations Associate at Proteus Fund and brings over a decade of experience in sponsored project management, operations oversight and grantmaking – both domestic and globally. At Proteus, she oversees contract management, provides operational support for fiscally sponsored projects, and works in partnership with staff and consultants for a more just and equitable society.

“The worst you can do is nothing.” — Terry Prachett

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Madrika Reyes (she/her/hers)

Madrika Reyes (she/her/hers)

Senior Finance Associate

Madrika received her undergrad from Florida State University. She started her career with Visit Florida, a non-profit organization focused on the tourism industry for the entire State. After receiving an MBA with an Accounting Concentration from Saint Leo University, Madrika changed sectors to Government and began working for a local school board managing...

Madrika received her undergrad from Florida State University. She started her career with Visit Florida, a non-profit organization focused on the tourism industry for the entire State. After receiving an MBA with an Accounting Concentration from Saint Leo University, Madrika changed sectors to Government and began working for a local school board managing their Special Revenue Fund that has a most recent total budget of over $200 million. A portion of the Special Revenue Fund included Title I funds that focused on underprivileged and lower performing schools and their population was primarily students from lower income households or underserved communities.

"It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always." — Oprah Winfrey.

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Marcus James Williams (he/him/his)

Marcus James Williams (he/him/his)

Donor Services Manager

Marcus (he/him/his) is a proud native of Springfield, MA. 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 2008. There, he landed an AT&T commercial and was selected by "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner to play an extra in motion picture "New York, ...

Marcus (he/him/his) is a proud native of Springfield, MA. 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 2008. There, 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 transferred to Boston College, where he obtained his BA in Communications in 2012. After, Marcus then dove into the world of politics at home and was employed by the Elizabeth Warren for MA Senate campaign and then by President Obama’s former Chief of Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Don Berwick, for his gubernatorial run in Massachusetts.

At home, Marcus was elected to the City Council in 2015 as the youngest POC to join the body and then elected to four consecutive terms. Before retiring from politics in 2022, Marcus was elected as President of the Council twice by members of the body. His people-centered accomplishments include regulating the mobile food truck industry to help aspiring entrepreneurs and writing the ordinance which ushered in the City's first Chief Diversity Officer.

Marcus has also served as the Grants and Contracts Coordinator for the YWCA of Western MA and the Grant Writer for WayFinders, Inc. Marcus has also been recognized as a "40 under 40" recipient by BusinessWest and currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

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Maya Radiconcini (she/her/hers)

Maya Radiconcini (she/her/hers)

Administrative Assistant

Maya (she/her/hers) joined Proteus as Administrative Assistant in August of 2023. She has extensive experience with philanthropic and non-profit organizations supporting leadership and programs for interconnected social justice, promoting human rights, racial and gender equity, democracy and peace building, public health and environmental sustainability. ...

Maya (she/her/hers) joined Proteus as Administrative Assistant in August of 2023. She has extensive experience with philanthropic and non-profit organizations supporting leadership and programs for interconnected social justice, promoting human rights, racial and gender equity, democracy and peace building, public health and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining Proteus, she worked with leadership at the Population Council, Ms. Foundation for Women, and Auburn Seminary.

Maya’s international experience includes six years in Ecuador supporting social justice and educational projects with the Andean University where she also enjoyed volunteer work with the Intercultural Workshop, building community and a shared vision for equity in rural areas. She is a trained facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project, working in U.S. prisons.

“Unity implies the coming together of elements which are, to begin with, varied and diverse in their particular natures.” — Audre Lorde

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Melissa Rudnick (she/her/hers)

Melissa Rudnick (she/her/hers)

Right to Protest Program Officer, Piper Fund

Melissa’s 20-year career is centered around building community power and pursuing racial, social, economic, and gender justice - as a movement and community organizer, a facilitator and convenor, a relationship-builder, and as a grantmaker and funder. Most recently, she served as the Director of Program and Grantmaking at Headwaters Foundation for Justice...

Melissa’s 20-year career is centered around building community power and pursuing racial, social, economic, and gender justice - as a movement and community organizer, a facilitator and convenor, a relationship-builder, and as a grantmaker and funder. Most recently, she served as the Director of Program and Grantmaking at Headwaters Foundation for Justice. She joined Headwaters in 2015 where she significantly grew their community-led, participatory grantmaking program. Prior to her time in philanthropy, Melissa served as a community organizer and worked on campaigns including protecting voting rights; passage of affordable housing and anti-displacement referendum; immigrant justice; preserving medical benefits; and LGBTQ rights. She is passionate about ensuring that communities and movements have the resources they need and deserve. She is happy to be a part of Proteus Fund as the Right to Protest Program Officer, Piper Fund where she will resource and support communities dedicated to protecting democracy and envisioning reforms to make it more inclusive, representative, and just.

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Mikah Barrueta (she/her/hers)

Mikah Barrueta (she/her/hers)

Manager of the Executive Office and Board Liaison

Mikah Barrueta (She/her/hers) was born and raised in Yucatan, Mexico. She received her B.S in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Otterbein University. While in college, Mikah conducted various research projects, including an internship at the National Science Foundation in D.C. where she led a study on BIPOC involvement in scientific funding. After g...

Mikah Barrueta (She/her/hers) was born and raised in Yucatan, Mexico. She received her B.S in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Otterbein University. While in college, Mikah conducted various research projects, including an internship at the National Science Foundation in D.C. where she led a study on BIPOC involvement in scientific funding. After graduation, Mikah served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kampot, Cambodia. Mikah focused her service on reproductive and menstrual health education, and, alongside her community partners, she authored and implemented two funded grants to improve hygiene and sanitation conditions in her community.

After her Peace Corps service, Mikah served as the Executive Assistant to the Global Executive Director of Equality Now, an international women's rights organization. In this role, she was the chief administrative support for the GED and a key liaison for the organization's leadership, staff, and board. During her time at Equality Now, Mikah was one of the founding members of the organization's Anti Racism Task Force, which aimed to ensure the non-profit policies and procedures were as equitable and inclusive as possible.

“You have to act as though it were possible to radically transform the world, and you have to do it all the time” — Angela Davis

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Monica Kim (she/her/hers)

Monica Kim (she/her/hers)

Program Associate, Piper Fund

Monica Kim (she/her/hers) joined the Piper team in July as the program assistant. In this role, she is supporting the Piper team with a wide range of program support and administrative responsibilities. Monica graduated from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 2020 with a BA (honors) in English. She is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society. During ...

Monica Kim (she/her/hers) joined the Piper team in July as the program assistant. In this role, she is supporting the Piper team with a wide range of program support and administrative responsibilities. Monica graduated from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 2020 with a BA (honors) in English. She is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society. During her time as an undergraduate, Monica served in leadership positions with two student organizations: Students for Reproductive Rights and Justice and the Michigan Refugee Assistance Program. Monica also previously worked as an intern for Liberate! Don’t Incarcerate, AsylumConnect, 826michigan, and National Immigration Forum.

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Nate Cintolo (he/him/his)

Nate Cintolo (he/him/his)

Senior Accountant

Nate (he/him/his) joined Proteus Fund in July of 2022 as a senior accountant. Before Proteus Fund he was an Accounting Grants Manager for a nonprofit community action agency in central Connecticut. His role was to prepare budgets, complete financial grant reports and assisted with the agency’s AR function for various grants from early childhood education ...

Nate (he/him/his) joined Proteus Fund in July of 2022 as a senior accountant. Before Proteus Fund he was an Accounting Grants Manager for a nonprofit community action agency in central Connecticut. His role was to prepare budgets, complete financial grant reports and assisted with the agency’s AR function for various grants from early childhood education to health and wellness programs that all directly support the surrounding community. In addition, he completed his Masters in Business Administration in May of 2022.

“The act of contributing to the lives of others is its own reward. A servant’s heart is a greater motivator than financial gain.” — Thomas Kinkade

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Patti Affenito (she/her/hers)

Patti Affenito (she/her/hers)

Controller

Patti (she/her/hers) joined Proteus Fund in September 2018 as Controller. She manages the organization’s financial operations, ensures that financials are prepared and distributed to our funders and programs, and works closely with our Donor Collaboratives and Fiscally Sponsored Project partners to provide financial management support.

Prio...

Patti (she/her/hers) joined Proteus Fund in September 2018 as Controller. She manages the organization’s financial operations, ensures that financials are prepared and distributed to our funders and programs, and works closely with our Donor Collaboratives and Fiscally Sponsored Project partners to provide financial management support.

Prior to joining the Proteus team, Patti worked as Controller for Highland Valley Elder Services and has many years of financial management experience in hospitality, manufacturing, government and social services organizations. She holds a BS in Mathematics (magna cum laude) from Westfield State University and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. Patti currently resides with her family in Sturbridge, Massachusetts where she was CEO of S.C.I. Management for many years and opened the Fieldstone Tavern, a local dining and entertainment venue. She is an avid traveler, musician, and sports enthusiast, enjoying volleyball, mountain biking and obstacle races. She has served on the Massachusetts Lodging Association Board of Directors, Sturbridge Finance Committee, TRSD Curriculum Committee and was instrumental in designing and lobbying local legislation for tourism funds. She is passionate about education, social justice and small business believing that change is only possible through education, diligence and collaboration.

“Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it” — John Maxwell

“I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein

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Rana Elmir (she/her/hers)

Rana Elmir (she/her/hers)

Director, RISE Together Fund

Rana Elmir joined Proteus as the Program Director for the RISE Together Fund having devoted her career to storytelling, action and activism.

For nearly 16 years, Rana was a member of the ACLU of Michigan’s senior leadership team starting as Communications Director, then Deputy Director and finally interim Executive Director. Working with a ...

Rana Elmir joined Proteus as the Program Director for the RISE Together Fund having devoted her career to storytelling, action and activism.

For nearly 16 years, Rana was a member of the ACLU of Michigan’s senior leadership team starting as Communications Director, then Deputy Director and finally interim Executive Director. Working with a 35-member team, Rana led various equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts. She also guided legal, advocacy and media strategies and campaigns externally centered on the most pressing civil rights issues in Michigan including supporting BAMEMSA and immigrant communities, LGBTQ equality, criminal legal reform, reproductive freedom, and racial justice.

However, as a former newspaper reporter, Rana is a storyteller first and foremost. Some of her most compelling tales stem from the experiences of her immigrant family, who fled to the United States from Lebanon when Rana was still a small child. In addition, Rana often lectures often on issues related to anti-Muslim bias, the importance of free speech and the intersection of race, faith, gender and LGBTQ rights.

While her serious side is frequently on display, she’s also an indefatigable nerd and recovering introvert who enjoys spending her free time going on birding expeditions, watching Jeopardy, and telling jokes so corny they can provoke eye rolls from just about everyone who has progressed beyond the 4th grade. Rana is a graduate of Wayne State University’s Journalism School and the Journalism Institute for Media Diversity. She currently serves on the Board Executive Committee of ACCESS, the nation’s largest Arab American community non-profit.

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Ryan Chavez (he/him/his)

Ryan Chavez (he/him/his)

Chief Financial Officer

Ryan Chavez joined Proteus Fund as Chief Financial Officer in 2019. His career spans across organizations at various stages of growth, from small grassroots organizations to more established ones. As Managing Director of Finance and Administration at Drug Policy Alliance and its 501(c)(4) sister organization, Drug Policy Action, he managed the organizati...

Ryan Chavez joined Proteus Fund as Chief Financial Officer in 2019. His career spans across organizations at various stages of growth, from small grassroots organizations to more established ones. As Managing Director of Finance and Administration at Drug Policy Alliance and its 501(c)(4) sister organization, Drug Policy Action, he managed the organization’s growth from an annual operating budget of $9 million to over $20 million.

Ryan he/him/his) has experience working with people in broad and diverse communities on issues of racial and social justice, from working with AIDS service organizations, to developing supportive housing programs, to serving as Chief Operating Officer of a national advocacy organization. Ryan has also served in a variety of volunteer non-profit board rules, including as Board Treasurer of the Paul Rapoport Foundation.

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Tiffany Mendoza (she/her/hers)

Tiffany Mendoza (she/her/hers)

Program Officer, Piper Fund

Tiffany joined Proteus Fund in 2022 as a Program Officer for Piper Fund. She has worked for over a decade on all sides of campaign and movement building work, centering racial justice at each stage. During her time at Moxie Media, Tiffany was a lead consultant for Washington Won’t Discriminate and the Transform Washington narratives project which resulte...

Tiffany joined Proteus Fund in 2022 as a Program Officer for Piper Fund. She has worked for over a decade on all sides of campaign and movement building work, centering racial justice at each stage. During her time at Moxie Media, Tiffany was a lead consultant for Washington Won’t Discriminate and the Transform Washington narratives project which resulted in successfully defeating multiple anti-transgender ballot efforts. As a co-founder of Inclusive Solutions, an equity policy and campaign strategy firm, Tiffany provided strategic direction to Front and Centered, a statewide coalition of 60+ community of color-led organizations working on environmental justice. While there, Tiffany created an iterative community engagement model to inform policy development centering those overburdened by pollution and climate change. This resulted in the passage of the HEAL Act which commits state agencies to environmental justice practices. Most recently, Tiffany was the Political Director to Progress Alliance, where she provided political analysis, identified key strategic opportunities to align donors and provided technical and capacity support to grantees.

“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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Vina Kay (she/her/hers)

Vina Kay (she/her/hers)

Director, Piper Fund

Vina Kay has committed her career and life to realizing a vision for racial justice, focusing on the systemic and structural change needed as well as how we practice liberation and model the world we seek. She is a community organizer at heart.

Vina came to the Proteus Fund after having served as Vice President of Movement Capacity Building...

Vina Kay has committed her career and life to realizing a vision for racial justice, focusing on the systemic and structural change needed as well as how we practice liberation and model the world we seek. She is a community organizer at heart.

Vina came to the Proteus Fund after having served as Vice President of Movement Capacity Building at Race Forward. She led a team focused on supporting, strengthening, and expanding grassroots movements for racial justice and increasing the capacity of organizations to engage in transformative racial equity work. Prior to Race Forward, Vina was Executive Director at Voices for Racial Justice, an organization based in Minnesota that works to create a healthy ecosystem of racial justice organizing through training and leadership development, culturally rooted policy tools and research practices, convenings and network building. While at Voices, she was also Director of Research and Policy, leading the work on the Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity, racial equity agendas, community narratives, and other tools that support grassroots organizing.

The daughter of immigrant parents from Thailand, she was raised in Omaha and is a graduate of Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School. She has benefitted from the mentorship of great teachers, including the late Senator Paul Wellstone at Carleton and john powell at the University of Minnesota Law School. Following law school, she worked with john powell at the Institute on Race and Poverty, first as legal fellow and then as senior researcher and director of the Racial Justice and Regional Equity Project.

Vina is a writer of creative nonfiction and poetry and has received the Loft Mentor Series award in creative nonfiction and a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Residency at Tofte Lake Center for poetry. She has served on many boards, currently including the Seward Community Co-op in Minneapolis. She is Co-Director and Co-Producer of Inside Montessori, a documentary film that reframes the conversation about education to focus on learning environments that support children, regardless of race, class, age, or community, in reaching their full potential.

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Yasmine Shawwaf (she/her/hers)

Yasmine Shawwaf (she/her/hers)

Senior Grants Associate

Yasmine (she/her/hers) joined Proteus Fund in 2020 as the Grants & Operations Associate. In this role, she supports the grants management team in addition to Proteus’ various grantmaking programs and operations. Prior to joining Proteus, Yasmine spent several years working for nonprofit and public agencies which included engaging in direct human services ...

Yasmine (she/her/hers) joined Proteus Fund in 2020 as the Grants & Operations Associate. In this role, she supports the grants management team in addition to Proteus’ various grantmaking programs and operations. Prior to joining Proteus, Yasmine spent several years working for nonprofit and public agencies which included engaging in direct human services work and focusing on issues such as housing and economic justice. She was introduced to grantmaking by working in partnership with local nonprofits to create program evaluations and grant proposals. She recently co-authored “Circassians”, a chapter for the academic publication, “The Palgrave Handbook of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”. Yasmine holds a Master of Arts in Community Development & Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

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Zahra Ali (she/her/hers)

Zahra Ali (she/her/hers)

Strategic Partnership Officer

Zahra Ali (she/her/hers) joined the Proteus Fund in July 2023. She is a seasoned fundraiser and communications specialist with a background in advocating for the needs and rights of underserved and racialized communities.

Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, Zahra served as the Assistant Director of Institutional Philanthropy at the Internati...

Zahra Ali (she/her/hers) joined the Proteus Fund in July 2023. She is a seasoned fundraiser and communications specialist with a background in advocating for the needs and rights of underserved and racialized communities.

Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, Zahra served as the Assistant Director of Institutional Philanthropy at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) where she grew a portfolio of institutional donors to support the expansion of pathways for displaced people globally and rebuilding the refugee resettlement system in the U.S., including battling the ongoing effects of harmful policies like Title 42 and the Muslim and African Ban. Previously, she led development and communications initiatives at the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn, a community-based organization that empowers immigrants and refugees across New York City. During her three years at AAFSC, she helped double the organization’s budget and expand its visibility to donors, partners, organizers, and politicians across New York City through events and digital advocacy. She also served as a Global Health Corps Fellow at Housing Works, where she secured grassroots funding and crafted marketing campaigns to further the organization’s mission to end the dual crises of HIV/AIDS and homelessness.

Zahra received an Honours B.A. in Diaspora and Transnational Studies from the University of Toronto with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and African Studies. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising and Resource Development from Georgian College.

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