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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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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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 has stewarded that function through exponential growth with a focus on aligning processes and resourc...

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 has stewarded that function through exponential growth with a focus on aligning processes and resources for maximum social impact and efficiency. During that time, she has overseen the award of more than $200 million in grants. As VP for Fiscal Sponsorship & Grants Management, Beery continues 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 coordinating services for a dynamic ecosystem of progressive initiatives.


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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Janis Mensah (they/them/theirs)

Janis Mensah (they/them/theirs)

Grants Management Associate

Janis Mensah (they/them/theirs) is the grants management associate at Proteus Fund and has enjoyed a career in the nonprofit industry since attending Washington University in St. Louis. At WashU Janis found a passion for queer and black studies as well as Spanish and graduated class of 2019 with a Women, Gender, & Sexualities degree. Prior to their return...

Janis Mensah (they/them/theirs) is the grants management associate at Proteus Fund and has enjoyed a career in the nonprofit industry since attending Washington University in St. Louis. At WashU Janis found a passion for queer and black studies as well as Spanish and graduated class of 2019 with a Women, Gender, & Sexualities degree. Prior to their return to development, Janis worked as a development intern and student worker, a pro bono law intern, a youth organizer, and a case manager for women and trans people who have survived prison. They now serve as a volunteer lead organizer for the Youth Participatory Defense Hub and a member of the Detention Facility Oversight Board for the City of St. Louis. At Proteus, Janis facilitates grantmaking with Donor Advised Funds and Fiscally Sponsored Projects.

"It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains." – Assata Shakur

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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)

Senior Human Resources Generalist

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)

Fiscally Sponsored Projects and Contracts Associate

Laila (she/her/hers) is the Fiscally Sponsored Projects and Contracts 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 ...

Laila (she/her/hers) is the Fiscally Sponsored Projects and Contracts 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

Madrika Reyes

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 James Williams (he/him/his) 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 wa...

Marcus James Williams (he/him/his) 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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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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Muz Afzal

Muz Afzal

Program Associate, RISE Together Fund

Muz joined the RISE Together Fund (RTF) team in 2022. Muz began his path as a farmer and has been conducting community outreach since he was a child by working at various farmers' markets throughout Northern California. He started his career by campaigning and working with elected officials for the City of Sacramento. Muz also has worked with Transition ...

Muz joined the RISE Together Fund (RTF) team in 2022. Muz began his path as a farmer and has been conducting community outreach since he was a child by working at various farmers' markets throughout Northern California. He started his career by campaigning and working with elected officials for the City of Sacramento. Muz also has worked with Transition Projects by helping unhoused community members transition from living on the streets to safe and stable housing. Most recently, he has worked as a Project Manager and community capacity builder at SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition in Portland, OR where he managed multiple programs like community grants and fiscal sponsorship.

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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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Sheila Bapat (she/her/hers)

Sheila Bapat (she/her/hers)

Senior Program Officer, RISE Together Fund

Sheila (she/her/hers) joined the Proteus Fund team in February 2018. Before joining RISE Together 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 backgroun...

Sheila (she/her/hers) joined the Proteus Fund team in February 2018. Before joining RISE Together 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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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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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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