Staff

Paul Di Donato

Paul Di Donato

President and CEO - New York, NY

Paul Di Donato (He, Him) is President and CEO of the Proteus Fund, a nationally recognized public foundation. Proteus Fund, along with its affiliated 501(c)(4) organization Proteus Action League, partners with donors, grantees, and other social justice allies to advance racial, gender, and queer justice and an inclusive, representative democracy. Currentl...

Paul Di Donato (He, Him) is President and CEO of the Proteus Fund, a nationally recognized public foundation. Proteus Fund, along with its affiliated 501(c)(4) organization Proteus Action League, partners with donors, grantees, and other social justice allies to advance racial, gender, and queer justice and an inclusive, representative democracy. Currently, Proteus Fund supports 24 initiatives through its donor collaboratives, fiscally sponsored projects, and fund management services. The foundation granted more than $27 million in 2020, with funds going to 377 organizations.

Paul has worked on social justice issues and movements at the state, national, and global level for over thirty years. Prior to becoming Proteus Fund’s president in 2016, Paul directed its Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC), a groundbreaking donor collaborative that played a critical role in the successful fight for marriage equality in the United States. Under his leadership, the CMC created a space for committed donors, visionary activists and advocates, and talented allies from across many sectors to partner on groundbreaking strategies and tactics. The CMC also awarded over $20 million in grants and played a major role in organizing other funders to collectively resource a cultural sea change on LGBTQ justice.

Before leading the CMC, Paul pursued his social justice vision as a philanthropic and nonprofit leader, lobbyist, consultant, civil rights litigator, and activist. As Executive Director, he transformed Funders Concerned About AIDS into a leading international philanthropic actor in the global response to the pandemic. Paul provided key leadership on national and California-specific HIV/AIDS public policy victories as Federal Affairs Director and Public Policy Director at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Public Policy Director at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. He also served as both Executive and Legal Director for National Gay Rights Advocates, one of the first national LGBTQ legal rights organizations.

Paul has consulted on strategy, program development and evaluation, leadership development, and governance with a wide range of philanthropic, non-profit, and academic clients. He has also served in several volunteer leadership positions. As an attorney in private practice, Paul litigated prison reform, employment discrimination, and voting rights cases.

Paul developed his passion for activism as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, dedicating his energies to anti-Apartheid, gender, and LGBTQ justice issues. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School and was the first man to be named a Revson Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.

Read more
Alison Kysia

Alison Kysia

Grant Writer, RISE Together Fund

Alison joined the RISE Together Fund (RTF) in 2020 as the Grant Writer. Prior to joining Proteus Fund, Alison was an educator and curriculum writer who facilitated anti-bias and other professional development workshops about Islam, Muslims, and Islamophobia. As the Outreach Coordinator at the Institute for Middle East Studies at The George Washington Univ...

Alison joined the RISE Together Fund (RTF) in 2020 as the Grant Writer. Prior to joining Proteus Fund, Alison was an educator and curriculum writer who facilitated anti-bias and other professional development workshops about Islam, Muslims, and Islamophobia. As the Outreach Coordinator at the Institute for Middle East Studies at The George Washington University, she designed teacher professional development workshops for K-12 teachers and advanced IMES’s funding portfolio. As the Director of the Challenge Islamophobia Project at Teaching for Change, Alison wrote a set of detailed lesson plans on anti-Muslim bias and discrimination, curated a website of free and downloadable resources, and shared the resources through professional development workshops with teachers, activists, religious leaders, and other nonprofit practitioners. Earlier in her career, Alison taught history and social justice in a residential abuse therapy program for teenage girls; English as a Foreign Language for adult learners; U.S., world, and Islamic history at a community college; and interreligious dialogue courses. She holds a BA in Race, Class, and Gender Studies and an MA in History.

“If all the trees on earth were pens and all the seas, with seven more seas besides, were ink, still God’s words would not run out.” Quran 31:27

Read more
Amardeep Singh

Amardeep Singh

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.

Read more
Beery Adams Jiménez

Beery Adams Jiménez

Vice President of Fiscal Sponsorship & Grants Management

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

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

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

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

Beery was a 2014-15 Community Fellow at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. She has served on various boards and advisory committees, most recently the Steering Committee of PEAK Grantmaking’s New England chapter and the Waltham Dual Language 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. She is a southern transplant to Massachusetts, and lives outside of Boston with her family.

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

Read more
Christine Harris

Christine Harris

Grant Writer, Piper Fund

Christine joined the Piper Fund in April of 2019 as grant writer. She has more than 20 years of experience in foundation and government grant writing for national and global advocacy organizations working on a range of issues, including biodiversity conservation, national security, and wilderness protection. Christine has worked as a foundation relations ...

Christine joined the Piper Fund in April of 2019 as grant writer. She has more than 20 years of experience in foundation and government grant writing for national and global advocacy organizations working on a range of issues, including biodiversity conservation, national security, and wilderness protection. Christine has worked as a foundation relations manager with the Wilderness Society, Conservation International, and the American Geophysical Union. Other experience includes working as a proposal/technical editor for engineering consulting firms. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida, a top-ranked school in this field.

Read more
Claire Downing

Claire Downing

Program Officer, RISE Together Fund

Claire Downing joined Proteus Fund in 2016 and currently serves as Program Officer for the RISE Together Fund (RTF). In her role, Claire helps maintain a diverse portfolio of grants, technical assistance efforts, and programming initiatives to support the Black/African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) field in its work to address p...

Claire Downing joined Proteus Fund in 2016 and currently serves as Program Officer for the RISE Together Fund (RTF). In her role, Claire helps maintain a diverse portfolio of grants, technical assistance efforts, and programming initiatives to support the Black/African, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (BAMEMSA) field in its work to address profiling, discrimination, hate crimes, anti-Muslim bigotry, and xenophobia, and build a more just, equitable, and inclusive multiracial and feminist democracy. Claire was also the 2019 Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Human Rights Fellow and published op-eds on global human rights issues. Prior to joining RTF, Claire was the Finance and Administration Officer at Namati, an international legal empowerment NGO. Claire’s previous positions were in banking, finance, and government contracting, and she has also interned at Kroll, Transparency International-USA and on the Hill for Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs (summa cum laude) from George Mason University, and a Master of Arts in International Affairs, concentration in Conflict and Conflict Resolution from the George Washington University. Claire is a current PhD candidate at George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Claire’s research explores community perceptions of and experiences with countering violent extremism (CVE) programming. Her project applies a critical lens to understanding how the wider infrastructure of counterterrorism and national security policy has had deleterious impacts on community relations, particularly concerning identity.

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

Read more
Deborah Makari

Deborah Makari

Program Assistant, RISE Together Fund

Deborah joined Proteus Fund in September 2019 and serves as the Program Assistant for the RISE Together Fund (RTF). She supports the Program Director as well as various aspects of grantmaking, partnership and field support work. Deborah graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in History (summa cum laude) and minors in ...

Deborah joined Proteus Fund in September 2019 and serves as the Program Assistant for the RISE Together Fund (RTF). She supports the Program Director as well as various aspects of grantmaking, partnership and field support work. Deborah graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in History (summa cum laude) and minors in Inequality & Society and English. Her previous work, volunteer, and internship experience include volunteering for Community Refugee & Immigration Services (CRIS), interning at the Cleveland office of Senator Sherrod Brown, interning for the Council on American Islamic Relations-Ohio, and most recently, working as a program intern for Muslim Advocates through the Arab American Institute (AAI) internship program.

Read more
Estevan Muñoz-Howard

Estevan Muñoz-Howard

Senior Program Officer, Piper Fund

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

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

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

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

Read more
George Holt Jr.

George Holt Jr.

Accounting Manager

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

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

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

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

Read more
Jason Constantine

Jason Constantine

Director of Information Services

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

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

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

Read more
Jill Price Marshall

Jill Price Marshall

Chief Operating Officer

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

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

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

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

Read more
Julia Reticker-Flynn

Julia Reticker-Flynn

Program Officer, Piper Fund

Julia Reticker-Flynn joined Proteus Fund in 2019 as the Program Officer for the Right to Protest with Piper Fund. She supports state groups defending protest rights and coordinates the Protect Dissent Network, a coalition of 20 national organizations united in defense of freedom of assembly. Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, Julia served as the Director ...

Julia Reticker-Flynn joined Proteus Fund in 2019 as the Program Officer for the Right to Protest with Piper Fund. She supports state groups defending protest rights and coordinates the Protect Dissent Network, a coalition of 20 national organizations united in defense of freedom of assembly. Prior to joining the Proteus Fund, Julia served as the Director of Youth Organizing & Mobilization at Advocates for Youth for nearly a decade where she oversaw a team of talented organizers, visionaries, and activists boldly championing young people’s sexual health and reproductive rights. She is deeply invested in driving campaigns that employ culture shift, policy advocacy, and grassroots mobilization to create change. During her time at Advocates she trained thousands of young people on grassroots organizing skills, mobilized tens of thousands to take action on federal policy initiatives, and launched one of the first national storytelling campaigns to destigmatize abortion. Julia served on the Board of Directors of Nurses for Sexual and 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

Read more
Kathy Bonnifield

Kathy Bonnifield

Senior Program Officer, Piper Fund

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

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

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

Read more
Kyrstin Thorson Rogers

Kyrstin Thorson Rogers

Grants Manager

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

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

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

Read more
Lauren Bence

Lauren Bence

Director of Human Resources

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

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

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

Read more
Leah Pryor-Lease

Leah Pryor-Lease

Director, Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more
Marcus James Williams

Marcus James Williams

Donor Services Manager

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

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

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

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

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

Read more
Max Alaghband

Max Alaghband

Donor Services Associate

Max joined Proteus Fund in September 2020 after a year in Taiwan studying Mandarin Chinese on the HES Scholarship. In his role as Donor Services Associate, Max works closely with the Donors Services Manager and Finance team to manage our funding database and support the Donor Collaboratives, Donor Advised Funds, and Fiscally Sponsored Projects in all gran...

Max joined Proteus Fund in September 2020 after a year in Taiwan studying Mandarin Chinese on the HES Scholarship. In his role as Donor Services Associate, Max works closely with the Donors Services Manager and Finance team to manage our funding database and support the Donor Collaboratives, Donor Advised Funds, and Fiscally Sponsored Projects in all grant application, reporting, and income-related needs. Max graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in both Economics and China & Asia Pacific Studies. He has held internships and volunteer positions in economics research, entrepreneurship, immigrant justice, sustainable development, and translation and interpretation services. Along the way, he learned that the process of liberation is as personal as it is collective. He is thrilled to be supporting work that advances justice and equity, while cultivating and sharing internal freedom and well-being through teaching yoga and mindfulness.

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” -Cornel West

Read more
M Harper Doherty

M Harper Doherty

Staff Accountant

M Harper Doherty has a broad range of experience in non-profit and higher education administration, as well as business and management. After moving to the Pioneer Valley region in 1994, M worked with the Prison Book Project and other social justice organizations while earning an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dur...

M Harper Doherty has a broad range of experience in non-profit and higher education administration, as well as business and management. After moving to the Pioneer Valley region in 1994, M worked with the Prison Book Project and other social justice organizations while earning an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. During a five-year stint in Thailand, they co-founded the Phuket Has Been Good to Us Foundation, a youth-focused educational charity organization. Locally, M served as an Assistant Dean in Student Affairs at Hampshire College, in development at Greenfield Community College, and in Finance at The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. They are also known in the Pioneer Valley as the former owner-operator of Popcorn Noir, a unique movie-theater/restaurant once featured on NPR’s Marketplace.

Outside of Proteus, M explores the ways in which humans employ performativity in everyday interactions in creating meaning and connecting with each other. They work to illuminate the importance of embodied expression relative to words or text, and the role such an approach may play in social justice and healing.

Read more
Monica Kim

Monica Kim

Program Assistant, Piper Fund

Monica Kim 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 ...

Monica Kim 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.

Read more
Melissa Spatz

Melissa Spatz

Director, Piper Fund

Melissa Spatz is the director of the Piper Fund, leading Piper’s strategic work to build a healthy democracy that works for all. Melissa brings over 25 years of experience as a community organizer, nonprofit executive, grant maker, and attorney. Prior to joining Piper in 2012 (and assuming the director role in 2014), she directed two award-winning Chicag...

Melissa Spatz is the director of the Piper Fund, leading Piper’s strategic work to build a healthy democracy that works for all. Melissa brings over 25 years of experience as a community organizer, nonprofit executive, grant maker, and attorney. Prior to joining Piper in 2012 (and assuming the director role in 2014), she directed two award-winning Chicago-based organizations, led national organizing campaigns through the National People’s Action network, and practiced law on behalf of low-income clients in Chicago. Her work has addressed a wide range of issues including democracy, media justice, housing rights, police accountability, health care, and gender justice. Melissa has founded and co-founded numerous projects and organizations, including the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, the Women’s Rights Project at Human Rights Watch, the Chicago Freedom School, Chicago Youth United, and the Center for Emerging Leadership. A graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s year-long Selah program, she holds a BA from Swarthmore College and a JD from Columbia Law School.

Read more
Patti Affenito

Patti Affenito

Controller

Patti 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 th...

Patti 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

Read more
Ryan Chavez

Ryan Chavez

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 organizatio...

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 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.

Read more
Saquoia Cox

Saquoia Cox

Staff Accountant

Saquoia Cox joined Proteus Fund in October 2019 as a Staff Accountant. Among other duties, she coordinates payroll to ensure compliance with state and federal wage laws, assists with month and annual closing and reconciliations, and assists with financial reporting and budgeting. Prior to joining the Proteus team, Saquoia worked for other non-profit organ...

Saquoia Cox joined Proteus Fund in October 2019 as a Staff Accountant. Among other duties, she coordinates payroll to ensure compliance with state and federal wage laws, assists with month and annual closing and reconciliations, and assists with financial reporting and budgeting. Prior to joining the Proteus team, Saquoia worked for other non-profit organizations based in Western Massachusetts, including Highland Valley Elder Services and Center for Human Development. She holds a BS in Accounting and two Masters’ degrees from Bath Path University. She’s very passionate about being a lifetime learner, traveler, and helper.

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."- John Quincy Adams

Read more
Sara Muller-Ravett

Sara Muller-Ravett

Senior Associate, Contract & Sponsored Projects

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

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

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

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

Read more
Sheila Bapat

Sheila Bapat

Senior Program Officer, RISE Together Fund

Sheila 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 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

Read more
Siobhan Madden

Siobhan Madden

Executive Administrator & Board Liaison

Siobhan joined Proteus Fund in October 2020 as the Executive Administrator and Board Liaison. She has spent her professional career working in the nonprofit sector and brings extensive administrative experience in supporting executives and working closely with boards of directors. Prior to joining Proteus Fund, she worked at the March of Dimes Foundation,...

Siobhan joined Proteus Fund in October 2020 as the Executive Administrator and Board Liaison. She has spent her professional career working in the nonprofit sector and brings extensive administrative experience in supporting executives and working closely with boards of directors. Prior to joining Proteus Fund, she worked at the March of Dimes Foundation, Women’s Refugee Commission and
most recently the 14th Street Y Community Organization. Siobhan received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Educational Studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

"You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep Spring from coming." -Pablo Neruda

Read more
Yasmine Shawwaf

Yasmine Shawwaf

Grants & Operations Associate

Yasmine 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 focusi...

Yasmine 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.

Read more