Melissa A. Berman
Philanthropy – whether through giving, investing or advocating – has embarked on an exciting age of exploration with new horizons, new tools and new commitment. We’re creating the maps as we discover opportunities.
Nick loves building systems that strengthen and build capacity for RPA’s clients and staff—leveraging technology for stronger programmatic outcomes.
Walter is driven by the opportunity to help donors turn talent and motivation into philanthropic impact.
“Many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of. Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface.” — Ken Robinson
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett
“Freedoms are not only the primary ends of development, they are also among its principal means.” — Amartya Sen
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'" - Eleanor Roosevelt
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." — Henry David Thoreau
Le Anne Alexander
Le Anne believes you are not able to be truly philanthropic unless you are thoughtful—that mindfulness and thoughtfulness spur true love of humanity.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou
Based in San Francisco, Berit Ashla leads Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ West Coast advisory work, manages client engagements and works with a range of individual, family and corporate donors. She holds a wealth of experience in grantmaking, foundation governance, social justice, arts and sustainability. She is a frequent contributor to national and regional philanthropic conferences and events. To maintain Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ recognized leadership in the field of philanthropy, Berit utilizes her expertise in a range of issue areas to provide tailored strategic support to clients.
Donzie’s favorite part of her job is having the opportunity to work with donors around the world who are creative and open to new ideas.
Shermane relishes her RPA role as a “philanthropic matchmaker,” connecting thoughtful grantmakers with effective grantseekers around common areas of interest.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced...” — James Baldwin
Patrick believes a flourishing donor is the seed of social good—within the individual, then in the world.
Cordell believes that the foundation for success comes from creating connections across people, process and planning.
“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.” - Les Brown
“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle
“You write in order to change the world ... if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” - James Baldwin
Elizabeth is motivated on a daily basis by the wide array of projects she supports that are working towards positive social change.
“We are all actors: being a citizen is not living in society, it is changing it.” - Augusto Boal
Heather’s lifelong experience in supporting social progress and economic development define how she helps foundations, philanthropists and impact investors craft effective pathways to sustainable, effective and rewarding systems-level change.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." — Helen Keller
Amy believes that giving can create meaning for donors, inspire generosity in others, and build connections between people.
“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” — Tupac Shakur
Tina loves helping clients find meaning, strategy and fun with their philanthropy, and she is inspired by quotes like this: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world” — Desmond Tutu
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” -- Bill Bradley
“Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean And the pleasant land” – Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney
Jane thinks fiscal sponsorship is a great solution to funders and others wanting to carry out charitable activities.
Sunie loves what she does because of the unique role Human Resources plays in contributing to the overall success of an organization.
As Senior Associate, Germain works with the Sponsored Projects and Funds team by supporting assigned sponsored projects, and is responsible for assisting the other SP&F team members with project management, contracts, payments, and grants management. He collaborates with our internal partners (HR, Finance, and Operations) for projects, and provides administrative support to the team, as assigned. Germain reports directly to Cordell Brown, Director of Sponsored Projects and Funds.
Prior to joining RPA, Germain interned as a Human Resources Assistant at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and was an Administrative Assistant at Sudler and Hennessy, an advertising, marketing & communications firm in the healthcare industry. Germain worked with RPA in a temporary capacity from February until officially joined the Sponsored Projects & Funds team in August 2019. During his time as a temp at RPA, he gained familiarity with the nonprofit sector, specifically fiscal sponsorship and grantmaking.
He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Healthcare, from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. His outside interests include competitive sports and music production.
“The results of philanthropy are always beyond calculation” — Miriam Beard
Jesse loves the moment where months of planning and thought come together to make true change that stretch philanthropic dollars for years to come.
Naamah Paley Rose
The philanthropist Naamah most admires is Julius Rosenwald (d. 1932), a child of German Jewish immigrants who created the Sears Roebuck empire and practiced “giving while living” when he funded nearly 5,000 schools for African American children across the rural Jim Crow South.
“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” — Anne Frank
“If we are honest with ourselves today, we will acknowledge that the ideal of Democracy has never failed, but that we haven't carried it out, and in our lack of faith we have debased the human being who must have a chance to live if Democracy is to be successful.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Greg is a Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ New York office beginning in 2019 and manages client engagements with a range of individual, family and corporate donors.
Joanne appreciates working with passionate, thoughtful philanthropists—helping them to engage meaningfully in their giving. She also enjoys connecting nonprofit organizations with the resources they need to thrive.
“We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the Earth as its other creatures do.” —Barbara Ward
"Each day we go to our work in the hope of discovering." — Nikola Tesla
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." — Mahatma Gandhi
Donita loves having the opportunity to work with the macro and micro components of philanthropy—witnessing both the grand scope and theory of what philanthropy can accomplish as well as the faces for whom philanthropy has made a difference.
Wendy O’Neill is Chairman of the Asian Cultural Council, where she has been a trustee since 2009.
Peter C. Rockefeller
Peter C. Rockefeller is a managing director with Brock Capital Group.
Adam Wolfensohn is Co-Managing Partner of Encourage Capital, an asset management firm focused on profitable and strategic investments to solve critical social and environmental problems.
Ana Marie Argilagos
Mac Broderick is Vice President, Strategy, at Parallax Energy, a liquefied natural gas (LNG)-focused project developer based in Houston, Texas.
Kyungsun Chung is the Founder and CEO of Root Impact, a nonprofit that focuses on building capacity for the social innovation sector in Korea.
Andrew Dayton is a social entrepreneur with a passion for community development and social equity.
Andrew Dayton is a social entrepreneur with a passion for community development and social equity.
Most recently, Andrew served as the Deputy Director of Legislative and Government Affairs to San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, leading the city’s wide array of policy and budgetary priorities at the state and federal levels, and overseeing the San Francisco’s lobbying efforts in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Andrew is also the co-founder and co-owner of North Corp, the umbrella company behind the transformation of a 130-year-old warehouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota into three award-winning businesses—a restaurant, craft cocktail bar, and men’s clothing store—that collectively employ nearly 100 people.
Andrew earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from Yale University. He is a fifth generation member of the Rockefeller family.
Cathy Frank Halstead
Cathy Frank Halstead serves as a Trustee of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation. She is a co-founder and trustee of the Tippet Rise Art Center as well as of the Adrian Brinkerhoff Foundation, and a member of the Corporation of Brown University.
Cathy Frank Halstead serves as a Trustee of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation, which makes more than 90 annual grants in education, the arts, and the environment throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Additionally, she is also a co-founder and trustee of the Tippet Rise Art Center as well as of the Adrian Brinkerhoff Foundation. Cathy is also a member of the Corporation of Brown University.
Cathy is an abstract painter and has shown her work internationally for more than two decades. She and her husband, Peter, established the Tippet Rise Art Center on an 11,000-acre ranch north of Yellowstone National Park. The center provides a unique environment for music and theater in the shadow of the Beartooth Mountains. The Adrian Brinkerhoff Foundation focuses on classical poetry and drama, bringing them to new audiences in innovative ways.
Cathy is a returning board member to the Board of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. She served three consecutive full terms on the RPA Board from 2007 through 2015.
Juanita James is the President & CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
Luther Ragin, Jr.
Luther Ragin is the former President and Founding CEO of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).
Ryan C. Rockefeller
Valerie Rockefeller Wayne is the Chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
A former middle school special education teacher specializing in adolescents with learning and emotional disabilities, Valerie began her teaching career at Central Park East Secondary School in East Harlem, New York and then taught in Australia. She also served as a confidential assistant to Secretary Richard Riley at the U.S. Department of Education during the first Clinton Administration.
Valerie is Chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and is a trustee of Achievement First, the Asian Cultural Council, D.C. Preparatory Academy, Greenwich Academy, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, and Teachers College Columbia University, and a former trustee of Spelman College. Valerie lives with her three children in Old Greenwich, CT.
Theo Spencer is a Senior Policy Advocate at the Natural Resource Defense Council and a fifth generation member of the Rockefeller family.
Sarah Teacher is a Consultant at Sancroft International, an international sustainability consultancy.
Rien van Gendt
Rien van Gendt is the former Executive Director of the Van Leer Group Foundation in Amstelveen, Netherlands.