Board of DirectorsDeepak Bhargava
Deepak Bhargava is Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that affect their lives. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director of the Center in 2002, Mr. Bhargava served as the Center’s Director of Public Policy. He also directed the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, a coalition of grassroots groups established in 2000 to give low-income people a voice in the reauthorization of the federal welfare law and other areas critical to poor people. Born in Bangalore, India, Mr. Bhargava immigrated to the United States when he was a child. He grew up in New York City and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner Harry Hanbury, a documentary filmmaker.
Mialisa T. Bonta
Mialisa T. Bonta is an independent consultant based in the Bay Area, CA. Her small firm, Oyen Consulting, has clients primarily in the education, youth, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Prior to this venture, Mialisa was CEO of Breakthrough Collaborative, a national nonprofit supporting college access and teacher recruitment. She also worked at The San Francisco Foundation where she conducted grantmaking in education, funding nonprofit organizations in the areas of school reform, youth development, early childhood education and family support. Mialisa holds a BA from Yale University, an EdM in Administrative Planning and Social Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a JD from Yale Law School.
For twelve years, Ed did nonprofit work in organizations controlled by J. Irwin Miller in what is now called venture philanthropy. In 1980, he joined the Miller-controlled Cummins Company and became a business entrepreneur in a variety of assignments. Over 15 years later, Ed led several software companies to success in the Minneapolis area. Ed has served as board member to a number of organizations including Shorebank, Cooperative Assistance Fund (a foundation for Program Related Investments), Cybermetrics (a woman-owned and -led high-tech engineering company), 21st Century Fund (developing world community-based economic development) and others. He worked cooperatively with the Center for Community Change throughout the 1970s, joined the board in 1988 and has been actively involved in a variety of roles since, including a stint as Chair of both the Center and its Endowment. Ed went to Williams and Stanford, is married to Jan, and has four children and eight grandchildren.
Heather Booth has been an organizer for over 40 years, starting in the civil rights and women's movements. She is one of the country’s leading strategists about the development of progressive issue campaigns and the integration of issue and electoral (or civic engagement) efforts. She was the founding Director and is now President of the Midwest Academy, training social change leaders and organizers. In 2000, she was the Director of the NAACP National Voter Fund, which helped to increase African American election turnout by nearly 2 million voters. In 2008 she was the director of the Health Care Campaign for the AFL-CIO, organizing to win affordable high-quality reform for all. In 2010 she was the founding director of Americans for Financial Reform, fighting to regulate the financial industry. She also served as the lead consultant to launching the Campaign for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Heather is on the board of the Center for Community Change and NAACP National Voter Fund, and is Vice President of USAction.
Bill Dempsey serves as the Program Director & Senior Vice President of The Nathan Cummings FoundatioPreviously, he directed the Capital Stewardship Program for the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, one of the largest private-sector unions in North America. Bill has over twenty years of experience in the labor and civil rights movements, mostly working on the local level with labor-community coalitions in the Midwestern U.S. In his native Milwaukee, he led the passage of some of the earliest living wage laws through a coalition founded by the Milwaukee County Labor Council and local neighborhood groups. While in Milwaukee, Bill co-founded the Milwaukee Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center. Bill has also worked closely with civil rights groups and the Building Trades in a variety of places to win project labor agreements that include affirmative action and innovative training programs that move disadvantaged job-seekers into family-supporting, unionized careers. Prior to UFCW, he worked with the Service Employees to quadruple the size of its Capital Stewardship Program and co-founded the CtW Investment Group.
Matthew Klein is the Executive Director and first staff person of Blue Ridge Foundation New York. Blue Ridge operates as an incubator, identifying innovative, high-potential ideas and transforming them into institutions that demonstrate practical, effective solutions to social problems. The Foundation is associated with Blue Ridge Capital, an investment firm in New York City. Matt is also an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches courses on venture philanthropy and the nonprofit capital market. Matt currently serves on several local and national nonprofit boards and has been a fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation and the Next Generation Leadership program of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a member of the bar in New York and Massachusetts. Matt attended the Boston Public Schools, Yale College and Yale Law School.
In March 2008, Ali Noorani became the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. The Forum, based in Washington DC, is one of the nation’s premier immigration policy organizations and has been at the center of every major legislative and policy debate related to immigration over the past 25 years. Prior to joining the Forum, Ali was Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), an organization he joined in November 2003. Under his leadership, MIRA more than tripled its staff and programs, and greatly increased its capacity to advocate for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees. Ali is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and received his Master’s in Public Health from Boston University. Ali has authored numerous articles, and has engaged local, national and international media on issues of concern to immigrants and refugees.
Kenneth E. Reeves
City Counselor Kenneth E. Reeves was born and brought up in Detroit, Michigan. He attended the legendary Cass Technical High School, and graduated a year after Detroit’s turbulent 1967 riots. He attended Harvard College and graduated cum laude in 1972. He later served as the managing attorney of the General Motors United Auto Workers Legal Plan in Massachusetts. He also served as a principal in the Cambridge-based law firm of Singleton, Reeves, Bowsger and Huggins. Since 1990, Ken has been elected as a Cambridge City Councilor. He has served three terms as the mayor of Cambridge (1992-1993, 1994-1995, 2006-2007).Ken served as the first African American mayor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the first openly black, gay mayor in the United States. Ken has received numerous awards and recognition, including NAACP Drum-Major for Justice Award, Boy Scouts of America Award, African Methodist Episcopal Church Significant Achievement Award, Absalom Jones Award, Click magazine award, and Massachusetts Black Attorney Award.
Justin Ruben is the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. As a primary architect of MoveOn's field organizing program, he helped launch MoveOn's initial organizing efforts in the 2004 elections, and then created MoveOn's network of local member councils. In 2008, he supervised the email organizing program that helped turned out 1,000,000 MoveOn volunteers for the Obama campaign. Ruben has 15 years of experience as an organizer working on labor, environmental justice, and fair trade issues. Prior to joining the MoveOn staff, he was as an organizer for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in New Haven, CT, and before that worked to connect progressive groups in North America with small farmers in Ecuador to address the impacts of trade policies on rural communities and the environment. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College in Environmental Biology and Environmental Studies and a Masters of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry. In 1997, he graduated from Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. He was a 1995 Truman Scholar, a 2001 Switzer Fellow, and a 2001 Teresa Heinz Scholar.
Susan Sandler works at the Sandler Foundation with her parents and brother. She is also co-President of a donor collaborative called the Progressive Era Project that is building a social justice infrastructure in California (building political power and networks to move a bold social justice policy agenda). Prior to transitioning to full-time work as a funder in 2008, Susan spent 17 years working for racial justice in education as an organizational leader, policy advocate, researcher, professional development provider, school therapist, teacher, and activist. Most recently, she was President of Justice Matters, which advocates for policies for racially just schools. Susan is a member of the Board of El Puente, and sits on the Advisory Board of Teachers 4 Social Justice. Susan holds a Master’s in Social Work from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University.
Janet Shenk is a senior program officer at the Panta Rhea Foundation, overseeing grantmaking on issues of corporate accountability. She worked previously as deputy director of the Center for Community and Corporate Ethics, where she helped design and implement a campaign to challenge the business practices of big-box retail stores. From 1999 to 2005, Janet served as a Special Assistant to John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, building partnerships between the philanthropic community and labor unions. She was Executive Director of the Arca Foundation for nine years, where she combined international and domestic grantmaking on human rights, campaign finance reform and social justice. Janet has lived and travelled extensively in Latin America, first as a Fulbright Scholar and later as a consultant to Ecuador’s Ministry of Economic Planning. She currently serves on the boards of the Arca Foundation, The American Prospect, and Demos. Janet received her B.A. degree from Smith College, and M.A. in Economics from the New School for Social Research. She lives with her husband, Steve Abrecht, and daughter, Olivia, in Washington, DC
*PRESIDENT & BOARD CHAIR