The Council on Foundations Announces 2021 Career Pathways Cohorts

Career Pathways Program Recruits Diverse Leadership Cohorts, Invests in Future of Philanthropy

WASHINGTON, DC - The Council on Foundations today announced the two cohorts selected to participate in the 2021 Career Pathways program, a leadership development program designed to diversify the talent pipeline for executive roles in the philanthropic sector. The 47 new participants are members of the program’s eighth and ninth cohorts.

Since its inception in 2010, Career Pathways has equipped mid to senior level professionals with the tools to succeed in their journey to executive leadership. Career Pathways participants engage in programming that empowers them to overcome the barriers that candidates of color and other marginalized groups often face in the philanthropic sector. This year, in response to both the coronavirus pandemic and the high number of applicants, the program expanded to include two cohorts for the first time. Additionally, 10 of this year’s participants have been awarded the Waldman Scholarship. This scholarship, named in honor of the late David Waldman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, covers the cost of participation in the program.

In addition to the fundamental topics covered each year, this year’s cohorts will be trained in leadership strategies for virtual environments. The program will run virtually from July to December, 2021. Upon completion, the participants will be prepared not only to advance in their own careers, develop organizational strategies, and leverage the vibrant network of the Career Pathways Alumni community. Recent data shows that 87% of Career Pathways alumni have achieved senior and executive-level roles in philanthropy. 

“Yet again, this year’s applicant pool has raised the bar for future cohorts,” said Karon Moody Harden, Vice President of Programs at the Council. “We are proud and excited to welcome another group of dynamic, diverse candidates to the program. Knowing that each Career Pathways participant produces a ripple effect across philanthropy, these cohorts represent the potential to grow a sector that truly represents the communities it serves.”

The Career Pathways program is made possible through the generous support of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Walmart Foundation.


Blue Cohort

  • April Suwalsky Khan, Grants Manager, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Betsy Super, Deputy Director, American Political Science Association
  • Eboni Bugg, Director of Programs, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation
  • Emily Fan, Deputy General Counsel, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Jennifer Dickinson, Grants Manager, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Julie Vennewitz-Pierce, Director of Social Innovation, PayPal
  • Kristopher LeCorgne, Senior Business Systems Analyst, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Lucy Vandenberg, Senior Program Officer, The Fund for New Jersey
  • Mae Cheung, General Counsel and Corporate Philanthropy Secretary, Bainum Family Foundation
  • Maribel Cifuentes, Portfolio Director, The Colorado Health Foundation
  • Martin Acevedo, Director of Innovation and Planning, San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Melanie Tavares, Director of Capacity Building and Nonprofit Support, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • Melissa Howell, Prinicipal, Social Impact Design Studios LLC
  • Michael Chatman, Chief Generosity Officer, Cape Coral Community Foundation
  • Monica Reyes, Health and Human Services Program Officer, Berks County Community Foundation
  • Padmini Parthasarathy, Senior Program Officer for Economic Security, Walter and Elise Haas Fund
  • Patrice R. Green, Program Officer, Inclusive Economies, Surdna Foundation
  • Rachel Hatch, Senior Program Officer for Community Vitality, The McConnell Foundation
  • Raymael Blackwell, Program Officer, Community First Foundation
  • Robbin Hudson, Community Program Manager, United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland
  • Sonia Mathew, Program Officer, Democracy Program, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • Tia Hodges, Senior Program Officer (Senior Vice President), Citi Foundation
  • Valerie Goode, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, San Francisco Foundation
  • Vanessa Goodwin, Assistant General Counsel, Arnold Ventures LLC

Green Cohort

  • Alexandria Cooley, Deputy Regional Administrator, AmeriCorps/Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Brandi Howard, Chief of Staff, San Francisco Foundation
  • Bridget Marvis, Senior Administrative Assistant, Wits University
  • Carmelita Mitchell, Director of Grants, Tides Foundation
  • Daylin Munoz Nunez, Program Officer, Walton Family Foundation
  • Debbie Ng, Program Officer, Community Investments, San Francisco Arts Commission
  • Elvis Guzman, Program Officer, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
  • Fernando Gonzalez, Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic, National Philanthropic Trust
  • Hilary Ward, Director of Development, McDonald’s Corporation/RMHC Global
  • Hoa Pham, Program Officer, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • Jessica Galeria, Director of Institutional Philanthropy, Fair Trade USA
  • Joi Hunter, Assistant Director, Atlanta Public Schools/Atlanta Partners for Education
  • Joshua Elder, Director of Grants Management, Siegel Family Endowment
  • Kate Landon, Vice President of Programs and Institutional Advancement, The New York Women’s Foundation
  • Kenneth Shatzkes, Senior Program Officer, Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts
  • Kirstie Sims, Senior Director II - Center for Racial Equity, Walmart Foundation
  • Leah N. Wade, Operations Manager, Dalio Philanthropies
  • Lisa Moreno, Vice President of Programs, Community Foundation Boulder County
  • Lucia Mendez Polston, Director of Community Engagement and Impact, Amarillo Area Foundation
  • Miguel Salinas, Program Officer, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Sarita Michaca, Vice President of Grants Management, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Sophy Yem, Program Officer, Philanthropy, Surdna Foundation
  • Teresa Taylor, Strategy Director for Innovation and Discovery, Lumina Foundation


About the Council on Foundations

The Council on Foundations exists to help philanthropy be a trusted partner in advancing the greater good. Building on our 70-year history, we are charting a course where funders earn and maintain the public's trust by advancing equity, operating with high integrity, collaborating on broadscale challenges and serving as ethical stewards. Learn more about the Council and becoming a member by visiting,

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