Press Release

The Council on Foundations Announces 2020 Career Pathways Cohort

Program Creates Diversity Pipeline for Next-Gen Executives in Philanthropy

The Council on Foundations today, announced the 24 participants selected for the 2020 Career Pathways cohort, a leadership development program designed to increase the number of diverse candidates in the philanthropic leadership pipeline.

The newly selected participants represent the seventh cohort of the program, which targets mid to senior-career philanthropic professionals. Since launching in 2010, Career Pathways alumni have pushed beyond the barriers that challenge diversity in leadership, utilizing the knowledge and skills attained during the program to move into senior and executive level positions within philanthropic organizations around the world.  Recent data shows an 87% promotion rate among program participants.

Over the course of a year, the cohort will delve deep into major issues facing philanthropic leaders; gain access to a vast network of CEOs, trustees, search firm executives and national thought leaders; attend virtual and in-person career trainings across the country; and be paired with an executive coach to advise and support them along their career path.

“We continue to be inspired by the number of amazing and highly qualified applicants we received for Career Pathways, and the 2020 cohort is truly exceptional,” said Karon Moody Harden, the Council’s Vice President, Programs & Peer Engagement. “As we work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy through the Career Pathways program, we are excited to engage with this year’s cohort and see the work they will do in applying their new knowledge to improve their communities.”

2020 Career Pathways Cohort:

  • Adam Sanders, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Grants Manager
  • Brenda Henry, Bainum Family Foundation, Vice President, Programs
  • Brenton Lee, Kaiser Permanente, Senior Program Manager - Community Involvement
  • Charmaine Brown, The Denver Foundation, Senior Scholarship Officer
  • Christian Mucha, The Kresge Foundation, Risk and Operations Senior Associate
  • Denise Herrera, St. David's Foundation, Senior Capacity Building Officer
  • Kathleen Carney Larisa, Carney Family Charitable Foundation, Executive Director
  • Ellen Liu, Ms. Foundation for Women, Director, Capacity Building and Learning
  • Galen Maness, The San Francisco Foundation, Senior Director of Human Resources and Administration
  • Jumee Song, Siegel Family Endowment, Director of Operations & External Engagement
  • Kenneth Robertson, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
  • Marcia Quinones, Marin Community Foundation, Program Director
  • Martin Acevedo, San Antonio Area Foundation, Director of Marketing and Outreach
  • Maurice Samuels, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Senior Evaluation Officer
  • Meg Nodzon, GHR Foundation, Senior Program Officer, Education
  • Megan Tate, The Winnipeg Foundation, Vice President, Marketing & Development
  • Melissa Howell, The Africa-America Institute, Senior Director, Global Programs
  • Padmini Parthasarathy, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, Senior Program Officer, Economic Security
  • Rhonda Cox, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Director of HR
  • Ricshawn Roane, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Chief of Staff & Director, Philanthropic Investments and Thought Leadership
  • Robbin Hudson, United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland Inc, Community Program Manager
  • Scott Robinson II, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Digital Communications Officer
  • Sonia Mathew, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Program Officer, Democracy Program
  • Tia Hodges, Citi Foundation, Senior Program Officer (Senior Vice President)

The 2020 Career Pathways cohort will convene four times across the country and will be hosted by several leading philanthropic institutions. The first convening will take place in January in San Antonio, Texas. The program will conclude in October 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Career Pathways is supported by Conrad Hilton Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, CDC Foundation, San Antonio Area Foundation, and The Skillman Foundation. For more information about Career Pathways, visit


About the Council on Foundations

The Council on Foundations exists to help philanthropy be a strong and trusted partner in advancing the common good. Building on our 70-year history, we are charting a course for the field where funders display high integrity, earn and maintain the public's trust and serve as excellent stewards of philanthropic resources. We imagine a world where givers of all kinds are sophisticated and vital players in creating more equitable communities and a better world.

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