I am a people connector and a problem solver - a strategic thinker adept at building authentic relationships by balancing critical thinking and creativity. It doesn't hurt that I'm able to leap tall buildings in a single bound while maintaining my sense of humor. I’m passionate about creating a more equitable and just world, and I work towards that goal by supporting entrepreneurship as a tool for community and economic development while advocating for deep change in our systems and institutions.
My super-power is translational research – being able to merge ivory tower and beltway perspectives so that decision-makers can better understand research and effectively make data-driven decisions that will help build a more just and sustainable civil society. I create compelling narratives that attract attention and investment, inspiring action both internally and externally.
I am a coalition-builder and thrive when finding common ground among diverse stakeholders. I know first-hand the crucial importance of collective action through coalition building, the convening of networks, and connecting talent to resources.
After two decades of ‘boots on the ground’ experience living and working in historically disenfranchised communities, collaborating directly with people affected by institutionalized -isms (racism, classism, ableism, etc.), I went back to school for my Ph.D. in political science to study the institutional barriers to participating in economic and political systems, giving me the tools necessary to drive results social impact. I believe people with privilege have a moral obligation to amplify voices that often go unheard by policy-makers.
Having been on both sides of the grant process – as funder and funded – I understand issues of organizational capacity, compliance, and reporting, KPI creation and measurement, the critical importance of continuous improvement, and how to align strategies and tactics in a constantly changing environment. I possess a keen understanding of issues and trends in the philanthropic and social sectors and understand how to use existing power structures for social change.
I earned my MS in Organization Development (with a focus on ethical leadership development) from Saint Joseph’s University, where I also completed an ICF-certified coaching leadership program. I attained an MFA from The Ohio State University, and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. In my first career, I was a glassblower and I used to have a glass studio and gallery in Old City, Philadelphia. A little added trivia: I went to high school with Jada Pinkett (Smith) and Tupac Shakur at Baltimore School for the Arts. Fun times!