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Members Emereti

Jon Budington

Global Printing/Global Thinking

Jon Budington is the CEO of Global Thinking, a manufacturing and marketing services firm based in Alexandria, VA. Jon joined Global Printing in 1991 after graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Printing. He took on the position of CEO in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy and subsequent technology recession when the company was in crisis. Under Jon’s leadership Global Thinking has evolved from a traditional printing company to a provider of services including marketing consulting, web creation, design and data management. Since taking over the company, John has returned it to profitability and quadrupled revenue. Throughout Global’s financial crisis in 2001 through today, Jon has maintained a strong personal and company commitment to philanthropic activities. Jon continually authorizes pro bono printing for numerous worthy organizations such as Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the Progeria Research Foundation and The Dwelling Place. His greatest area of commitment is to LIFT. In additional to providing all of LIFT’s printing at no cost, Jon and his staff have volunteered their time to work with LIFT’s local office and he serves on the Host Committee for LIFT’s annual fundraiser. Jon also retains close relationships with faculty at his alma mater, RIT, serving as a guest lecturer and advising the College on its printing curriculum. He and his wife Susannah live in Maryland with their five children.

Gina Coburn

Senior Advisor
Global Philanthropy Group

Gina is Senior Advisor to Global Philanthropy Group, a Los Angeles-based firm that offers a range of philanthropic advisory services to individuals, foundations and corporations. Prior to this, she was Managing Director of the Endeavor Group, where she led the firm’s strategic planning activities and managed philanthropic projects for individual and corporate clients. She helped devise optimal strategies for fundraising, governance, staffing and partnerships in the areas of education and development.

Prior to that Gina was Vice President of Equity Capital Markets for Deutsche Bank where she originated and executed public equity transactions for corporations in the media, technology, telecommunication and consumer industries. She began her career in the media industry in The Walt Disney Company’s Strategic Planning Group and then served as Director of Corporate Development at an internet start-up company focused on the self-improvement market.

Gina received a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and Economics from Princeton University and a MBA from Harvard Business School. She serves on the Board of Capital Partners for Education, is on the Development Committee at St. Albans School and the Finance Committee of the National Cathedral Chapter. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and three children.

Heather Cox

Chief Tech and Digital Officer

Heather Cox has been the Chief Tech and Digital Officer at USAA since Since Fall 2016, where she oversees information technology, digital strategy, and operations and experience design.

Prior to joining USAA, Cox served as the Head of Card Operations at Capital One Financial Corporation, where she developed, led and delivered a comprehensive customer experience strategy, leveraging digital innovations and customer data insights to help position it for further growth, customer engagement and operating efficiency. Prior to Capital One, Cox served as the Head of North America Operations at E*TRADE.

Cox was honored as one of American Banker's “Women to Watch” in 2011 and 2013, and was recognized by Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” in 2013.

Will Darman

Managing Director of the U.S. Growth Capital
and the U.S. Equity Opportunity Funds
The Carlyle Group

Will Darman is the Managing Director of the U.S. Growth Capital and the U.S. Equity Opportunity funds with The Carlyle Group. Will is based in Washington, D.C. Since joining Carlyle in 2008, Will has been actively involved with the firm’s investments in Bonotel, DHS Technologies LLC, Dynamic Precision Group, Gemcom Software, Galaxy Brands (merged with Sequential Brands-SQBG), Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Talent Partners, Viator, Vubiquity and Worldstrides. Will currently serves on the board of Bonotel, Talent Partners, Vubiquity and WorldStrides and previously served on the board of Galaxy Brands and Viator.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Will was a Vice President with the leveraged finance group at Goldman Sachs & Co. Previously he was a Managing Director with Fairfax Partners focusing primarily on early stage venture opportunities. Will received his M.P.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He received his A.B from Harvard College with honors.

Lee Foley

Managing Partner
Capitol Hill Partners

Lee Foley has been a Washington lobbyist for nearly three decades. He is the managing partner of the firm of Capitol Hill Partners. Lee represents various interests before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch of the Federal government in issue areas including education, employment and training, banking and financial services, community and economic development, asset building, job creation, rural and agricultural programs, small business development, appropriate technology and employment security. Lee also has extensive business and lobbying experience in banking and financial services policy, serving on the boards of directors of financial institutions in Boston, Miami, New Orleans and Los Angeles and as a bank board treasurer and as a chair of a board audit committee. Lee also advises several of the nation’s major foundations and financial institutions regarding their largest domestic charitable collaborative. In the award winning book Coyote Warrior, investigative journalist and author Paul VanDevelder writes that Lee is “the best in the city”.

Prior to his lobbying career, Lee served in a variety of positions in Washington including as a White House domestic policy advisor, chief of staff at a Federal agency and as a staffer for two U.S. Senate committees.

Ben Harper

Activist & Musician

Ben Harper is a musician, artist and activist. Whether it’s through the soul of southern Gospel, 70s funk, blues, reggae or straightforward rock and roll, Ben and his trademark Weissenborn guitar have been stunning audiences with incendiary live performances and timeless songwriting.

Ben continues to innovate his craft as a songwriter, performer and producer. He has released ten acclaimed studio albums since 1994 and three live albums. These releases combined with an unceasing commitment to international touring has helped Ben grow a fan base that now spans several continents.

A collaborator by nature, Ben has recorded and performed with a long list of artists including Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne, Rickie Lee Jones, Taj Mahal, Jack Johnson and Vanessa De Matta. His album with the Blind Boys of Alabama, There Will Be A Light, earned two Grammy awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.

Activism has also played an important role in both Ben’s life and music. Themes of social justice and empowerment can be found throughout his musical career in songs such as "Excuse Me Mr." and "With My Own Two Hands." Ben practices what he sings by working on a wide range of causes including poverty, pollution, human rights and causes for peace.

Susan Hirsch

Susan is a trustee of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a Board member of the O'Keeffe Circle. She serves on the board of the Alcove, a child care center for homeless children and on the Executive Committee of the Alcove Arts Performance Event. She is chairman of the Hirsch Family Foundation, which focuses primarily on poverty alleviation and medical research. Susan and her husband, Larry, founded the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C.-based policy research institute devoted to the study of U.S.-Central European relations.

Susan was co-chairman of the Mark Twain Prize, which is awarded each year by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is a major fundraiser for the Kennedy Center. She is a trustee of the James Lewis Foundation.

Susan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Political Science.

Ted Howard

Executive Director & Co-Founder
The Democracy Collaborative

Ted Howard is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Democracy Collaborative. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Economic Alternatives. In July 2010, Ted was appointed the Steven Minter Senior Fellow for Social Justice at The Cleveland Foundation, a position he held for four years. Working with the Foundation, he was a member of a team that developed the comprehensive job creation and wealth building strategy that resulted in the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative.

He is the author of numerous articles appearing in popular and community development publications. His chapter "Owning Your Own Job Is a Beautiful Thing" is included in a book of readings (Investing in What Works for America’s Communities) published in 2012 by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He is also co-author of a chapter on “Economic Democracy” in Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles and Practices (Macmillan) and a chapter on “The Essential Connection: Environmental Sustainability, Community Stability and Equitable Development” in Ensuring a Sustainable Future: Making Progress on Environment and Equity (Oxford University Press). His most recent publications include The Anchor Mission: Leveraging the Power of Anchor Institutions to Build Community Wealth(co-authored with colleagues at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning) and The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs (with Steve Dubb and Sarah McKinley).

In addition to serving on LIFT’s National Board of Directors, Ted serves on the National Steering Committee of the Anchor Institution Task Force, a consortium of universities, hospitals and community foundations engaged in community/economic development initiatives.

Michele Jolin

Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Results for America

Michele Jolin is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner for Results for America, which is improving outcomes for young people, families and communities by driving public resources toward solutions that use data and evidence to get better results. Michele also is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Michele was appointed by President Barack Obama in December 2010 to be a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions.

Michele served as a Senior Advisor for Social Innovation at the White House during 2009-2010, where she designed and launched the first “Social Innovation Fund.” Michele also was a member of President Obama’s Presidential Transition Team, where she helped create the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and the new Obama Administration’s social innovation policy agenda.
Prior to joining the White House, Michele was at the Center for American Progress, where she led the Presidential transition project and co-edited the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s presidential transition book titled Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President. She also authored a number of articles and reports on policy tools to promote innovation and impact in the nonprofit sector, including a piece in the Stanford Social Innovation Review proposing the creation of a White House Office of Social Innovation.

Michele was a senior vice president at Ashoka, a global foundation that invests in social entrepreneurs in more than 50 countries around the world from 1999-2004. Michele served in the White House from 1995–1999 as the Chief of Staff for President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, for CEA Chairs Joseph Stiglitz and Janet Yellen. She also worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Michele has a BA from University of Wisconsin, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a JD from the University of Virginia. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their 3 children.

Marne Levine

Chief Operating Officer

Marne Levine is the Chief Operating Officer of Instagram. Prior to her role at Instagram, Marne was the Vice President, Global Public Policy at Facebook. Here she oversaw the company’s efforts to educate governments and non-governmental organizations on its plans, products and policies to foster understanding and support for innovative technologies like Facebook.

Marne has substantial government experience working on international issues and particular sensitivity to navigating policy challenges in an Internet company. She joined Facebook from the Obama Administration, where she served as Chief of Staff at the White House National Economic Council. In that role, she helped coordinate the development of domestic and international economic policy along with the strategies for communicating these policies to stakeholders.

Previously, Marne helped launch an online peer-to-peer payment platform, and helped develop privacy and compliance issues. She also served as Chief of Staff for Larry Summers when he was President of Harvard University. She began her career at the United States Department of Treasury, where she served in the Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison.

Marne has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from Miami University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Marne recently joined the Board of the Urban Institute.

Kirsten Lodal

CEO & Co-Founder

Kirsten Lodal is the CEO and Co-Founder of LIFT, which began as an idea during her sophomore year of college in 1998 and has become one of the foremost anti-poverty organizations in the country. Under Kirsten’s leadership, LIFT has created positive outcomes for more than 100,000 families and established itself as a national model for more effective and human-centered social services. Along the way, Kirsten has become a leading advocate for re-thinking and modernizing the design of America’s anti-poverty programs, spreading LIFT’s message from the White House and the Aspen Institute to the NBC Nightly News, the PBS Newshour and The New York Times.

Kirsten has received numerous honors for her work, chief among them the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as our nation’s “Nobel Prize for community and public service.” Most recently, Kirsten was awarded the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for young Americans committed to public service. She was also recently named a 2015 Aspen Institute Ascend Fellow. She is the Chairman of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a program working to restore childhood to children living in shelters, and she serves on the Board of Advisors of DC Greens, a non-profit focused on making healthy food more accessible to all children.

Kirsten graduated from Yale University in 2001 and completed the Executive Management Program at the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management in 2005. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Jeff Himmelman and their two young daughters.

Marne Obernauer, Jr.

Breakthru Beverage Group

Marne is chairman of Breakthru Beverage Group, a leading wholesale distributor of wines and spirits throughout the state of Colorado. He was formerly Vice Chairman and Director of Applied Graphics Technologies, Inc., a provider of outsourced digital imaging management and pre-press services. He was Chairman and CEO of Devon Group, Inc. (NASDAQ) for almost two decades before the company merged with Applied Graphics, and he spent almost eight years as an Investment Officer with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette and with First National City Bank (now Citibank). Among other leadership positions in the business community, he is a Founding Member of the American Business Conference and a Director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. He was a Trustee of the Trinity School in New York City for twelve years and is a past Treasurer and member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni. He is also a Trustee of Congregation Emanu-el in New York City. Marne earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelors Degree from Yale University.

Stephen J. Rotella, Board Chairman

President, StoneCastle Partners, LLC (SCP)
CEO, StoneCastle Cash Management, LLC

As President of StoneCastle Partners, LLC, Steve Rotella has direct responsibility for the day to day management of the company, as well as setting strategy and direction with the partners of the firm. During his tenure at StoneCastle, Steve has been instrumental in building the company's cash management products and services. Under his leadership, StoneCastle Cash Management, LLC. a wholly owned subsidiary, has become an industry leader in cash management solutions for institutions and funding alternatives for community and regional banks.

Steve brings over 30 years of strategic and operating leadership in banking and financial services to StoneCastle, with deep experience in retail and internet banking, marketing, organizational development, product innovation and large scale operations management. He spent eighteen years at JP Morgan Chase where he was CEO of Chase Home Finance, the 4th largest home lender in the country and a member of the Executive Committee.

Steve has been active in community organizations throughout his career with a keen interest in serving the underprivileged, boosting home ownership and the arts. Steve is a member of the Board of LIFT and the Advisory Board of SUNY Stony Brook School of Business. He was previously on the Boards of The Seattle Foundation, ArtsFund, Youthcare and Ballet Met. Steve lives in New York City and holds a BA in Economics and an MBA in Information Systems/Finance from the State University of New York.

Deanna Singh, Esq.

Dohmen Company Foundation

Deanna Singh is motivated to serve urban communities and has strived for opportunities to do so throughout her education and career. She received her B.A. in Urban Studies from Fordham University, her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Deanna is currently serving as President of the Dohmen Company Foundation. An organization that connects people in need with lifesaving healthcare products and services

Prior to joining the Dohmen Company Foundation, Deanna served as Executive Director of the Burke Foundation, Vice President, Program Officer of the Robert W. Baird Foundation and CEO of Singh Consultations, a firm dedicated to assisting non-profit organizations and small businesses achieve their missions. Deanna has founded and led a number of social innovations, including Milwaukee Renaissance Academy, a college preparatory school for underserved children; the Milwaukee Street Law Project, a program that uses law students to teach high school students basic legal concepts and skills; and LIFT’s Bronx site.

In addition to her professional work, Deanna enjoys international travel and writing. She recently completed the first draft of her novel, The Mask on The Gate. She also loves spending time with her sons, Zephaniah and Zion and husband, Justin Ponder, PhD. Deanna was named one of Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2014.

Sheila Ohlsson Walker, Ph.D.

Behavioral Geneticist
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Sheila’s research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Arizona State University examines how biological research in genetics and epigenetics can promote healthy behavior, reduce rates of chronic disease, and optimize health and learning throughout life. She is currently focused on the biological embedding of chronic stress and how environmental factors can significantly enhance or degrade health and educational outcomes, with an emphasis on high-poverty family and educational contexts. Sheila’s present research builds upon her doctoral work in Behavioral Genetics, which examined the relative influence of “nature” and “nurture” on educational outcomes. Sheila’s research is also focused on understanding preconception, prenatal and early childhood origins of health and neurodevelopment, and on understanding how biosocial research on adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress can be applied in a practical manner to facilitate early intervention, prevention, resilience and enhanced quality of life.

Sheila previously taught an undergraduate course in Behavioral Genetics at Georgetown University focused on the dynamic interaction between genetics and the environment in human development. Prior to entering academia, she was a mutual fund portfolio manager in Denver, Colorado. She attended the University of Colorado on a tennis scholarship and played professional tennis in Europe after graduation. In addition to LIFT, Sheila is engaged with various organizations focused on improving education and health for children living in poverty. She a former trustee of The Beauvoir School in Washington, D.C., and Advisory Board Member of Outward Bound USA. Sheila is married with three boys and lives in Washington, D.C.

Members Emereti

Michael Gilligan

Former Board Chairman of LIFT
General Partner, Heritage Partners, Inc

Michael is the Founding General Partner of Heritage Partners, a private equity firm formed in 1993 that focuses on family-owned and founder-backed businesses that are seeking a partner to provide transition capital and help their businesses grow and create value. He has served as lead director on the board of over a dozen companies, working with management teams on establishing and achieving strategic objectives, stewarding human and capital resources and creating shareholder value. Michael began his career with a fifteen year stint in commercial lending and private equity with Bank of Boston.

Michael is a Current Member of the Board of City Year’s flagship Boston operation; a Current Member of the Board, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and of the Development Committee of The Children’s Room, a grief counseling organization; Current Member of the Board of the USC School of Theatre; Current Co-Chair of Belmont Hill School’s Parents’ Annual Fund Campaign Committee; and most recently, Current Member of the Board, YouthBuild USA.

Previously he chaired the Capital Campaign for the Paulist Center Community, an intentional Roman Catholic community in Boston known for its commitment to social justice, and is a Former Board Trustee and Capital Campaign Committee Chair of the Belmont Foundation for Education, a privately funded enterprise designed to support Belmont’s public school system. Michael is a graduate of Boston College.

Brian J. Kreiter

Co-Founder and Former Board Chairman of LIFT
Head of Research, Bridgewater Associates

Currently, Brian is the Head of the Research Department and the recently designated Head of Client Service & Marketing at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Bridgewater is a globally recognized investment manager that oversees more than $150 billion for clients including foreign governments, central banks, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and charitable foundations. Reporting directly to the CEO/CIO, Brian is responsible for driving innovation across the ‘front end’ of the Firm. As the Head of Research, he is responsible for building and managing the investment, technology and data engineering teams that develop and operate Bridgewater’s proprietary trading systems and publish its research on the global economy. As the Head of Client Service & Marketing, Brian is responsible for overseeing the development of strategic advisory relationships and the delivery of tailored portfolio strategies to clients across the globe. In addition to overseeing Research and Client Service & Marketing, Brian serves as an Advisor to Bridgewater’s Operating Committee and has led the design and launch of several new business initiatives across the Firm.

Prior to Bridgewater, Brian was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients in multiple industries, including alternative asset management, on topics focused around growth strategy, new venture creation and organizational institutionalization.

Additionally, Brian has led or been involved in a handful of private-sector entrepreneurial endeavours, including Powerdime Technologies, V-Auto and Smith Rothchild Financial. From 2005-2006 Brian served as an Assistant to Mayor Richard Daley in Chicago.

Brian holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.