Program Leadership & Faculty
Luisa Boyarski, Ph.D., Program Director
Luisa Boyarski, Ph.D. is the Associate Director Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership and Associate Research Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. She is involved in developing and executing the Center’s many executive education and customized programs, and representing the Center at Georgetown University and in the broader community. She recently researched and wrote How to Lead Systems Change Work and Advancing Racial Equity Within Nonprofit Organizations. Luisa frequently conducts workshops and gives keynote addresses on NGO Management and High Impact NGOs to international delegations, including trainings in China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Panama, Romania, and St. Vincent. She has also co-taught an undergraduate course on Philanthropy and Social Change. Prior to working at CPNL, she was the Executive Director of a D.C.-based nonprofit, working on global warming prevention with Arctic indigenous people. She currently leads a coalition of grassroots groups in Virginia, representing over 15,000 residents. Luisa received her Ph.D. in Comparative Government from Georgetown University, with a research focus on the role of nonprofit coalitions in public policy advocacy.
Kathy Postel Kretman, Ph.D. , Senior Advisor
Kathy Postel Kretman, Ph.D., is the Director of Georgetown University’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership; Waldemar A. Nielsen Chair in Philanthropy; and Research Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. She has devoted most of her career to the development of leaders in the public, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. One of the highlights of her career has been directing Georgetown’s internationally recognized Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program, which has 1,700 alumni across the globe. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she served on the faculties of the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Executive Leadership Institute. Earlier in her career, Kathy advised CEOs on corporate social responsibility; led a NYC citizens’ initiative to advocate for the first urban National Park; and investigated discriminatory employment and voting practices for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Kathy is currently serving on the President’s Council of Woodwell Climate Research Center, and on the Board of Live It, Learn It in D.C. Kathy holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Maryland, a M.A. in Public Administration from George Washington University, and a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Susan Taylor Batten
Susan Taylor Batten is President and Chief Executive Officer of ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities. ABFE, established in 1971 as the Association of Black Foundation Executives, is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. Since joining ABFE in 2009, Susan has led the organization’s philanthropic advising and programming on responsive philanthropy in Black communities for foundation leaders, donors and aligned partners. Prior to joining ABFE, Susan served as senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a grantmaking institution focused on improving outcomes for vulnerable children. In this role, she served as staff in the Community Change Initiatives Unit and managed a portfolio on equity, diversity and inclusion which included responsibilities for internal development and external grantmaking in these areas. In the public sector, Susan worked as a senior analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she directed research and evaluation on food assistance programs; she also served in the Government of the District of Columbia as an analyst on initiatives supporting children, youth and families. Susan serves on the boards of the Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance, Giving Gap, and the Schott Foundation for Public Education and is an adjunct lecturer at the Valdry Center for Philanthropy at Southern University. She received her master’s degree in social work from Howard University and her bachelor’s degree in English and political science from Fisk University.
Don Chen is the President of the Surdna Foundation where he leads the 100-year old foundation’s efforts to strengthen and further leverage its commitment to social justice. Prior to his appointment, Don was the Director of the Cities & States program at the Ford Foundation, where his work supported urban development initiatives to make housing more affordable, promote more equitable land use practices, and empower communities to have a powerful decision-making voice in American cities and in developing countries. He also led a multi-program team to support the strengthening of social justice organizations and networks in targeted U.S. states. Previously, Don was the Founder and CEO of Smart Growth America, where he led efforts to create the National Vacant Properties Campaign (which later became the Center for Community Progress) and Transportation for America, and managed a merger with the Growth Management Leadership Alliance. He has authored many pieces on land use, transportation, social equity, and environmental policy. Don currently serves as Co-Chair of the Presidents’ Council on Impact Investing and on the boards of Living Cities, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and Philanthropy New York. He holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of the Environment and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University.
Siobhan Costanzo is a Director at Equal Measure. Siobhan is a public health practitioner, learner, and facilitator with experience in applying data and systems thinking to improve community health and well-being. She has more than a decade of experience in evaluation, health equity, quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis, program management, facilitation, and strategic planning. At Equal Measure, she co-leads evaluation, learning, and strategy for national and regional engagements. These projects include Robin Hood Mobility LABs, a pioneering five-region initiative to increase families’ mobility from poverty; the BUILD Health Challenge, a national collaborative that aims to improve community health by redressing systemic and social inequities; the Guilford Success Network, a regional effort to reduce poverty in Guilford County, North Carolina; and Community Solutions’ Built for Zero initiative to end homelessness. She also applies her skills in evaluation capacity building and community health strategy for MaineGeneral’s Peter Alfond Prevention and Healthy Living Center. Prior to Equal Measure, Siobhan held policy, research, and program management roles at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Earlier in her career, Siobhan taught fourth grade in Phoenix, Arizona, with Teach for America and was an English teacher in Taipei, Taiwan. Siobhan has a master’s degree in public health from Boston University, a master’s in elementary education from Arizona State University, and a bachelor’s in human development from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She is a member of the American Public Health Association and the American Evaluation Association.
Aaron Dorfman is president and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), a research and advocacy organization that works to ensure America’s grantmakers and wealthy donors are responsive to the needs of those with the least wealth, opportunity and power. Aaron, a thoughtful critic, frequently speaks and writes about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, the benefits of funding advocacy and community organizing, and the need for greater accountability and transparency in the philanthropic sector. Before joining NCRP in 2007, Aaron served for 15 years as a community organizer with two national organizing networks, spearheading grassroots campaigns on a variety of issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Carleton College, a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and serves on the boards of Capital & Main, The Center for Popular Democracy and re:power.
Hannah Hahn is the Executive Director of The England Family Foundation, a private family foundation that is dedicated to promoting equity, social justice, and democracy in the Washington, DC area and throughout the United States. She was previously a Program Officer for The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, a private foundation committed to building a stronger community for residents of the Washington DC area. Before joining Cafritz, she was at The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and has a decade of experience establishing strategic funding priorities, strengthening giving policies and practices, and building the capacity of nonprofit organizations. Hannah came to philanthropy after a significant career in international development. She was a technical director advising economic development, women’s empowerment, and education programming in 23 countries in Africa, Asia, Eurasia and South America. She has presented reports to the World Bank and at the OEDC and was recognized by The Society for International Development with the Andrew W. Rice Award for passion, commitment, creativity, and impact in the international development field. She was also the founding COO of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), a social enterprise that reduces school absenteeism for Rwandan girls by manufacturing low-cost, sanitary pads. Hannah holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from The Georgetown University Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership.
Valeria Lassiter is the founder and CEO of Lassiter & Associates, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, communications, fundraising, and strategic partnerships. Her clients include nonprofit organizations, corporations, and foundations. Valeria has worked in government public affairs, community-based organizations, and corporate philanthropy. Since 2003, she has served as the lead instructor for Resource Development with Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program. Valeria has coached and trained over 2,000 nonprofit leaders for various organizations including The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, The Case Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, and Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. Valeria holds a Bachelor of Communications from East Carolina University, a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and an MBA from Babson College. She is vice-chair of the Board of Directors for the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation and a member of the East Carolina University Foundation Board of Directors.
Margaret O’Bryon as over two decades of experience creating and leading start-up social change institutions and initiatives. She served as an Assistant Research Professor, founder and Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Lab, an initiative of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. The Lab offers students educational and hands-on experiences that develop the skills and understanding necessary to create policy that serves and responds to the needs of communities. Margaret previously served as the Waldemar A. Nielsen Chair in Philanthropy from 2013-2015. Prior to becoming the Nielsen Chair, Margaret worked in the field of philanthropy for several decades, including 15 years as founding president and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation (CHF).* CHF is the principal non-profit health foundation serving the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Under her leadership, CHF spearheaded the creation of cross-sector collaborations aimed at addressing the multiple factors affecting the health of local communities, particularly communities of color. She has held regional and national leadership positions, including chair of the board of Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and Grantmakers in Health, representing health philanthropy in the United States. Margaret is a recipient of the Terrance Keenan Leadership Award. The award honors outstanding individuals in health philanthropy whose work is distinguished by leadership, innovation, and achievement. Margaret is the founder of Accelerating Change Group (ACG), an enterprise aimed at helping nonprofits, foundations, and their leadership develop and implement innovative strategies to address complex problems. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and her master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the George Washington University. *CHF has been rebranded and is now if, a Foundation for Radical Possibility.
Robert Roach is a Director at Equal Measure. Robert’s background is in survey research, data analysis, and program evaluation. His areas of interest and experience include early childhood education; postsecondary access and success; career pathways; community health; and capacity building. He is passionate about culturally responsive and equitable evaluation and how evaluators can contribute to advancing racial equity in communities and across the nation. Robert provides mixed-methods expertise for place-based collective impact, economic mobility, and systems change efforts. His projects include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Building Equitable Pathways initiative, a community of practice to build more equitable college and career pathways; NSF INCLUDES, a national initiative to broaden diverse STEM participation and success; and PolicyLink’s Winning on Equity campaign. He also manages Equal Measure’s engagement with the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, supporting the district’s efforts around paraprofessional career development. Prior to joining Equal Measure, Robert interned at a variety of research, evaluation, and nonprofit organizations, including Abt SRBI, Urban Institute, Consumer Reports, and Smithsonian Institution. He holds a master’s degree in sociology from Temple University and bachelor’s degrees in management science and sociology from UC San Diego.
Change maker, believer in the power of community, driver of innovation and learning and always makes time for play. Brenda has spent her career working for good in the philanthropic world on issues related to health policy, the health care safety net and community health issues affecting vulnerable populations. She is a strategy, evaluation, program and grant making guru with an eye toward local collaboration and a keen sense that change happens when communities come together to engage in good work. She is invested in the work of the Headwaters Foundation because she believes every child deserves a healthy start to life. She left her beloved San Francisco to move to Montana to re-invent philanthropic practices at Headwaters and live in Big Sky Country with its slower pace of life and stunning beauty. Brenda holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, a juris doctorate, is a member of the California state bar association and is a Terrance Keenan Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Fellow. Living in Montana, Brenda is learning to be an avid lover of nature and the great outdoors, along with her husband and two children.
Dan Tsin is a Director at Equal Measure. He has more than 10 years’ experience in nonprofit evaluation, performance measurement, and strategic planning. He is passionate about nonprofit capacity building and the ways that evaluation and learning can help organizations reach their goals in support of their communities. At Equal Measure, Dan leads multiple evaluation and technical assistance projects focused on building local community capacity to achieve systems change. His projects include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Building Equitable Pathways initiative and Early Childhood Advocacy program; the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions’ Opportunity Youth Forum; Community Solutions’ Built for Zero initiative to end homelessness; and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Salzburg Global programs. Before Equal Measure, Dan served as Chief Impact Officer at Urban Alliance, a national youth workforce intermediary that connects young people, schools, and employers. He created strategic direction and shared measurement across the organization’s programs and support services to maximize impact. Through his work, Urban Alliance became recognized as a leader in nonprofit performance management and evaluation. Dan serves on regional and national boards and is a Leap of Reason Ambassador, a community of nonprofit thought leaders who support the public sector in adopting high performance to improve organizations that address society’s most challenging problems. He holds a master’s in public policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s in finance and government from William & Mary.
Nikki Highsmith Vernick
Nikki Highsmith Vernick is president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation where she leads the Horizon Foundation in pursuing its mission to improve the health and wellness of people who live or work in Howard County and around Maryland. As the largest independent health foundation in Maryland, Nikki works alongside community partners to advance health equity so that everyone in Howard County can live longer, better and happier lives. She has evolved the Horizon Foundation into a strategic, equity-centered and impact-driven foundation with a local, regional and national presence. Nikki previously served as senior vice president for program at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) where she led national programs to improve health care for low-income Americans. Prior to that, she was deputy director of the Massachusetts Medicaid Managed Care Program, worked as a senior Medicaid analyst at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and was a professional staff member for a U.S. Congressman and Texas State Representative. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in public administration from American University. She currently serves as chair of the board of the National Academy of State Health Policy. She also serves as a board member for Grantmakers in Health, a national philanthropy serving organization. She has received numerous awards, including the recent 2021 Daily Record’s Most Admired CEO Award, the 2020 Daily Record Health Care Heroes Award for COVID-19, and the 2020 United Way Frank Miller Spirit of Partnership Award.