Fund Staff

EunSook Lee

EunSook Lee is the Director of the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. She has also worked with Unbound Philanthropy and the Four Freedoms Fund on initiatives related to administrative relief and the DACA program and supported the formation of the Asian American and Arab American Collaboration for Deferred Action in Chicago. She is the former senior deputy for Congressmember Karen Bass, executive director of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), executive director of Korean American Women In Need, and Station Manager of CKLN Public Radio in Toronto, Canada. She is also the former Co-Chair of APIAVote, Vice Chair of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, Commissioner for the Los Angeles City Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and President of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. She is currently a member of the California Commission for APIA Affairs. EunSook was born in Hwasoon, South Korea, and immigrated to Canada at a young age. She later immigrated to the United States in 1994.

Jeanelle Sales
Program Manager

Jeanelle is experienced in working in various areas such as business operations & administration, event coordination, and finance in healthcare and nonprofit. As a Filipino-American and local native of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, she recently relocated to Las Vegas to start a new chapter in her life. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, she was working for National CAPACD as their Business Operations Coordinator. Her experience at National CAPACD built a strong foundation for her to understand and learn the issues our communities face. With a B.A. in Humanities, an MBA, and life’s experiences, she strives to use her background and knowledge to serve and build others, especially the AAPI community and other minority groups.

Fund Steering Committee

Ethan Frey
Program Manager, Civic Engagement and Government, Ford Foundation

Ethan Frey joined the Civic Engagement & Government team at the Ford Foundation in 2013. Since joining the Foundation, he has helped to manage a large-scale three-year voter engagement grant making program in the Southwest, oversaw a restructuring of their core programming on voting rights and integrated voter engagement, and is currently developing their new strategies focused on building progressive governance at the state level. Previously, he organized in Pennsylvania and Ohio during the 2008 and 2012 general elections. In between, Ethan also worked to unionize low-wage workers in Miami, Florida, as an organizer for the international trade union Unite Here, which represents food service, hotel, and gaming employees, and at Project Renewal, Inc., a nonprofit social service provider, where he worked to protect public benefits for low-income New Yorkers as a non-attorney civil legal advocate. Ethan is a 2010 graduate of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

John Govea
Program Director, Immigrant Rights and Integration, Haas, Jr. Fund

John joined the Haas, Jr. Fund staff in 2017 after 10 years with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey, where he managed national programs and initiatives focused on childhood obesity and health equity. Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, John is descended from Mexican immigrants who settled in the state. His father came to the United States under the bracero program during World War II to work on the Santa Fe Railroad. His maternal grandparents were migrant farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley.

John started his professional career as an attorney representing farmworkers in rural California. He has worked on the staffs of the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and was senior program officer with the State of California’s California Service Corps, where he oversaw implementation of the state’s AmeriCorps program.

Connie Cagampang Heller
Co-Founder, Linked Fate Fund for Justice
Connie Cagampang Heller is an artist, strategy design consultant, and philanthropist. Recently her art has been featured at the National Academy of Medicine’s Visualize Health Equity Community Art Project and in Shakti Butler’s film, Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity. When not in the studio, Connie collaborates with academics, philanthropists and grassroots leaders to create learning spaces to share research and strategies to address structural racialization and implicit bias. Most recently, she helped design the Haas Institute’s 2017 Othering and Belonging Conference.

Sixteen years ago, she and her partner cofounded The Linked Fate Fund for Justice, which supports grassroots organizing and intermediaries working to end systemic racial inequity. She currently serves on the boards of the Groundswell Fund for Reproductive Justice, Groundswell Action Fund and is a founding board member of the Perception Institute.


Geri Mannion
Program Director, U.S. Democracy and Special Opportunities Fund, National Program, Carnegie Corporation

As Director of Carnegie Corporation’s U.S. Democracy Program, Geri Mannion brings a wealth of experience about the role of philanthropy in challenging, improving and deepening the civic dialogue. She has directed the division since 1998, after staffing the Corporation’s program of Special Projects for almost ten years. While the Corporation continues to support projects that focus on improving voter engagement among those least likely to vote, the U.S. Democracy Program focuses primarily on immigrant civic integration. Active in professional organizations that work to advance and strengthen the philanthropic and nonprofit world, Geri is on the board of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, a national affinity group of funders active in supporting programs that impact immigrants. She is a former co-chair of the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, an affinity group of funders that encourages foundations to fund voter registration, voting rights, civic education, and campaign finance reform. She remains an active participant in this organization. In 2009, Geri, together with her colleague Taryn Higashi, received the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, one of philanthropy’s highest honors, for founding the Four Freedoms Fund, a funder collaborative. In 2010, she was named as one of the nonprofit sector’s top fifty leaders by the Non-Profit Times. Since 2014, she has chaired the Council on Foundations’ Scrivner Selection Committee. Geri holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in political science, both from Fordham University.

Sue Van
President and CEO, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation

Sue Van is the President and CEO of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. Its largest program is in translational research in biomedical engineering. By implementing industry best practices, this process accelerates the translation of promising university innovations into practical advances that improve patient care. The foundation also collaborates with scientific societies to bring the latest education and standards of care to resource-limited nations. The foundation’s newest initiative is its work with Asian American and Pacific Islander groups to form one cohesive community to promote civic engagement and to address health disparities. Prior to establishing the Foundation, Sue was the Executive Vice President and CFO of Coulter Corporation, a leading global diagnostics company. In this capacity, she was responsible for the company’s long-term strategy, as well as its financial and legal affairs. Sue was born in Shanghai, China, and immigrated to the US at the age of five. Sue earned a B.A. in Political Science from American University, and an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Uma Viswanathan
Program Officer, Racial Equity and Community Engagement, W.K. Kellogg Foundation 

Uma Viswanathan is a Program Officer of Racial Equity and Community Engagement at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Her work focuses on galvanizing communities in cross-racial movements and cross-sector coalitions rooted in cultural and historical integrity, to build collective power towards racial equity within and across Latino, API, Native, African and African-American communities. Prior to joining the foundation, Uma was director of leadership development for Urban Habitat, leading an innovative program that trained and placed cohorts of racial justice leaders onto local and regional boards and commission. Uma has also served as director of strategy at the International Association for Human Values in Washington, D.C, and was founder and director of Nouvelle Vie Haiti, a leadership development initiative empowering Haitian youth to build community resilience and urban food security. She is an advisory board member for Leadership Learning Community, which networks and resources leadership funders, practitioners and consultants committed to racial equity and systems transformation, and serves as volunteer co-director of Yesplus, a meditation-based leadership program for college students. The daughter of South Indian immigrants, Uma holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in history of science, both from Harvard University, and is a certified meditation teacher with the Art of Living Foundation.


Updated on 2018-04-19T10:12:01+00:00, by aapifund.