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.
Doua Thor serves as the Senior Advisor for the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. Most recently, she was a political appointee in the Obama Administration as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Initiative) from 2015-2017. Prior to that she served as the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Initiative where she worked to build public private partnerships between federal agencies and philanthropic organizations such as the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. In the past she also served as a Senior Fellow with the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and was the Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) for nearly 9 years. She was selected as a New Voices Fellow in 2002, a German Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2008, an Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute Fellow in 2009, and a Health and Aging Policy Fellow in 2013. Doua Thor and her family were among the many thousands of Hmong refugees who were resettled in the United States after supporting and fighting alongside the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Over the years, Doua has gained a wealth of experience working with national, grassroots, and refugee serving organizations. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Arts from Wayne State University.
Fund Steering Committee
Vice President of Programs, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
Cathy Cha is Vice President of Programs with the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Cathy’s work is driven by a career-long commitment to social justice and improving the lives of marginalized families and children. Cathy led the Fund’s Immigrant Rights and Integration program starting in 2009. With an emphasis on alliance-building and collaboration, she has led efforts to bring funders and local leaders together to strengthen the immigrant rights movement in California. This work has yielded key policy wins that have made California a model for compassionate, common-sense reform. Cathy’s philanthropic style is highly collaborative. She jumpstarted the California Civic Participation Funders, a partnership that is increasing voting and community organizing among disenfranchised populations in four regions of the state. She also played a leadership role in creating the New Americans Campaign, which has assisted more than 250,000 legal permanent residents to become U.S. citizens. Cathy received the Leader in Action Award from Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) in 2015, and the Immigrant Integration and Inspiration Award from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in 2014. She serves on the board of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR). Cathy has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley.
Program Associate, 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.
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.
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.
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 2017-03-16T10:42:24+00:00, by .