Board and Staff Biographies
Irfan Hasan is a program officer at The New York Community Trust in the foundation’s health and people with special needs grantmaking program which covers the areas of health services, systems, and policy; biomedical research; the elderly, children and youth with disabilities; people with AIDS; mental health and mental retardation; and people with visual disabilities. Since September 11, Irfan has been instrumental in emergency response grantmaking, particularly for mental health services, through the September 11th Fund, and in developing a long-term strategy for this area. Before joining the trust in 2000, Irfan spent close to 10 years in the Boston area in the field of vocational rehabilitation and employment and training for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. His most recent position was as vice president for client services and agency operations for Greater Boston Rehabilitation Services Inc.
He has a bachelor degree in sociology from Northeastern University and a masters in public administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. While a graduate student he consulted with and interned at a variety community based organization including Funders Concerned About AIDS, Common Ground and the Pratt Area Community Council, as well as the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. While at the Wagner School, Irfan served as secretary for the Wagner Student Association, a founding member of the Non-Profit Network, served on the faculty search committee and was the Wagner School convocation speaker for 2000.
Elaine Katz, MS, CCC-SP, is the vice president of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives at the Henry H. Kessler Foundation. She is responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring a comprehensive grantmaking program for the foundation. Elaine has over 20 years of consulting and experience working with nonprofit organizations in areas of board development, fundraising, marketing and business development. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Disability Funders Network, where she is vice chair, and on the program committee of the Council of NJ Grantmakers. Elaine is also a member of the Union County New Jersey Human Services Advisory Council.
Elaine holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She received her master’s degree in speech pathology from Adelphi University and bachelor’s degree from Boston University in speech pathology and audiology.
Andrew Fisher was named the first executive director of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Inc., in 2000. Based in New York City, the fund is a $110 million independent foundation that provides grant support to programs serving blind and visually impaired people, together with programs helping people avoid vision loss. Most dollars go to programs in the New York City area. Substantial giving is also earmarked for eye care in the developing world.
Before joining Lavelle, Fisher oversaw a combined total of about $115 million in grants at two independent foundations and a corporation — all based in New York City. From 1996 to 2000, he was senior program officer at the Charles Hayden Foundation, whose focus is youth development and K-12 education. From 1990 to 1996, he was a program officer at the Wallace Foundation, where he was responsible for grantmaking in the youth development and career preparation areas. From 1985 to 1990, as vice president for philanthropy at Chase Manhattan Bank, he managed the bank’s education and health and human services giving and oversaw the launch of its national employee volunteer program.
Before starting his foundation career, Fisher taught for six years at East Coast independent schools and universities. Over the years, he has served on the boards of six national and regional nonprofit organizations, foundations and foundation membership associations. Among other affiliations, he is now the treasurer of Disabilities Funders Network, a group of some 100 private grantmaking organizations and individual donors dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of private funding benefiting the tens of millions of Americans with one or more disability.
Fisher earned an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management in 1981 and a Ph.D. in English literature from Brandeis University in 1982. He lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Lois, and their two college-aged children, Daniel and Julia.
Jacquelyn Brand is a trustee of The Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC), serving as board chair from 2002 to 2005. She was a founder and the first executive director of the Center for Accessible Technology in Berkeley, California and the director of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) from 1987 until 1996, and continued on the board of directors until 2002. The ATA today includes nearly 40 technology resource centers across the country, working with 100,000 people each year.
Ms. Brand played a pivotal role in negotiating the Community Partnership Agreement with Southwest Bell Communications (SBC) and Pacific Bell, creating a technology fund to reach underserved communities. The Community Technology Foundation of California was created out of the Community Partnership Agreement.
Ms. Brand also serves as a founding member of the Community Collaborative Committee, which includes a $25 million commitment of funds over 10 years to support telecommunications and information services projects in the areas of education, literacy, telemedicine, economic development and telecommunications advocacy in underserved communities. She is founder and president of Independent Living Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing options for independent living to individuals with disabilities and works as an independent consultant to many organizations, particularly in the areas of assistive technology, education, disability programs and policy, and accessibility. Ms. Brand was the 1992 recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award, and she was honored during National Philanthropy Day for her work with the Community Technology Foundation.
Sylvia Clark has been executive director of NEC Foundation of America since its creation in 1991. Endowed at $10 million by NEC and its U.S. subsidiaries, the foundation supports programs with national reach and impact solely in the area of technology for people with disabilities. Ms. Clark was with Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1977 through 1991, where she served as vice president, community affairs, and vice president and secretary, Mellon Bank Foundation. Her responsibilities included charitable contributions, community activities, employee and retiree volunteer activities, coordination of community affairs with Mellon affiliate banks, preparation of community publications and oversight of the corporate art program. She has two successful publications to her credit, Discover Total Resources: A Guide for Non-Profits (more than 700,000 copies in circulation) and Organizing Corporate Contributions: Options and Strategies, published in 1996 by the Council on Foundations. Ms. Clark serves on the board of Gifts in Kind International, the eigth largest nonprofit group in the country, where she chairs the marketing committee. Ms. Clark has a bachelors degree from the University of Pittsburgh and attended the Harvard University’s Kennedy School Program for Senior Managers in Government.
Susan Daniels is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on employment and disability policy. Dr. Daniels has over 15 years of executive experience in leading large federal and state agencies through policy development, organizational change and customer service innovation. She combines academic knowledge, practical experience and constituency-based concerns into policies and program solutions that are recognized worldwide for their effectiveness. She is a highly sought-after public speaker, effective and persuasive in presenting policy and technical topics to the media, Congress, large and small audiences and one-on-one. She is the author of numerous technical and lay publications.
Dr. Daniels served as deputy commissioner for Disability and Income Security Programs at the Social Security Administration from 1994-2000, where she led the disability and employment reform activities resulting in the passage of The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Dr. Daniels was associate commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. She served as associate commissioner in the Rehabilitation Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Education and as department head and full professor at the School of Allied Health Professions, Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans.
Dr. Daniels was the 2004 recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award. The Betts Award honors, acknowledges and supports the work of an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the quality of life of people with disabilities during the course of his or her career.
Dee Delaney is the executive director of the FISA Foundation. The foundation’s grantmaking agenda focuses on building a culture of respect and improving the quality of life for women, girls and people with disabilities in southwestern Pennsylvania . Ms. Delaney also serves on the advisory boards of the Allegheny County-City of Pittsburgh Women’s Commission, Thornburgh Family Lecture Series on Disability Law and Policy, University of Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Counseling Program, UPMC Disabilities Resource Center Advisory Council, Achieva Health Policy Forum, Advisory Committee on Dental Care for People with Disabilities, and Magee-Womens Hospital Women with Disabilities Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh and is a former board member of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania and the Health Policy Institute.
Rich Donovan fosters and embodies the view that results speak for themselves and that individuals with disabilities produce results. He strongly believes that leading by example and providing role models in society of successful disabled individuals both changes society’s expectations and motivates a new generation to aspire to careers previously unthinkable. His approach surrounds the concept of “Ready, Fire, Aim”, denoting that innovation need not require academic rigor.
Donovan is a portfolio manager for Merrill Lynch & Co in New York City focusing on global macro strategies with an event-driven overlay.
In March 2006, he founded Lime Connect, Inc., a New York-based not-for-profit partnership that connects global corporations with an untapped talent source in people with disabilities by leveraging proven practice in a results-driven approach. Lime employs “rational edginess” to combat the existing “radioactive” brand of disability that represents the largest barrier in the workplace. Longer term, Lime is focused on the development of tools and processes that will help corporations to effectively source, hire, develop and market to people with disabilities assisting to attain their high level diversity and inclusion goals/objectives. The Lime Web site is at www.limeconnect.com.
Donovan received Merrill Lynch’s 2006 Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Award in recognition of the results Lime produced for the firm, and he serves on the board of directors of The United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation (UCPREF).
In March 2004, Donovan was a panelist on the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission’s “Freedom to Compete Initiative: Realities and Opportunities in the 21st Century Workplace,” where he stressed the importance of education to the future economic and social integration of disabled individuals. He outlined the “parallel pipeline” to work concept that needs to be addressed as early as elementary school for it to be overcome. He has been invited to speak to both global corporations and the international disability community about the business case behind disability.
Prior to coming to New York City, Donovan was a key member of the team managing the provincial debt in Ontario for the Ministry of Finance. Earlier, he was a risk analyst with Citibank N.A in Toronto, managing their real estate, fixed income, equity and currency derivatives portfolios.
In 1997, he ran for Canadian Federal Parliament as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party against the sitting minister of international trade. He was also involved in setting policy for the campaign platform, including extensive tax relief and a major restructuring of the federal bureaucracy.
Donovan holds a B.B.A. in finance from Schulich School of Business at York University and an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia Business School. He is an avid sailor.
Maureen Matheson is a vice president of the American Foundation for the Blind, where she oversees AFB Press and Information Services, with responsibility for the organization’s publishing program. AFB Press is the leading publisher in the field of blindness and vision impairment, and its flagship publications include the Foundations series, the Directory of Services for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons, and the monthly Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, the international journal of record in the field.
Matheson joined AFB in May 2000, following 20 years’ experience as director of the Guidance Publishing division of the College Board, a nonprofit membership organization of schools and colleges. She was responsible for trade and professional publishing; marketing, fulfillment, and customer service; and education databases — including the Annual Survey of Colleges, the premier private database of higher education institutions in the United States. Matheson led the effort at the College Board to deliver college and career information online, first through CompuServ, Prodigy and America Online, and later through the World Wide Web.
In her current position, Matheson is also responsible for development of AFB’s award-winning Web site, which is committed to providing in-depth content in a fully accessible and graphically rich format that is simultaneously accessible to sighted users and individuals who are blind or visually impaired. In addition, she provides strategic oversight for AFB’s Information Center, including the Information and Referral program; the M.C. Migel Library; the scholarship program; and the Helen Keller Archives, the largest collection of Helen Keller documents and memorabilia in existence.
Catherine Hyde Townsend is an associate philanthropic advisor at Wellspring Advisors, LLC, a philanthropic advisory firm. At Wellspring, Catherine designed and now manages an international disability rights docket focused on the U.N. Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has also taken a lead role in the development of a collaborative disability rights fund, which will focus its support on disabled persons organizations (DPOs) in the Global South. Concurrently, she serves as the administrator for the International Human Rights Funders Group, organizing their semiannual meetings, and managing membership communications, financial accounting and dues.
Prior to Wellspring, Catherine worked at the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. She served as a program associate supporting the launch of their U.S. Human Rights Program and before that staffed the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, which supports environmental and open space organizations as well as dance groups in New York City. Between 1995 and 1999, Catherine worked at JP Morgan in several offices around the world both in its internal consulting arm and investment banking divisions.
Catherine earned a B.A in world politics and German from Hamilton College (1995) and an M.A. from Yale University (2001) in international relations focused on human rights and law. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she serves as a board member of the Embankment Preservation Coalition, an open space nonprofit.
Kevin R. Webb manages national grantmaking and corporate employee volunteer programs as program officer with Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to help young people with disabilities maximize their potential and participation in society, and Webb works to further this mission by serving on the board of the Disability Funders Network, the committee on inclusiveness for the Council on Foundations, and on an inclusion task force for the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. In addition, Webb is an active member of the Affinity Group for Japanese Philanthropy and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.
Previously, Webb worked for a decade with the International Visitors Council (IVC) in Columbus, Ohio, serving as executive director for eight years. During his tenure with IVC, Webb welcomed 3,500 State Department-sponsored visiting international leaders to central Ohio and led four civil society training missions to Chile, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
Webb taught college courses on international business and global cultures for three years and served for six years on the board of the National Council for International Visitors. An Eagle Scout, Webb holds a B.A. in international studies and an M.A. in public administration from Ohio State University. He lives in Stone Ridge, Virginia, with his wife and two children.
Kim joined Disability Funders Network as executive director in June 2007.
Kim’s professional background demonstrates an ability in the areas of crisis management and business turnaround, acquisitions and mergers, financial and administrative management and planning, multi-tiered fundraising, community relations, and the public and private partnership of voluntary health organizations in the not-for-profit sector as well. She has an excellent record as a versatile executive manager of for-profit businesses ranging in size from $8 million to $850 million and has significant accomplishments in profit-and-loss (P&L), sales, marketing and operations.
For the last seven years, Kim has served not only as a lecturer, general faculty member and director of development at the University of Virginia (UVA), but also as the president and chief executive officer for multimillion-dollar voluntary health disability organizations, including Easter Seals Virginia and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In this capacity, she was responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and assuming managerial accountability as well as providing leadership in developing a long-term growth strategy for the organization. In addition, she was responsible for maximizing support from the community and developing and implementing strategic political action while also providing energetic leadership and delivery of services to a client base of 45,000 children and adults with disabilities.
For 10 years prior to working in the not-for-profit sector, Kim was an executive vice president for an international commercial real estate development and construction company that owned and built the Doral Resorts around the world. She was also a lobbyist for the commercial construction industry.
Kim is currently a board director of LEAD VIRGINIA and an executive committee member and chairman of the alumni committee of LEAD VIRGINIA. She also serves as a director of the Corporate Development Summit, Service Dogs of Virginia, and serves on the advisory council for Women of Washington and Executive Women International. She is involved with the Women’s Initiative Network, is a member of the Association of Fundraising Executives (VAFRE) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Kim is a Certified Master Trainer and is a graduate of LEAD VIRGINIA and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). She is an active member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.
Kim is a native of Virginia and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Richmond and a masters degree in business. She is currently working on her doctorate in public policy. She resides in Midlothian, Virginia, with her son, Zachary, and is an avid golfer and painter.