Interaction Institute for Social Change

Our Staff and Board

Meet our Affiliate Consultants and Trainers

Danielle Coates-Connor
Linda Guinee
Charlie Jones
Sekou Kaba
Eileen Mayko
Ceasar McDowell
Miriam Messinger
Tiffany Morris
Andrea Nagel
Sara Oaklander
Curtis Ogden
Cynthia Silva Parker
Toni Phillips
Gibrán Rivera
Christina Savage
Mistinguette Smith
Ivy Smith
Maanav Thakore
Jen Willsea
Sharon Duffy
Stevie Johnston
Louise O'Meara
Board of Directors
Filiz Bikmen
Andrew Grant-Thomas
Christopher Harris
Jeremy Liu
Andrea Nagel
Louise O'Meara
Frank Robinson, Ph.D.
Jamil Simon
Linda Stewart
Akaya Windwood


Danielle Coates-Connor Communications Manager


Linda Guinee Senior Associate

Linda Guinee brings to her work a passion for social justice and peacebuilding, a lifelong commitment to social justice and a belief in the potential of groups of people coming together to create powerful approaches to social issues. Prior to coming to IISC, Linda was the Associate Director of Client Services at the AIDS Action Committee, the largest AIDS Service Organization in New England. She also worked as a tour manager with the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, traveling with the Quilt and organizing volunteers and displays around the United States. In a previous life, Linda worked at the Long Term Research Institute, where she was the senior researcher on a project studying the songs of humpback whales and co-discovered that humpbacks use rhymes as mnemonic devices in their songs. Linda was ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Humanism and Cultural Change from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay and a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution at Antioch University - McGregor. She is a trained mediator. Linda delivers facilitation services, helps manage the content of collaborative efforts with a wide variety of IISC’s clients and helps bring technological solutions to collaborative processes.

Past and current clients include:

Greatest Life Achievement:
Getting my grandmother up out of her hospital bed and walking again.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there’s a field. I’ll meet you there.”
- Rumi


Charlie Jones Support Partner

Charlie is a member of the support staff, lending administrative skills to IISC’s Senior Associates and service delivery support to clients. Prior to joining IISC, Charlie worked for eight years in the supported housing industry as a member of MMA Financial’s operations team. In addition, Charlie has worked in various capacities as a gardener, substitute teacher, waiter, short order cook, and as a laborer on a concrete placement crew. Charlie is also a guitarist & songwriter. He has played in numerous rock bands over the last 20 years and currently can be found playing around Boston with a local indie-pop group called the Mercy James Gang.


Sekou Kaba Finance Manager

Sekou oversees IISC’s day-to-day financial and accounting operations. He began as a volunteer with a vision of giving back to the community. He wanted to work for a non-profit and be a player, not a spectator, in life. IISC has made that possible. Sekou feels very fortunate to be part of the IISC family. He is originally from Liberia, West Africa, and was brought up to value family. When he first began work with IISC, Sekou was overwhelmed by his colleagues’ outlook, attitudes, the ambiance of the work place, and the diversity that surrounded the organization. He strongly believes that we can get along and work toward a common goal of social transformation. Prior to working for IISC, Sekou managed a couple of family owned filling stations in Monrovia, Liberia.


Eileen Mayko Director of Finance and Administration

Eileen comes to the Institute with a passion for the contributions that nonprofits make to the world. She has focused her professional career on working within and in support of the nonprofit sector. She began with Facilities Resource Management Company, a small consulting firm based in Connecticut. There her clients ranged from Rockefeller University and Barnard College to the School District of Sarasota County and Ringling School of Art and Design. Eileen also has worked in the education sector for University of Pennsylvania, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Harcum College. Eileen received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a master of science degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of work Eileen serves as a member of the board of two Philadelphia-based arts organizations. Originally from New England, Eileen recently relocated back after spending ten years living in Philadelphia. She is thrilled to be a part of the Institute and is inspired by the work that the Institute is doing in the world.

“You must do the thing that you think you cannot do.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt


Ceasar McDowell President

When asked what his work is about Ceasar always says, “Voice.” He has a deep and abiding passion for figuring out how people who are systematically marginalized by society have the opportunity to voice their lived experiences to the world. Ceasar believes that until people are able to lift up those experiences, they will be unable to participate as full members of society. Over the past few decades, Ceasar has been involved in many activities to bring this belief to life. As founder of MIT’s Co-Lab (previously named Center for Reflective Community Practice), Ceasar works to develop the critical moments reflection method to help communities build knowledge from their practice or, as he likes to say, “to know what they know.” Through his work at the global civic engagement organization, Engage The Power, he developed The Question Campaign as a method for building democratic communities from the ground up. At MIT, Ceasar teaches on civic and community engagement and the use of social media to enhance both. In addition, he is working to create a model of equitable partnership between universities and communities and to support communities to build their own knowledge base. Ceasar brings his deep commitment to the work of building beloved, just and equitable communities that are able to – as his friend Carl Moore says - ”struggle with the traditions that bind them and the interests that separate them so they can build a future that is an improvement on the past.”

As IISC’s new president, Ceasar is focused on how best to move the organization toward the social change it has been helping others do in the world. Over the next year, he expects you will begin to see IISC using its tools and methods and deep collaborative and network design and building skills to move equity and social change efforts in a few select sectors.


Miriam Messinger Director of Practice

Miriam has devoted much of her professional life to working to ensure that communities are healthy – with resources, a sense of connectedness, and engaged residents driving community development.

Prior to joining IISC, Miriam served as an independent consultant helping foundations and other non‐profits work towards realization of their visions by addressing challenges with attention to passion, excellence, and stakeholder inclusion.. She facilitated health equity grants and learning strategy at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Earlier in her career, Miriam loved the work she did mentoring, learning, and building organizational capacity as executive director of The City School, a youth and social justice organization. Her professional experience also includes organizational change, research and capacity building on issues of youth, public health and workplace health. Woven throughout is a deep commitment to including multiple voices, authentic and collaborative leadership and structures that help us to live our values.

One of Miriam’s favorite jobs was as a baker in Cambridge. She was delighted to spend the wee hours of her mornings measuring, stirring, mixing, and kneading, returning home at 7 a.m. covered in flour and chocolate.

Miriam believes deeply in humanity’s ability to envision and create more equitable and loving ways of living together. She lives in Roxbury with her wife and two children and tries to parent in ways that bring more goodness into the world.

Inspirational quote:
“As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightening, and all the stars. What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm.”
- Chandogya Upanishad

Past and current clients include:


Tiffany Morris Support Partner

Tiffany is inspired by IISC’s commitment to social justice. She brings to the job a passion for engagement in the needs of communities – especially around issues of health disparities, women’s empowerment, and parental involvement in the academic success of children – as well as a dozen years experience working in community health and human services. Tiffany is a graduate of Cambridge College and a resident of Cambridge where she is engaged in many ways, including at her son’s school, Prospect Hill Academy. She describes herself as free spirited and easy going, with a love of yoga and long walks. And when asked what she is most proud of in her life, Tiffany readily answers, “My sons.”


“Our character…is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.”
- George Santayana (1863-1952);
Philosopher, Poet, Essayist, Novelist


Andrea Nagel Senior Associate

Andrea loves people and life. She is driven by a desire to challenge inequity and bridge the divisions between people. Born in Chile and transplanted to the suburbs of New York at the age of 8, her boundary crossing experiences began at an early age. Andrea believes in the possibility of community because of her own experiences bridging cultural and socio-economic differences. Andrea began organizing around Latin American issues in college and then shifted her focus from global to local efforts in Roxbury, MA at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, a multicultural resident-led community-based planning and organizing organization. Andrea delved more deeply into leadership development activities at YouthBuild USA and then IISC. Andrea delivers training, consulting and facilitation services to IISC clients in both Spanish and English. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When not working, Andrea enjoys dancing, dabbling in jewelry-making and sharing her home with family and friends.

Past and current clients include:

  • Barr Foundation
  • Boston Promise Initiative
  • CARE
  • Springfield Health Equity Initiative
  • Thrive in Five Initiative


Sara Oaklander Senior Associate

Sara considers herself a utility player in Boston’s social sector with over 25 years experience in organizational, program and project management, grant writing, court-based mediation, and more. Throughout this time, she has led and participated in the design and facilitation of processes to improve effectiveness and foster collaboration in work and community settings where the focus is on building community and advancing social justice. Sara found IISC when she participated in a Facilitative Leadership workshop as a senior manager in a human services agency and realized that it was offering compelling solutions to many common leadership and organizational challenges. Since having the good fortune to join the IISC staff in 2004, Sara has provided content and project management services to IISC clients and worked on a variety of marketing and other special projects. Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University. When not working, Sara can usually be found riding her bike, hanging out with family and friends, or working on a community or civic project of one sort or another.

Past and current clients include:


Curtis Ogden Senior Associate

Curtis brings to IISC his experience in education, community building, leadership development and program design, as well as a passion for efforts that support environmental sustainability. He has worked as an independent research, evaluation, and training consultant to a number of civic engagement and nonprofit support initiatives, including the Building Movement Project (currently housed at Demos), the Nonprofit Quarterly, and Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. Prior to joining IISC, Curtis was the Program and Knowledge Manager of the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship for aspiring urban charter school founders. The son of two teachers, Curtis was raised in Flint, Michigan, and benefited from early experiences living overseas. After college, he returned to Africa to do community and youth development work in Zimbabwe through Silveira House, where he was introduced to and deeply influenced by participatory action research and Training for Transformation methods. He went on to create ImPACT, a model youth service learning program based at The Learning Web in Ithaca, New York. In addition to his work at IISC, Curtis is an adjunct faculty member at Antioch University and a board member of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School.

Past and current partners/clients include:

Greatest Life Accomplishments:
Meeting and marrying my wife; fathering three healthy daughters; keeping good friends.

“I’ve grown impatient with the kind of debate we used to have about whether the optimists are right or the pessimists are right. Neither are right. There is too much bad news to justify complacency. There is too much good news to justify despair.”
- Donella Meadows

“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
- William Carlos Williams


Cynthia Silva Parker Senior Associate

Cynthia Silva Parker is an advocate for equity and justice and builds the capacity of individuals, organizations and networks to work collaboratively for social justice. She has served as a Senior Associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change since 1998 and was affiliated with the Institute for 5 years before joining the staff. She delivers training, consulting, coaching, and facilitation services to nonprofit and public organizations focused on racial equity, environmental sustainability, community development and other aspects of social justice work. She has led or co-led the development of several IISC workshops, including Diversity in the Collaborative Organization, Collaborative Social Change, and Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work.

Cynthia’s prior leadership experience includes Director of Boston Freedom Summer, the Ten Point Coalition’s faith-based youth leadership and community development project, and Project Administrator for the Algebra Project, Inc., a national nonprofit education group focused on access to algebra as a civil right. Cynthia holds a BA from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges and a Master of Public Policy/MCRP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Past and current clients and partners include:

Greatest Life Accomplishment:
My most important accomplishments are a work in progress: the ongoing journey to build a solid spiritual foundation, nurture a loving family, and carry hope into the world through my life and my work.

“…And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8


Toni Phillips Education Associate

Toni is a member of the support team and co-manages the information, administrative and financial systems for the Education Practice. In addition, she is responsible for the implementation of human resource systems. Prior to joining IISC, Toni was the Office Manager for Interaction Associates, IISC’s for-profit partner. She led the support team, working in numerous positions during nine years of employment. While at Interaction Associates, she traveled to the Sudan, Ethiopia and Nairobi as a member of a peace-talk delegation led by former President Jimmy Carter. This delegation facilitated conversations between Ethiopia and Eritrea as they worked toward peace agreements. Toni partnered with the Ethiopian delegation to manage their communications with other delegates. Toni is the church secretary at the historic 130 year-old Union Baptist Church in Cambridge and serves on the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Community Center, a 70 year-old organization providing after-school services to children. She also is a member of numerous community and fundraising committees. Toni graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts-Boston with a Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies, and a certificate from the Teacher Certification Program. She also had a Master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Greatest Life Achievements:
Watching with pride as my sons entered manhood, and enjoying my grandchildren.

“Choose to live each day in purpose, on purpose.”
- Michelle McKinney Hammond


Gibrán Rivera Senior Associate

“Together we can do what we could not do alone.” With this in mind, Gibrán’s job is to help people work better together. He is a consultant committed to the development of leaders, organizations and networks and uses coaching, training, process design and facilitation in service of those who are committed to social transformation.

Gibrán works with people who understand that we must take our next evolutionary leap. In keeping with the overall focus of IISC, Gibrán uses three lenses in his approach to collaborative leadership:

  • Shifting dynamics of power, equity and inclusion
  • Shifting from organizations to networks
  • Building beloved community

Gibrán’s graduate studies were in diplomacy and processes of negotiation and mediation. He has devoted much of his work life to the idea of democracy and to the work of emancipatory politics in urban communities.

Gibrán’s approach to his work today is particularly influenced by the work of Robert Gass, founder of the Rockwood Leadership Institute; C. Otto Scharmer and his peers at the Presencing Institute; the work and writings of Grace Lee Boggs at the Boggs Center in Detroit; and the forward thinking work of John Powell and the Kirwan Institute.

Current clients include:

Greatest Life Achievement:
Daring to love with all my heart and committing my everyday to meeting others at a deeper place.

“See God even in that moment of great loss, in profound pain, just as you visualize God in profound ecstasy.”
- Gurumayi Chidvilasananda


Christina Savage Operations Manager

Christina is responsible for the integrity of IISC’s systems, including contracting, invoicing, and technology. In addition she leads the IISC support team to ensure smooth communication with Senior Associates and service delivery to clients. Christina also contributes to the organization’s finance team and is a member of the implementation team overseeing IISC’s strategic plan. Prior to joining IISC, Christina held a number of diverse and interesting jobs, each one contributing to a rich background and variety of skills. These include managing director of a small theater, catering temp, medical receptionist, professional (non-equity) actor, box office manager, and candy store manager. Christina has a B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of Massachusetts.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
- Sweet Honey in the Rock


Mistinguette Smith Senior Associate

If social change means making the places we live and work more just and equitable, then Mistinguette Smith believes that change must produce results we can touch, see, feel — and measure. She has piloted innovative, data-informed public funding partnerships in AIDS services in Ohio, and developed Target: Hunger, an outcomes-based organizing model to reduce domestic hunger in Massachusetts. Prior to becoming a Senior Associate, Smith was an independent consultant, designing strategy with rural and urban agriculture organizations; facilitating environmental and health care leadership development programs; providing board training for LGBTQ, racial, gender and economic justice groups; and serving as an affiliated trainer and facilitator with IISC. Clients say Smith brings sharp clarity and deep practical experience to their conversations about twenty-first century leadership, program design and strategy. A graduate of Smith College, she holds the MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management from New York University. She is also a poet, essayist, and founder of the narrative-based Black/Land Project.

Inspirational Quote: If what we change does not change us, we are playing with blocks – Marge Piercy

Past and Current Clients Include:


Ivy Smith Support Partner

Ivy is thrilled to join IISC as a support partner. Her background in sustainable design and project management has allowed her to explore the complex relationships between sustainability and the built and social environment, while also informing her interest in nonprofit and grassroots development. A Massachusetts native and graduate of the Boston Architectural College, Ivy has worked with with multiple non profits on projects centered in creating more equitable, resilient, and beautiful communities in Greater Boston and beyond.


Maanav Thakore Senior Associate

Maanav’s life work is devoted to facilitating learning spaces for individual and collective transformation. He has worked as an organizer, educator, coach, consultant and program director in group homes, public schools, community organizations, social enterprises, public agencies, and national youth organizations. He has been blessed to have consistently been at “the right place at the right time” to participate in truly effective social change work.

Prior to joining IISC, Maanav led the implementation of the Racial Justice and Health Equity Professional Development Series at the Boston Public Health Commission – a core component of a groundbreaking organizational change process that is changing the way the City of Boston approaches public health. While there, Maanav led a team of facilitators that trained over 1,100 city employees to view their work through a racial justice and health equity lens. Earlier in his career Maanav led a nation-wide learning community of mentoring practitioners at YouthBuild USA. Prior to that he supported youth organizers in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston to speak out against street harassment and sexism, which led to a successful campaign for comprehensive sex-ed in Boston Public Schools. He first experienced the true power of cross sector partnerships by coordinating a Beacons Center in Northeast Minneapolis.

Maanav has lived in all corners of the country and believes that there is no true social change without internal transformation and healing. Maanav is also a deejay, multi-instrumentalist, holistic-foods chef, husband, and father to two beautiful children.


Jen Willsea Senior Associate

Jen is passionate about racial and economic justice, faith, queerness, and transgender rights. She is curious about new and creative ways to build community that will restore everyone’s humanity. She was raised in Rochester, NY and spent time in the San Francisco bay area working with organizations including Peace Action West, Critical Resistance, the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop, and Community United Against Violence. Jen has done organizing particularly around class privilege, white privilege, and philanthropy. At IISC, Jen’s work focuses on collaborative process design, network building, training, facilitation, and content and project management for clients who are seeking to make deep institutional, structural and/or community change. Jen also serves on the board of Resource Generation and is a cook and accordion player. Jen holds a B.A. in religion and anthropology from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard University.

Past and current clients include:


Sharon Duffy Administration Support, IISC Ireland Office

Sharon is the newest member of Interaction Institute for Social Change’s Ireland Office. Prior to joining IISC, Sharon worked as an IT trainer for 7 years before taking time out to travel. Since then she has worked for Oxfam Northern Ireland and is currently also working with Belfast’s South Eastern Education and Library Board as a Library Assistant. When not working, Sharon likes to cook for friends, take walks with her dog and read novels.


Stevie Johnston Senior Associate

Prior to joining IISC, Stevie was the Director of the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) in Northern Ireland, an adult education body whose mission is simply to ‘make learning irresistible.’ Before becoming director he ran community leadership programs for the WEA, and while on a research visit to Boston in 1995 to look for new leadership models, discovered IISC. A partnership quickly followed and since then thousands of participants in Ireland have had the opportunity to benefit from IISC’s workshops. As a long standing affiliate trainer with IISC, Stevie has delivered Facilitative Leadership many times.

Stevie holds a BSc in Social Administration, an MSc in Social Administration, Policy and Planning and an MBA from the University of Ulster, where he specialized in strategic development for not for profit organizations. He has attended the Federal Executive Institute’s Charlottesville, VA campus and graduated from their Leadership in a Democratic Society program (where he also got to see round the Pentagon on an electric buggy!). Steve has also worked in Eastern Europe helping build civic democracy in Russia, Lithuania and Georgia (where he ran collaborative leadership training in Stalin’s summer house!).

Active in community life, Stevie is treasurer of his local community development association and chairperson of Community Places, a not for profit agency that enables communities to have a voice in planning and regeneration.

Stevie’s favorite quote is Ghandi’s “live every day as if it were your last and learn as if you’ll live forever”. As such he’s working hard to master Peter Senge Five Disciplines and draws something new from Gareth Morgan’s ‘Images of Organizations’ every time he lifts it.


Louise O'Meara Regional Director, IISC Ireland Office

Louise is the Regional Director of the IISC Ireland Office. She comes to IISC with a background in strategic planning, organizational development, evaluation and policy impact assessment. In addition, she has considerable expertise in the area of gender equality work, including the “gender proofing” of policies. Louise has worked as an independent organizational consultant, trainer, and facilitator; a rural development officer; and as an urban community development officer. Her experiences in the private, public and voluntary sectors in Ireland convinced her of the need for developing effective relationships and structures within and between agencies, organizations and groups, in pursuit of social justice. Furthermore, her international consulting work in Russia, Georgia, the Czech Republic, and other countries has deepened her commitment to ensuring that skills for collaboration are tailored to local cultural contexts. Louise received her Bachelor’s degree from University College Cork where she studied sociology and social policy. She is an active member of a number of nonprofit organizations and serves as a board member of the Belfast Film Festival and the Women’s Resource and Development Agency.

Past and current clients include:

  • Age Concern Northern Ireland
  • Institute for Public Health Ireland
  • Belfast Community Safety Partnership
  • Changing Aging Partnership
  • Fabry International Network
  • Pavee Point Travellers Centre
  • Southern Health & Social Services Board Public Health Department
  • West Belfast Advice Forum
  • Worker’s Educational Association
  • Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Dublin

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
- Eric Hoffer

Email: lo'

Board of Directors

Filiz Bikmen Social Investment and Philanthropy Adviser

IISC Board Member

Filiz Bikmen is a social investment and philanthropy adviser, helping to create ‘Constellations for Change’ by guiding families, foundations and companies in developing strategic giving and social change programs. For more than a decade, Filiz has held institutional positions in the foundation sector including Founding Director of Programs and International Relations at the Sabanci Foundation and Director of TUSEV, Third Sector Foundation of Turkey, where she led the design and implementation of new program strategies in the areas of gender, disability, youth, social media, civil society development, nonprofit law advocacy, research and promoting philanthropy. During her tenure at Sabanci Foundation, she represented the foundation on the Governing Council of the European Foundation Center and has also been a member of several advisory councils and boards in various organizations and initiatives.

Filiz currently serves as Chairman of the International Center for Not for Profit Law, which aims to improve laws governing civil society and philanthropy by providing information and expertise to NGOs and governments across the world. She is a Fellow at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at CUNY Graduate Center in New York, an author of several publications on philanthropy and civil society, and a regular contributor to Alliance Magazine since 2004. Filiz also serves on the Stanford University Global Practitioner Council of the Program on Social Entrepreneurship.

For Filiz, social change is about creating ‘constellations’ in which strategies, assets and values are in alignment.

Andrew Grant-Thomas Director of Programs, Proteus Fund

IISC Board Member

Andrew Grant-Thomas is the Director of Programs at the Proteus Fund, a national foundation committed to advancing justice through democracy, human rights and peace. At Proteus, Andrew works on issues that include race and redistricting; money in politics; civil liberties, human rights, and national security policy; death penalty abolition; and social equity in philanthropy.

Andrew was previously the Deputy Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, where he oversaw much of the Institute’s US-based and global justice programming, directed its biannual Transforming Race conference, and served as Editor-in-Chief of its journal, Race/Ethnicity: Multidisciplinary Global Contexts. Andrew came to Kirwan Institute from the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, where he oversaw preparations for the 2003 Color Lines Conference and managed a range of policy-oriented racial justice projects. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Literature from Yale University, his Masters in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

Christopher Harris Senior Consultant, Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre

IISC Board Member

Christopher Harris is currently Senior Consultant to the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (NOREF). Until recently, he worked as Senior Consultant to the Foundation Center in New York and to the Bernard van Leer Foundation in The Hague. Until 2010 he served for ten years as the Senior Program Officer on Philanthropy at the Ford Foundation where he worked on strengthening new and existing philanthropy in the U.S. and globally. The special focus of his work was on how philanthropy can be best used as a tool for social justice and peace. His grants focused on increasing and improving funding by foundations for rights and justice efforts—racial, human, economic, civil, women’s, sexual and cultural rights as well as for peace and reconciliation. He founded the Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace, on which he still serves.

Prior to his time at Ford, Christopher was a vice president at the Council on Foundations where he directed work on professional development and international issues. Earlier he served with the Council of Chief State School Officers, where he focused on improving education for marginalized students, and worked closely with federal agencies, Congressional staff, state departments of education and advocacy groups on policy development and legislation. He has worked on Palestinian education and training in the West Bank and Gaza, and served on the founding staff of the International Relief/Development Project in Somalia and Ethiopia. Christopher has a doctorate in education from Harvard University and was on the Editorial Board of the Harvard Educational Review.

Christopher is currently on the editorial board of Alliance magazine (UK), and several advisory boards and committees. He has edited several books on education policy and written a number of articles on philanthropy.

Jeremy Liu Principal, Creative Ecology Partners Managing Partner, Creative Development Partners

IISC Board Member

Jeremy Liu is a community development innovation practitioner. As an artist, urban planner, real estate developer, community organizer, and technology designer with a passion for civic, social, cultural and political entrepreneurship, he partners with communities to build healthy, vibrant and just neighborhoods.

He is the Principal of Creative Ecology Partners, the co-founder of the arts award-winning National Bitter Melon Council, and has served as the executive director of two nationally-recognized community development corporations.

Jeremy has worked for over 18 years for and with communities to creatively confront issues of social and environmental equity, sustainable development, affordable housing, and community empowerment. He has written and lectured in the U.S. and abroad about affordable housing, real estate development, participatory planning, technology, and the community development role for arts and culture; he has created arts- and technology-based community development projects in the U.S. and Asia. Jeremy also writes for Shelterforce Magazine.

Andrea Nagel Senior Associate, IISC

IISC Board Member

Please see Andrea’s listing under “staff.”

Louise O'Meara Regional Director, IISC Ireland Office

IISC Board Member

Please see Louise’s listing under “staff.”

Frank Robinson, Ph.D. Board Chairman, IISC; Executive Director, Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc.

IISC Board Member

A public health professional with more than 30 years of experi­ence working in community health education, Frank has served as executive director for Partners for a Healthier Community for the past 13 years. Under Frank’s leader­ship, PHC has become a preeminent public health promotion organization in western Massachusetts and well-regarded as a community nonprofit incubator and capacity build­ing organization.

Before joining PHC, Frank worked for four years as director of the City of Spring­field’s Community Partnership grant for substance abuse prevention. Earlier in his career, he directed the development of local and re­gional systems operated by the Mas­sachu­setts Department of Mental Health and Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Devel­opmental Disabilities.

Jamil Simon Founder and President, Spectrum Media

IISC Board Member

Jamil is founder and president of Spectrum Media, an award-winning producer and director of educational videos and documentaries, and an expert in development communications. He has produced many films and videos on teaching and learning for organizations such as Harvard University, MIT, Oxfam America, WGBH and Children’s Television Workshop. He has produced and directed documentaries on topics ranging from science education and early childhood development to environmental and energy conservation. He also designs and implements communications programs to promote reform in developing countries. He designed public awareness programs to support democratization in Mali, water conservation in Tunisia and conflict resolution education in Jordan. He has also worked on environmental reform in Malawi and Madagascar. He has worked for several donor organizations, including USAID, DFID, Asia Development Bank and the World Bank. Jamil spent most of the past year in Haiti, working for USAID as an advisor to the Haitian government to help improve communications between the government and the people, following the earthquake.

Mr. Simon has continually championed the use of multimedia tools to advance conflict resolution education around the world, and has produced several projects to promote peacebuilding and reconciliation. He is currently in pre-production on a documentary about the peacebuilding process in Burundi. In addition, along with a team of curriculum developers, media producers and communication specialists, he has developed the Peace Teaching Project to make multilingual, video-based conflict resolution training materials accessible to educators everywhere, especially those in developing countries. Jamil is also an accomplished photographer. Click here to check out Jamil’s still photography.

Linda Stewart President, Interaction Associates

IISC Board Member

Linda is a senior executive with more than 25 years’ experience building, leading, and improving profitable companies in fast-paced global environments – including as a senior executive leader for several divisions of one of the world’s largest financial services companies. Her experience includes a strong history of building high-performing, loyal teams that consistently exceeded performance expectations — a key measure of Return on Involvement that is central to the collaborative and results-oriented cultures and leaders that Interaction Associates develops for clients.

Linda was president and senior executive leader of several divisions of Fidelity, where she successfully drove business strategy development and deployment, revenue generation, operational excellence, and financial reporting. Her experience at Fidelity and in founding and leading her own business grounds her in the knowledge needed to place customers first and engage employees for strong results.

Additionally, Linda has demonstrated a strong capacity to balance strategic direction, execute operational plans, manage risk and financial performance, satisfy customers and inspire organizations while personifying the highest level of professional integrity and personal excellence.

Akaya Windwood President, Rockwood Leadership Institute

IISC Board Member

Akaya Windwood is President of Rockwood Leadership Institute, the nation’s largest provider of transformative leadership trainings for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Internationally recognized for elevating the effectiveness of leadership and collaboration in the nonprofit and social benefit sectors, Akaya has led trainings both nationally and internationally and has been a featured speaker at the Stanford Social Innovation Institute, the Independent Sector Conference, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. In addition to serving on the board of IISC, Akaya currently also serves on the boards of the Alston Bannerman Fellowship Program, the Advisory Board of Destiny Arts Center, and the Advisory Board for the National Progressive Leadership Campus. Previously she served on the boards of the Alameda County Human Relations Commission, the Alameda County Hate Violence Prevention Task Force, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Akaya’s vision for our global community includes infusing a sense of purpose, delight and wonder into everything we do.