Aaron SeybertManaging Director Specialties: Detroit, Community development in Detroit, Detroit community development finance, Social Investing, Opportunity Zones, Use of non-grant capital
Aaron Seybert is managing director of the Social Investment Practice at The Kresge Foundation. He previously served as a social investment officer supporting the American Cities and Detroit Programs at Kresge. He joined the foundation in 2016. Prior to Kresge, he served as executive director at JPMorgan Chase Bank, where he was involved with community development banking focused on New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credit investing.
He started his career in impact investing at Cinnaire (formerly the Great Lakes Capital Fund) addressing affordable housing, and previously worked with Legal Aid of Central Michigan. He has served on the board of directors for the Michigan Magnet Fund, Lake Trust Credit Union and the Core Cities Strategic Fund advisory board.
A native of Michigan, Aaron earned a bachelor in business administration in corporate finance and accounting from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., and a juris doctorate from the Michigan State University College of Law.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Amy B. RobinsonVice President, CFO and Chief Administrative Officer Finance Specialties: Executive leadership and management, Financial accounting, Nonprofit management
Amy B. Robinson is vice president, CFO and Chief Administrative Officer of The Kresge Foundation, and serves as secretary and treasurer for the foundation’s board of trustees. She manages the facilities, finance, information technology and program operations and information management teams for the foundation.
She joined Kresge in 1995 after serving as a senior auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Detroit. She held various accounting and financial management roles at the foundation prior to being named CFO in 2009.
In October 2018, Amy was elected president of the of the Foundation Financial Officers Group, where she has also served as a past board member, treasurer and president-elect. Also in 2017, she received the 2017 AICPA Women to Watch - Experienced Leader Award, which honors those who have shown outstanding commitment and leadership, both to the CPA profession and to their communities. In addition, she was honored by DBusiness magazine in its 2017 Powered by Women issue, which recognizes exceptional female leaders in metro Detroit.
Amy was appointed to the Financial Accounting Standards Board Not-For-Profit Advisory Committee in 2016.
In 2015, Amy and her team led the expansion of the foundation’s Troy, Michigan, headquarters facility, which was featured in Construction Association Magazine as an outstanding construction project in Michigan.
She received the 2011 Crain’s Detroit Business CFO of the Year award in the nonprofit/foundation category and was featured in the 2010 AICPA book, “The Inside Track to Careers in Accounting.”
She is a graduate of Leadership Detroit XXIV and is frequently invited to speak at national conferences about accounting, tax and other issues relevant to the foundation’s work. She is also a member of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy audit committee and an adviser to the audit committee of the United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust.
Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan, and is a certified public accountant. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.
Ariel H. SimonVice President, Chief Program and Strategy Officer Executive Office Specialties: Community development, Arts & Culture, Creative Placemaking, Higher Education, Human Services, Opportunity Fund, Access to justice, Civic engagement, Civil legal aid, Immigration, Public Health, Strategy and Management, Executive leadership and management, Nonprofit management, Social innovation
As vice president, chief program and strategy officer, Ari oversees The Kresge Foundation’s programs and learning and evaluation departments, and directs the foundation's Opportunity Fund. He leads Kresge’s efforts to explore new forms of cross-disciplinary and place-based work and to pursue imaginative uses of philanthropic tools, strategies and learning agendas.
Ari joined Kresge in January 2013 after five years with McKinsey & Company in Washington, where he focused on social innovation, economic development and public health. While at McKinsey, Ari was a co-author of “And the Winner is…,” a study of prizes and their role in fostering innovation, and he worked with charitable foundations, nonprofits and governments across the Americas, Europe and Africa on issues of strategy, policy and advocacy, organizational effectiveness and governance.
Ari previously worked as a writer and editor for NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Report; for the United Nations Independent Inquiry Committee Investigation of the Oil-for-Food Programme; as a volunteer Red Cross paramedic in the Middle East; and as a legal researcher and writer at the Innocence Project and Williams & Connolly LLP.
Ari earned a bachelor’s degree in history and science from Harvard College, a master of science in biology from Oxford University, and a juris doctorate from Stanford University.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Benjamin S. KennedyVice President Place-Based Practice Specialties: American Cities, Anchor institution strategy, Social and economic policy, Detroit, Community development in Detroit
Benjamin Kennedy is vice president of the Place-Based Practice. Benjamin’s leadership involves overseeing grants and investments aimed at helping Detroit and other American cities grapple with a wide array of socio-economic issues.
Prior to joining Kresge in 2009, Benjamin was with JPMorgan Chase in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was an associate on the firm’s mergers and acquisitions team.
He also worked as an economic and political analyst within IHS Global Insight's sub-Saharan Africa country intelligence group. His responsibilities included sovereign credit risk analysis, policy research and macroeconomic forecasting.
Benjamin earned a master’s in business administration from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s in economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Benjamin was named Crain’s 40 under 40 class of 2015, which recognizes leading young professionals in Detroit.
Bethany MillerSenior Program Officer Specialties: Higher Education, Degree reclamation, Federal regulation of for-profit colleges, First-generation college students, Florida college access and success, Non-academic barriers to student success
Bethany Miller is a senior program officer for The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. Her responsibilities include inviting and reviewing funding proposals, monitoring existing grants and supporting the Education Program’s learning and evaluation work. She joined the foundation in 2016.
Previously, she led evaluation and research at the Helios Education Foundation, headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. and Tampa, Fla. She has also held positions with MDRC and The American Council on Education.
Raised in Ohio and Florida, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history and Italian studies from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University.
Caroline Altman SmithDeputy Director Specialties: Higher Education, FAFSA reforms and completion efforts, Guided pathways, Leadership development of nonprofits, Michigan higher ed landscape
Caroline Altman Smith is deputy director of The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. She supports the team’s domestic grantmaking, which funds higher education institutions and national nonprofit organizations that work to help more underserved students enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
Before joining Kresge in 2008, Caroline served for five years as a program officer at the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis where she worked to create opportunities for low-income, minority and first-generation students to enter college and complete their undergraduate degrees.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Caroline holds a master’s degree in philanthropic studies and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. She is an instructor for The Grantmaking School at Grand Valley State University, previously chaired the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy National Board of Advisors, and currently serves on the board of the Council of Michigan Foundations and chairs the Grantmakers for Education board.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Chantel RushManaging Director Specialties: American Cities, Inclusive recovery and growth
Chantel M. Rush is managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s American Cities Program. Her work advances the foundation’s efforts to catalyze more effective community and economic development practice that expands opportunities for people with low incomes in American cities.
Chantel manages Kresge’s American Cities Program grantmaking to support: knowledge exchange among community development practitioners; national community development intermediaries; innovative and scalable community development solutions; pioneering research; and city-based dialogues aimed at promoting effective practice and policy. Chantel also stewards the foundation’s place-based work in Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Chantel joined the foundation in 2015, working as a special assistant to Kresge President and CEO Rip Rapson.
Before joining Kresge, Chantel served as senior analyst of global strategy and business development at Gap Inc. She started her career in management consulting, where her responsibilities included advising both corporate and private equity clients.
A native of Orange County, California, Chantel earned bachelor’s degrees in international relations and Spanish language from Stanford University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. Chantel serves on the boards of the National Housing Law Project, the Greater New Orleans Funders Network and Signal-Return.
Chera D. ReidDirector of Strategic Learning, Research and Evaluation Strategic Learning, Research and Evaluation Specialties: First-generation college students, Learning and Evaluation in Philanthropy, Equitable evaluation, Opportunity Fund, Nonprofit management
Chera Reid serves as director of strategic learning, research and evaluation for The Kresge Foundation. She leads organization-wide work to grow the foundation’s learning endowment—drawing from the full suite of philanthropic tools, including evaluation and thought leadership—to advance the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Chera has long focused on issues of access and equity in institutions and systems. In her current role, she brings an equity lens to evaluative thinking, which she applies to the foundation’s learning agenda around place-based practice, collaboration across fields and sectors and impact measurement. She also serves on the foundation’s diversity, equity and inclusion steering committee and on its Opportunity Fund team. Chera previously was a program officer with the Education Program, working to increase college access and success for low-income and students of color.
Before joining Kresge in 2013, Chera worked in program development at MDRC, a national nonpartisan education and social policy research organization that works to improve programs and policies affecting the lives of people who are low-income. Chera previously held leadership positions at New York Needs You and the Phillips Academy Andover Institute for Recruitment of Teachers. Both are programs that expand educational and career opportunities for people with low-incomes and students of color. Chera has taught at LaGuardia Community College and New York University.
Chera earned a bachelor’s degree in English and African American Studies at the University of Virginia, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in higher education from New York University. Chera serves on the advisory boards for the University of Virginia Equity Institute, the Andover Institute for Recruitment of Teachers and the Public Administration program at Tulane University.
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Chris M. KabelSenior Fellow Executive Office Specialties: Community development, Intersection of climate change and health, Public Health, Health care transformation, Healthy food systems, Housing and health
Chris M. Kabel is a senior fellow in The Kresge Foundation’s Executive Office. He promotes and fosters more effective cross-team work at the foundation, supporting the development of interdisciplinary grantmaking and investment approaches that advance the strategies of multiple Kresge programs.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2013, Chris worked for eight years as a senior program officer at the Northwest Health Foundation in Portland, Oregon. Before that he served as a fundraiser for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Oregon Health and Science University.
Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in public health from Portland State University.
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David D. FukuzawaManaging Director Specialties: Equity and environment, Intersection of climate change and health, Public Health, Health equity, Housing and health, Social determinants of health
David D. Fukuzawa, managing director of Kresge's Health Program, has more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, with a special focus on children and youth.
His experience as a youth worker and community organizer in Detroit and Chicago taught him that health and well-being are profoundly affected by the condition of the communities, schools and environment in which people live. Those lessons inform the efforts he has led to re-envision and redesign Kresge’s approach to health grantmaking.
David joined Kresge in 2000 and has served as a program officer and senior program officer. In 2002, he helped develop the Special Opportunities Initiative. The initiative focused on building the capacity of high-impact organizations that reached underserved populations, but were uncompetitive in the foundation’s historic bricks-and-mortar challenge program. He then managed the initiative.
He was a program officer at The Skillman Foundation in Detroit from 1990 to 1999. At Skillman, David focused on child and youth health. He was responsible for a major initiative to address the lack of safe and accessible out-of-school opportunities for Detroit youth, a major factor in the city’s high incidence of violence, delinquency, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy. He also helped develop Michigan’s first statewide childhood immunization registry.
Before his career in philanthropy, David served as director of human needs at New Detroit, Inc. (NDI), where he was responsible for policy analysis and development, particularly in the areas of welfare reform and health care reform. He drafted NDI’s policy statement for health care reform and was NDI’s liaison to the Michigan Legislature regarding liability/tort reform and its effect on physicians in Detroit. He also administered a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, which established the first school-based health centers in the Detroit Public Schools.
David moved to Detroit in 1981, fresh from seminary, to work with youth on the streets, where he learned firsthand about the roots of urban drug-related violence. That experience directly informed a booklet, which he co-wrote while at NDI titled Drug Free Neighborhoods: How we can do it. The Michigan Substance Abuse and Traffic Safety Information Center reprinted the booklet in 1993 with a new title, Creating Drug Free Neighborhoods in Michigan: How we can do it.
A Yale University graduate, David also holds a master of divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and a master of science in administration degree from Central Michigan University. He has published articles about urban issues and population health, including “Achieving Healthy Communities through Community-centered Health Systems” in the Winter 2013 edition of National Civic Review.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Edward SmithProgram Officer Specialties: Higher Education, Cross-sector partnerships for educational attainment, Developmental education, Education equity, Minority-serving institutions, New Orleans college access and success, Place-based scholarship programs, Texas college access and success, Tuition-free community college programs
Edward Smith is a program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. He helps advance the team’s goals and functions by inviting and reviewing funding requests and making recommendations for investments in ongoing or emerging innovations. He also manages a portfolio of grants focused on promoting college opportunity and degree completion for marginalized student groups.
He joined Kresge in 2019 after 10 years in education policy research, working to understand how city leaders develop and advance education attainment initiatives rooted in a city’s assets and suited to the needs of its people. Previously, he held positions at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, NASPA’s Research and Policy Institute and the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Ed has consulted for New Jersey’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the Community College of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Education. He also taught courses at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. He has served as an instructor of record at the Davidson County Correctional Facility (Nashville, Tenn.), the Workshop School of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University’s College of Education and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in education from Pennsylvania State University.
Jalonne L. White-NewsomeSenior Program Officer Specialties: Environment, Equity and environment, Urban flooding, Health equity
Jalonne L. White-Newsome is a senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation, responsible for the Environment Program's grant portfolio on Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS). Jalonne is also a core team member of Kresge's Climate Change, Health and Equity Initiative, supporting grantmaking across the public health sector.
Before joining Kresge in 2016, Jalonne served as director of federal policy at West Harlem Environmental Action Inc. (WE ACT), where she led national campaigns to ensure that the concerns of low-income communities of color were integrated into federal policy, particularly on issues of clean air, climate change and health. She is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. As a researcher on climate, health and equity, Jalonne was a lead author for the human health chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. She provides leadership on various boards, including the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Change and Society, the US Climate Action Network, Health Environmental Funder’s Network Steering Committee and the Urban Water Funder’s Group.
A native of Detroit, Jalonne earned a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. Jalonne has recently been recognized by Who’s Who in America, The Environmental Management Association’s Environmental Achievement Award, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and is a 2017 PLACES Fellow alum with The Funders Network.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Jessica E. BoehlandSenior Program Officer Specialties: Environment, Climate adaptation, Climate change, Energy effciency
Jessica Boehland works as a Senior Program Officer with The Kresge Foundation's Environment Program, which helps cities build their resilience in the face of climate change. Her work focuses on climate change mitigation, preparedness for the effects of climate change, and social equity. Jessica leads the team’s grantmaking and other activities related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy resilience.
Prior to joining Kresge in 2008, Jessica served as Managing Editor of Environmental Building News and Editor of GreenSource magazine. Her writing has appeared in these and numerous other publications.
In 2017, Jessica was named among Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40, recognizing young leaders helping to drive America’s transition to clean energy. A LEED-accredited professional, she serves on the boards of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) and the Funders Network (TFN). Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Joe EvansPortfolio Manager Specialties: Social Investing, Community development credit unions, Financial services in low-income communities, Portfolio management
Joe Evans is portfolio manager for The Kresge Foundation’s Social Investment Practice, and is responsible for managing loans, guarantees, deposits and equity investments that support Kresge’s mission. He also works to originate, structure and close new investments in accordance with prudent social investment practices, relevant regulations and foundation priorities. He joined the foundation in 2014.
Prior to joining Kresge, Joe worked for more than 10 years as a generalist with a nationally recognized consulting firm practicing in the areas of organizational development, nonprofit business planning, social investing and multi-funder initiatives.
“Through that work, I was fortunate to have a bird’s eye view of a number of key developments in community finance that galvanized an industry and were initiated, supported or scaled through the work of private foundations. I’m thrilled to be able to apply that experience in service to Kresge’s ambitious goals, thoughtful strategies and commitment to leveraging market mechanisms to expand opportunities in America’s cities.”
Joe also served as an executive at a community action agency, and most recently was the director of lending for a specialty community development financial institution focused on expanding housing and educational choices for persons living with disabilities and their families.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Conn.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Joelle-Jude FontaineSenior Program Officer Specialties: Human Services, Early childhood education and systems
Joelle-Jude Fontaine is a senior program officer for the Human Services team.
Before joining Kresge in 2017, Joelle-Jude served as a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she led the development of its early childhood funding strategies focusing on obtaining equitable outcomes for children pre-birth to age eight. She also led the development of the foundation’s infant toddler funding strategy, designed to maximize outcomes for young children and their families. Before this, she served as a program officer for the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation in White Plains, N.Y.
Joelle-Jude serves as a member of the leadership team of the National Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, which helps leverage private and public funding and resources to increase equitable early childhood systems building efforts.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Public Affairs from the Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York.
Katie W. ByerlyProgram Officer Specialties: Community development, Intersection of climate change and health, Public Health, Community-driven solutions in systems change, Cross-sector partnerships for health, Health equity
Katie W. Byerly is a program officer at The Kresge Foundation. She advances the Health Program’s grantmaking strategies, using cross-disciplinary and community-engaged approaches to promote health equity. She joined the foundation in 2016 as the inaugural health philanthropy fellow.
Previously she served as managing director of CounterTobacco.org, developing tools and resources for federal, state, and local public health practitioners working to counteract the impact of tobacco product sales and marketing. She also worked as a local public health department field assignee through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Associate Program.
A native of North Carolina, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kelly HarderSenior Program Officer Specialties: Human Services, Human services public policy, Workforce development
Kelly Harder is a senior program officer with the Human Services Program at The Kresge Foundation. He joined the foundation in 2019. Previously, Kelly served as the director of community services at Dakota County, Minnesota, where he was responsible for leading the county’s health, human services, corrections, veterans, workforce and eligibility programs.
Kelly has worked most of his career in county and non-profit human service agencies in a variety of roles.
A native of southwest Minnesota, he earned a Bachelor of Science in social work and business administration from Concordia University in Moorhead, Minnesota and a Master of Social Work from the University of North Dakota.
Kelly has previously served on the board of the American Public Human Services Association and has supported numerous nonprofit organizations with board development and strategic planning.
Lois R. DeBackerManaging Director Specialties: Environment, Climate adaptation, Intersection of climate change and health
Lois DeBacker serves as managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s Environment Program, which focuses on helping communities build resilience in the face of climate change. She joined the foundation in February 2008.
Lois’ experience includes more than 16 years at the C. S. Mott Foundation in a series of positions of progressive responsibility, including the role of Associate Vice President- Programs. Before joining the Mott Foundation, Lois worked for 10 years in Michigan state government in both policy-development and program-management capacities.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Her graduate work focused on urban and domestic policy.
Lois is the recipient of the 2015 Nicholas P. Bollman Award from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. She serves on the External Advisory Board of the University of Michigan’s Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute and as the secretary of the board of directors of the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. She is a past board president of the Biodiversity Funders Group and has served other grantmaker affinity groups in a variety of capacities.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Michelle D. JohnsonSenior Program Officer Specialties: Arts & Culture, Creative Placemaking
Michelle D. Johnson serves as a senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Arts and Culture Program. Her responsibilities include reviewing grant requests from community- based nonprofit organizations, making recommendations for grant funding and monitoring a portfolio of grants.
Michelle joined Kresge in 2006, having previously worked as a financial resource development analyst for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
She earned a bachelor of arts degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Wayne State University and holds a master of science in management from Walsh College.
Michelle is a member of several philanthropic affinity groups, and she devotes time to volunteer for several charities.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Phyllis D. MeadowsSenior Fellow Specialties: Intersection of climate change and health, Public Health, Community-based approaches, Health policy, Public health systems, Leadership development
As a senior fellow in the Health Program, Phyllis D. Meadows engages in all levels of grantmaking activity. Since joining The Kresge Foundation in 2009, she has advised the Health team on the development of its overall strategic direction and provided leadership in the design and implementation of grantmaking initiatives and projects. Phyllis also has coached team members and created linkages to national organizations and experts in the health field. In addition, she regularly reviews grant proposals, aids prospective grantees in preparing funding requests, and provides health-related expertise. Phyllis has led the foundation’s Emerging Leaders and Public Health Program, advises and supports the development of cross-team programming efforts with the Detroit, Environment and Human Services programs.
“As a health professional, it is gratifying to see that Kresge recognizes the importance of public health and has made a major commitment to investing in the sector,” Phyllis says. “This is a fabulous opportunity for me to work on the ground floor with a major national foundation in shaping the direction and scope of its philanthropic funding for health.”
Phyllis’ 30-year career spans the nursing, public health, academic, and philanthropic sectors. She is the former associate dean for practice at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and clinical professor in health management and policy – where she designed and implemented community-based health strategies, evaluation, research and courses on leadership, policy, population health and health equity. Phyllis’ work in public health includes serving as deputy director and then director/public health officer for the city of Detroit. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty with Wayne State’s and Oakland University’s Schools of Nursing, Phyllis’ professional experience includes leadership roles across the health sector, working to deliver programs and services with an array of multi-disciplinary professionals in health, education and human services. Phyllis was selected for the Kellogg International Leadership Program – Group I. After completing the three-year fellowship, she joined the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a program director working to advance quality programs for children and youth in education and higher education, and communities nationally and internationally. She maintains an active advisory role on several national, statewide initiatives and boards that focus on improving the health of marginalized and low-income communities.
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Raquel T. HatterManaging Director Specialties: Human Services, Employee engagement and development, Family engagement, Human services public policy, Person-centered systems change, Practitioner best practices, Executive leadership and management
Raquel Hatter, Ed. D., is managing director of the Human Services Program at The Kresge Foundation, which supports the advancement of human services organizations to accelerate social and economic mobility for people with low income. She has spent the past 25 years supporting adults, children and families through a variety of roles.
Before joining Kresge, Raquel served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services where she identified ways to improve the outcomes for individuals and families across various support systems including child support, TANF, SNAP and vocational rehabilitation. Under her guidance, the department adopted a two-generational approach to poverty which addresses the needs of children and parents simultaneously.
Raquel draws on her experiences as both a clinician and an administrator to be a leader and advocate for the human services field. She also brings expertise in public policy, transformational organizational change and management to both her role at Kresge and to the many boards, committees and task forces focused on Human Services on which she serves.
She has received numerous accolades for her work including the 2016 American Public Human Services Association State Member Award for Transforming Human Services and the 2014 Spirit of Crazy Horse Award from Reclaiming Youth International for her service to children, youth and families.
Raquel earned a bachelor of science in clinical community psychology at the University of Michigan, a masters in social work at Eastern Michigan University and earned a doctorate of education in children, youth and family studies from Nova Southeastern University.
Regina R. SmithManaging Director Specialties: Anchor institution strategy, Arts & Culture, Community development, Creative Placemaking, Creative placemaking and equity
Regina R. Smith is managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program. She leads efforts to identify prospects for national funding opportunities and partnerships in the arts and culture field.
Regina has been with the Foundation since 2008 as a program officer and senior program officer, working to advance the deliberate integration of arts and culture into community development through creative placemaking.
Previously, Regina worked at the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, N.C., where, as vice president of grants and services, she managed a $12 million grants portfolio. She served as programs and services director at Culture Works in Dayton, Ohio, from 1994 to 1999 and, earlier, managed a nationally recognized program for the Indiana Arts Commission. In 1989, while on a nine-month Arts Administration Fellowship, Regina was in residence with three arts organizations: the Madison Art Center, COMPAS in St. Paul, Minn., and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs. She began her career as a museum educator at the Cleveland Children’s Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Regina studied art history at the University of Pittsburgh and received a master’s degree in arts administration from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
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Rip RapsonPresident and CEO Executive Office Specialties: Inclusive recovery and growth, Kresge Foundation history and evolution, Opportunity Zones, Strategy and Management, Distributive leadership, Economic development, Executive leadership and management, Philanthropic Role
Rip Rapson is president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, a private, national foundation founded in 1924, which is dedicated to expanding opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing.
Since his appointment in 2006, Rapson has led the foundation to adopt an array of grantmaking and investing tools to improve the economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions of urban life through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Kresge’s hometown of Detroit. Using a full array of grant, loan and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change.
Nationally, Rapson has strengthened the philanthropic sector’s role through convening, collaborating and supplementing community development activities in cities across the country. In Detroit, Rapson and the foundation provided central support to the “Grand Bargain,” an unprecedented partnership between the philanthropic community, city pensioners, the State of Michigan and the Detroit Institute of Arts, to propel the City of Detroit’s successful emergence from municipal bankruptcy in 2014.
A veteran of urban policy and philanthropic leadership, Rapson began his career as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Don Fraser, where he oversaw development and passage of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978, which brought full wilderness protection to the million-acre lake country of northern Minnesota. After attending law school, Rapson became increasingly interested in philanthropy’s role in urban and economic development while representing several Minnesota nonprofit organizations as a partner at Leonard, Street & Dienard in Minneapolis in the 1980s.
Rapson later served as the deputy mayor of Minneapolis from 1989 to 1993 and was the primary architect of its neighborhood revitalization program, a 20-year, $400 million effort to strengthen the city’s neighborhoods. He also directed a comprehensive redesign of the municipal budgeting process and developed the mayor's initiatives to strengthen and support families and children.
In 1993, Rapson was named a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Design Center for American Urban Studies. There he led a successful six-year interdisciplinary project to examine the forces affecting first-ring suburban communities and to address the challenges brought on by declining tax revenues, shifting political forces, and changing economic and social demographics. While at the Design Center, he also served as a consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he helped the foundation develop and implement a new strategic plan.
Rapson was appointed president of the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis in 1999. During his six-year tenure with the organization, McKnight was recognized as a national leader on a variety of public policy issues, including early childhood development, metropolitan growth, open space protection and wind energy. At the foundation, Rapson launched the Itasca Project, a private sector-led effort to develop a new regional agenda for the Twin Cities. He also advanced McKnight's work supporting arts and cultural activities, enhancing water quality and public enjoyment of the Mississippi River, and fostering economic development in rural Minnesota.
Rapson earned a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.) and a juris doctorate from Columbia University Law School. He is the recipient of dozens of philanthropic and civic honors and accolades, including a 2017 induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been named Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News, a Power and Influence Top 50 executive by The NonProfit Times and a Michigan Changemaker by Crain’s Detroit Business. He has co-authored two books: “Troubled Waters,” an account of the Boundary Waters legislative battle in Minnesota, and “Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design,” a biography of his father, a globally renowned architect.
An active member of the national philanthropic and southeast Michigan civic communities, he currently serves as board chair of ArtPlace America and is the past chair and current board member of Living Cities. He is also a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Detroit Branch, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Downtown Detroit Partnership and M-1 Rail.
Robert J. ManillaVice President, Chief Investment Officer Investment Office Specialties: Strategy and Management, Executive leadership and management, Foundation, endowment and pension investing, Mission-related investing, Risk Management
Robert J. Manilla joined The Kresge Foundation in 2005 and is vice president and chief investment officer. As a member of the executive team, he is a partner in the development and implementation of the foundation’s strategy. Rob is also responsible for the investment of the foundation’s endowment and for the management of the Investment Office and its staff.
Before he joined Kresge, Rob spent 20 years at Chrysler Corp. During his tenure with the auto industry, he held management roles in product development, sales and marketing, manufacturing, international operations, capital markets and asset management.
Rob has been named among Trusted Insight’s 2018 Top 30 Foundation Chief Investment Officers. In 2013 and 2014, he was named one of the 100 most influential global institutional investors by aiCIO magazine. In 2012, he was named large foundation CIO of the year by Institutional Investor magazine.
Rob is an alumnus of Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and the University of Detroit-Mercy.
He serves on the board of directors of Sustainable Insight Capital Management and the McGowan Charitable Fund, and is an investment committee member of Boeing Corp., Trinity Health, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. He is also a member of the board of advisors for Oakland University Business School.
Seth BeattieSenior Program Officer Specialties: Anchor institution strategy, Arts & Culture, Community development, Creative Placemaking, Creative placemaking and equity
Seth Beattie is a senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program. He helps advance the program’s goal of using Creative Placemaking to integrate arts, culture and community-engaged design into development and urban planning. His responsibilities include reviewing grant requests, making recommendations for funding and managing a portfolio of grants.
He joined Kresge in the spring of 2017, after 13 years working at the intersection of arts and community development. He is founder of Spire + Base, a consulting firm advising nonprofits in the development of Creative Placemaking strategies, and has worked extensively with community development corporations, arts organizations and funders.
A graduate of Franklin College in Indiana, Seth earned a bachelor’s degree with majors in political science and public relations. He also has a master’s degree in public administration from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
Shamar BibbinsSenior Program Officer Specialties: Environment, Climate adaptation, Equity and environment, Intersection of climate change and health
Shamar Bibbins serves as a senior program officer for Environment at The Kresge Foundation, where her grantmaking supports policies and programs that help communities build resilience in the face of climate change.
Shamar plays a lead role managing Kresge’s Climate Change, Health & Equity Initiative (CCHE). The national initiative is a partnership between Kresge’s Environment and Health programs to address the intersecting imperatives of accelerating action on climate change and reducing health disparities. She also contributes to the development and implementation of program strategies and supports efforts that advance diversity, racial equity, and inclusion in the environmental field.
“I am guided by a deep passion for social, economic and climate justice for underrepresented communities,” Shamar says. “Supporting place-based innovation and helping build the field of climate resilience is an honor.”
Shamar joined Kresge in 2014, bringing a history of engagement in environmental efforts and a commitment to action on climate change. She previously served as the director of national partnerships at Green For All, a national nonprofit dedicated to building a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.
Shamar earned a bachelor’s degree in science, technology and society from Vassar College and received a Fulbright Fellowship to Fukushima University where she conducted research on environmental social movements in Japan.
Photo: Douglas Schaible
Stacey BarbasSenior Program Officer Specialties: Public Health, Healthy food systems, Nonprofit management
As a senior program officer for Health, Stacey Barbas helps oversee grantmaking and investing aimed at reducing health disparities by addressing conditions that lead to poor health outcomes. She works with grantees engaged in innovative, cross-sector, interdisciplinary efforts to mitigate the social and environmental factors leading to health disparities. Stacey invites and reviews grant requests from nonprofit organizations and safety-net health institutions addressing the social and environmental factors that disproportionately affect at-risk communities.
“As a member of the Health team, I feel privileged to help provide resources to organizations that are working with vulnerable, disenfranchised populations and improving the health of their communities,” says Stacey, who makes site visits to grantees in underserved urban and rural areas. “Through Kresge’s grantmaking, these communities often are given the opportunity to have a voice and choices in their health that they may not have had before.”
Stacey has been involved in charitable work since 1985. Prior to joining the foundation in 2008, she served for five years as executive director of the Michigan AIDS Fund, a statewide grantmaking organization. Earlier, she worked 16 years at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, where she held various positions, including director of information services and manager of the 2-1-1 call center, an around-the-clock information and referral service.
After graduating from Wayne State University, Stacey earned a master of science in administration degree from Central Michigan University.
Stephanie DavisonProgram Officer Specialties: Human Services, Juvenile justice, Workforce development, Youth development
Stephanie Davison is a program officer for the Human Services program at The Kresge Foundation. She joined the foundation in 2018.
Previously Stephanie served as a project manager at FHI 360, where she managed a portfolio of juvenile justice, youth development, and workforce development programs including overseeing program design and execution, subgrantee management, team and consultant management, and policy development. She also supported college and career readiness initiatives, increasing high school graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment rates.
In previous roles, she coordinated and supported workforce development and education programs and initiatives, including those funded by private foundations, the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the Mercyhurst University and a Master of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Wendy Lewis JacksonManaging Director Specialties: Detroit, Community collaboratives and collective action, Community development in Detroit, Early childhood and K-12 education systems building, Public-private partnerships, Social policies affecting inequality, Strengthening economic opportunity, Transatlantic engagement
Wendy Lewis Jackson is managing director for the Detroit Program. She leads The Kresge Foundation’s efforts to revitalize Detroit and to strengthen its social and economic fabric. Her work supports organizations providing economic opportunity for low-income people and addresses the needs of vulnerable children and families.
Prior to joining Kresge in 2008, Wendy was a program director for Children and Family Initiatives and executive director for education initiatives at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in Grand Rapids, Mich. She taught at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., and has co-authored and assisted in the publication of several reports and publications that address community needs and problem solving.
Wendy is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States; the Association of Black Foundation Executives named her an Emerging Leader in 2008. In 2018, she received the Dr. Gerald K. Smith Award for Philanthropy by the Michigan Forum for African-Americans in Philanthropy, an affinity group of the Council of Michigan Foundations.
Wendy's board directorships include the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Marygrove Conservancy and the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. She also serves on the executive board of the Live6 Alliance.
Wendy earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from the University of Michigan. She also holds a master’s degree in social work from U-M, with a concentration in community organization and social policy and planning.
William F.L. MosesManaging Director Specialties: Higher Education, Advancement, Big data/data analytics, College promise programs, Detroit college access and success, Developmental education reforms, HBCUs, Higher ed national policy, Higher ed rankings, South African higher education issues, Southern California college access and success, Value of higher ed
William F. L. Moses serves as managing director for The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, which supports postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The key architect of Kresge’s education programming, Bill leads the team’s continuum of domestic and international grant activities from developing program strategy, reviewing preliminary ideas, and helping grantees develop proposals or initiatives, to awarding funding and monitoring existing grants. Since his arrival at Kresge, Bill has served as a program officer and senior program officer, was instrumental in developing Kresge’s Green Building Initiative and has spearheaded the foundation’s grantmaking in South Africa.
Before joining Kresge, Bill served as executive director of The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in Rhode Island and as a senior analyst at the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a research officer at TechnoServe and held various administrative positions in Alaska’s state legislature and the federal government, including the U.S. Embassy in Cape Town, South Africa.
A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Bill holds a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University. He is the author of “A Guide to American State and Local Laws on South Africa” and co-author of “Corporate Responsibility in a Changing South Africa.” He was the co-chair of the seven-foundation Partnership for Higher Education in Africa and serves on the steering committee of the Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group, an organization he co-founded. He also is a member of the National Advisory Board of The College Promise Campaign.