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Brooklyn Community Foundation announces 6 new board members for 2015

Longtime Members Donald Elliot, Malcom MacKay and Maria Fiorini Ramirez to Become Trustees Emeritus

January 28, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Community Foundation Board of Directors: (top row, from left) Donald Elliot, Malcom MacKay, Rev. Emma Jordan Simpson, John Wright, Michael Sherman, Robert Catell and Richard Moore; (bottom row, from left) Constance Roosevelt, Genevieve Kahr, Alan Fishman, Sarah Williams, Harsha Marti and Gabriel Schwartz. Not pictured: Deborah Archer, Rohit Desai and Hildy Simmons. Photo by Jeyhoun Allebaugh, courtesy of Brooklyn Community Foundation
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Brooklyn Community Foundation has announced the appointment of six new members to its Board of Directors: Deborah Archer, Genevieve Kahr, Harsha Marti, Gabriel Schwartz, Sarah Williams and John Wright. Each has been elected to serve a three-year term.

“As a community foundation committed to supporting local leaders, developing our own leadership is critical to our long-term success. We are thrilled to have such accomplished and passionate Brooklynites dedicate themselves to our mission and the future of our borough,” said Brooklyn Community Foundation Chair Alan Fishman. “At the same time, we want to honor the outstanding service of three retiring members — Don Elliot, Malcolm MacKay and Maria Fiorini Ramirez — who have been critical in the establishment and growth of this institution, as they transition to our Emeritus Board.”

Launched in 2009 as the first and still only foundation for New York City’s largest borough, Brooklyn Community Foundation mobilizes people, capital and expertise to achieve its vision of a fair and just Brooklyn. The foundation’s now 14-member Board of Directors stewards its strategic grantmaking and special initiatives as well as the growth of its philanthropic assets to benefit Brooklyn communities.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Deborah Archer is associate dean for Academic Affairs at New York Law School (NYLS), where she is also director of the Racial Justice Project and the Civil Rights Clinic. She was previously an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. and a Marvin H. Karpatkin Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to joining NYLS, Dean Archer was an associate at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett LLP. She lives in Park Slope with her husband, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, and their children.

Genevieve Kahr is a partner at Jericho Capital, a hedge fund focused on the global technology, media and telecom sectors. Kahr joined Jericho at the fund’s founding in 2009 and currently directs the firm’s research efforts. Previously, she was an associate at TPG-Axon Capital, a global investment firm. She is also a founding member of the foundation’s young leadership group, Brooklyn Now. She and her husband, Daniel Freedberg, a gastroenterologist, live in Brooklyn Heights.

Harsha Marti is a managing director and assistant general counsel of Warburg Pincus LLC. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, he was at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York where he was an attorney focused on private equity transactions. Marti was born and raised in New York City and lives in Fort Greene with his wife, Meera, also an attorney, and three children.

Gabriel Schwartz is a managing member of Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, a global institutional investment management firm, which he joined in 2009. Prior to that, he was a managing director in the Special Situations Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife, Jolie Curtsinger, an actress, and their two children.

Sarah Williams works with family foundations, individual donors, social investors, and corporations to help them give and invest smartly and strategically. Williams is a co-founder of the Advective Capital, an impact investment fund that supports and invests in social entrepreneurs, and a founder of the ImpactAssets 50 guide. She lives in Park Slope with her husband, Andrew Kimball, chief executive at Industry City, and their two sons.

John Wright is principal of The Wright Group, a governmental relations consulting firm he established in 2010. Prior to starting his firm, Wright served as assistant executive director for the Center for Children and Families/Safespace, Inc. He was also the assistant executive director of New York City’s oldest African-American-run child welfare agency, the Harlem Dowling-Westside Center. He is originally from Sierra Leone and lives in Bedford Stuyvesant.


Foundation Adds New Staff

Brooklyn Community Foundation also welcomes four new staff to its growing team: Russatta Buford, director of Strategy and Operations; Sarah Shannon, director of Philanthropy and Donor Services; Prachi Patankar, senior program associate; and Andrew Weaver, administrative and program assistant.

“2015 marks many big steps for Brooklyn Community Foundation,” added President and CEO Cecilia Clarke, “We have an expanded and diversified Board of Directors, an enhanced staff team with deep local expertise, and we are embarking on an entirely new program strategy built upon the pillars of what we learned through our Brooklyn Insights project last year. This truly is the next phase of our young institution, and we hope many more partners will join us in our endeavor.”
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Brooklyn Community Foundation is on a mission to spark lasting social change, mobilizing people, capital, and expertise for a fair and just Brooklyn. Since its founding, the Foundation and its donors have provided more than $20 million in grants to more than 300 nonprofits throughout the borough, bolstering vital programs and services while responding to urgent community needs and opportunities. In 2014, following a six-month boroughwide community engagement project, Brooklyn Insights, the foundation unveiled a new strategic action plan focused on youth, neighborhood strength, nonprofit innovation, and racial justice. Learn more at


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