Board of Directors Detail

Gregg Behr
The Grable Foundation
Executive Director

In his eleventh year as executive director of The Grable Foundation, Gregg Behr manages a grantmaking portfolio advancing early childhood education, education reform, out-of-school time support, and informal learning. Gregg and The Grable Foundation provided early stewardship for the Pittsburgh Remake Learning Network, committing to a vision for transforming Pittsburgh into Kidsburgh. He is also co-chair of the Remake Learning Council.

From 2002-2006, Gregg served as president of The Forbes Funds, another Pittsburgh-based foundation that supports nonprofit capacity-building, research, and leadership development. Nationally, Gregg is a trustee for and Grantmakers for Education. He is a former board chair of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

Caroline Altman Smith
The Kresge Foundation
Deputy Director-Education Program

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 boards of the Council of Michigan Foundations and Grantmakers for Education.

Susan Johnson
Lumina Foundation
Director, Organizational Development & Philanthropic Practice

Susan D. Johnson, Ph.D., is director of organizational development and philanthropic practice where she provides conceptual leadership and strategic direction in Lumina's efforts to achieve the 60% attainment goal at Lumina Foundation, based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Throughout her career in higher education, she has acquired intimate knowledge of policies and practices affecting student success, student engagement, and institutional accountability. After joining Lumina in 2008, Susan served as a strategy officer and later as director of equity and inclusion where she actively sought to engage professionals, scholars, and partners committed to the promotion of equity and excellence in postsecondary education.

Prior to joining Lumina, Susan held professional positions in student affairs at Louisiana State University and the University of North Dakota and in institutional research at Indiana University. Johnson earned her B.S., M.S., and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs at Indiana University.

Susan is actively involved in the philanthropic sector, currently serving on the board of Grantmakers for Education and the executive team of Indiana Blacks in Philanthropy (IBIP). She is also a co-editor of Standing on the Outside Looking In: Underrepresented Students' Experiences in Advanced Degree Programs.

Richard Tagle
The Andy Roddick Foundation
Chief Executive Officer

Richard Tagle has played many leadership roles: senior program officer for the United States Conference of Mayors where he oversaw grants to cities to support women’s and family health programs in 15 cities; as chief of staff at Public Education Network where he oversaw initiatives to improve student achievement across 88 school districts; as chief executive officer at Higher Achievement that provided academic supports to middle school students in 4 cities; as founder and managing principal at High Think that provided supports to growing nonprofits in DC Metro; and, currently, chief executive officer at the Andy Roddick Foundation that invests in out-of-school time strategies to close learning opportunity gaps in East Austin, Texas.

Richard has led small organizations with grand missions. It is the only way to look at a social problem, tackle and solve it, and elevate the quality of life conditions in the community in which he lives. Currently, he serves on the boards of Learn All the Time Network (as chair) and College Forward. He served as chair of the National Summer Learning Association board from 2000-2012 and served on the boards of the Asian Pacific Islander Partnership for Health, DC Community College Preparatory Academy, and Nonprofit Roundtable for Greater Washington. He has done grassroots outreach, program development and design, policy analysis and advocacy, led organizations to grow and scale, and raised and granted millions of dollars to initiate, evaluate, and sustain children and family-centered initiatives.

Sophie Fanelli
Stuart Foundation
Chief of Programs

Sophie Fanelli is chief of programs at the Stuart Foundation, where she is responsible for leading the foundation’s investments to advance whole child education in California and Washington State.  She oversees four grantmaking portfolios: School Finance & Accountability, Educator Leadership, Creativity & Arts Education, and Adolescent Learning. Sophie first joined the Stuart Foundation as senior program officer for education in October 2012.

Previously, she served as director of research & policy at the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) at UCLA where she oversaw public policy and legislative efforts focused on education equity and access, student and parent engagement, and school transformation.  She also worked at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California where she concentrated on a range of social and racial justice issues including advancing education equity, LGBTQ issues, immigrant rights, and advocacy for the homeless.  Sophie was trained as a lawyer in France, Italy and at the University of Texas in Austin where she focused on criminal justice issues.

Elizabeth González
The James Irvine Foundation
Portfolio Director

Elizabeth González has been with the foundation since 2014 and was appointed portfolio director at The James Irvine Foundation in February 2016 as part of its evolving focus. Prior to that shift, she was program director for the foundation’s youth program, which she led since January 2015.

As portfolio director, Elizabeth leads the foundation’s grantmaking initiatives in the areas of college and career readiness, postsecondary completion, along with emerging efforts to improve career readiness and living‐wage work for families and young adults who are working and in poverty. She oversees Linked Learning, the Foundation’s signature effort to transform high schools by integrating academic and career‐technical education, and is now expanding across the state.

Paul Herdman
Rodel Foundation of Delaware
President & CEO

Paul is president and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware, which he joined in 2004.  He is a founding member of the Vision Coalition, Delaware’s public-private partnership whose aim is to transform public schools to world-class status. Paul is an Aspen Institute-NewSchools Fellow in entrepreneurial leadership, and a 2010 recipient of the NewSchools Venture Fund “Change Agent of the Year” award. He has served as a senior manager at New American Schools, consulted with Brookings Institution, RAND, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and The World Bank. Paul has taught K-12 in the U.S., South Africa, and Australia, and co-founded an Outward Bound-based school-within-a-school in New York City. He assisted the secretary of education for two governors in Massachusetts during the wholesale redesign of the state’s policies on standards, choice, and finance during the 1990s.

Amy Kerwin
Ascendium Education Group
Vice President - Community Investments

Amy Kerwin is vice president–Community Investments at Ascendium Education Group. She leads Ascendium's philanthropic initiatives to help more students from low-income families, students of color, and first generation students get to and through college. Ascendium's exploration, validation and scaling grants are designed to help more students arrive at college academically and financially prepared and help these students navigate the challenges that too often prevent them from graduating.

Nicole Rodriguez Leach
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
Special Advisor

Nicole Rodriguez Leach is special advisor at Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, where she leads several strategic initiatives and partnerships. Previously she served as head of education, where she oversaw a grants program focused on education equity as a strategy for community engagement and economic empowerment. She served as an internal advisor to employees and employee groups at Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation on their philanthropic activity in the areas of education and youth development, community development and racial justice. She organized thought leadership forums to convene nonprofit, public and private sector stakeholders on issues of pressing social concern. She continues to support nonprofit organizations at the forefront of the movement for educational equity, in New York City and across the U.S. and Latin America.

Nicole holds a master’s degree in urban policy analysis and management from The New School, where she received top honors for academic excellence and contributions to the field of urban policy. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in socio‐cultural anthropology from Wesleyan University.

Janet Lopez
Rose Community Foundation
Senior Program Officer

As senior program officer at Rose Community Foundation, Janet Lopez, Ph.D. directs the education program area, which seeks to eliminate the achievement gap and create equitable opportunities for all children to achieve academic success in the K-12 public school system. She has also been instrumental in partnering with local and national funders to create and direct the Denver Opportunity Youth Investment Initiative, the Colorado Education Organizing Fund, and the Climb Higher Colorado Coalition.

Prior to joining the foundation, she served as the director of P-20 education initiatives at the University of Colorado Denver. She has also served as the deputy director of former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter’s P-20 Education Coordinating Council. With an emphasis on ensuring student access and success, she has also worked at the Daniels Fund, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.

Dr. Lopez received her doctorate from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her book, Undocumented Students and the Policies of Wasted Potential, focuses on the experiences of college-ready, undocumented high school students in North Carolina. Dr. Lopez is a German Marshall Fund Marshall Memorial Fellow and a National Hispanic Institute Gen X Woman of Distinction.

Sanjiv Rao
Ford Foundation
Acting Director, Civic Engagement and Government

Sanjiv Rao is senior program officer and acting director on the Civic Engagement and Government team. His work focuses on making grants to expand opportunity, access, and rights for historically marginalized populations, specifically focused on young people of color, immigrant youth, girls, LGBTQ youth, and youth with disabilities. His current grantmaking supports youth organizing, youth civic engagement, and youth leadership development to invest in and support a next generation of more diverse leaders and leadership tackling issues of unequal access to government resources and decision-making.

Sanjiv has been with Ford since 2012, but has spent the bulk of his career in the field working in communities of color to advocate for policies that integrate holistic youth and community development more effectively with public systems to beginning his career as an public school teacher in California and Texas.

Sanjiv has a PhD in public administration from NYU, a master’s degree in education from UC Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA. He has been an active member of Grantmakers for Education since joining the Ford Foundation.