Staff Detail

Ana Tilton
Executive Director
atilton@edfunders.org

Dr. Ana Tilton has more than 35 years of experience across the education spectrum including work as an educator, superintendent, consultant and philanthropic leader.  As the executive director of Grantmakers for Education, she works with hundreds of grantmakers and philanthropic organizations across the nation focused on supporting public education and resolving equity issues for all learners.

Prior to Grantmakers for Education, Ana was actively involved in launching the first GEMS World Academy K-12 School in the United States, bringing an international perspective of excellence to education in the US. In 2006, she was the chief program officer for the Communities Foundation of Texas, which resulted in the development of the largest public-private network of early college high school and STEM campuses in the U.S., dramatically increasing college readiness for low-income first generation students.

Ana is committed to equity and diversity in education, driven by her personal background. As a Latina, raised with an inner city urban education with immigrant grandparents and bilingual parents, she is particularly sensitive to the challenges faced by English Language Learners.

Ana received a doctoral degree in education administration and policy from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in multicultural/bilingual education from the University of Colorado, Denver. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Institute for Educational Leadership.

Celine Coggins
Incoming Executive Director
ccoggins@edfunders.org

Celine has been an educator for more than two decades, with a track record as an innovator, leader, and connector.  Celine began her career as a middle school teacher in Worcester, MA and went on to serve in a number of education policy leadership roles, including assistant to the Masschusetts Commissioner of Education. 

Celine’s work has always been deeply connected to teachers and disadvantaged schools. In 2007, she founded Teach Plus, a nationwide network of top-performing teachers, where she spent the next decade as CEO. Under Celine’s leadership, Teach Plus grew to over 30,000 participating teachers and offered groundbreaking programs in leadership development and advocacy. Celine was recognized by President Obama at the White House for her organization’s impact on public education.

Celine earned her Ph.D. in education policy analysis at Stanford University and holds an appointment as a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate school of Education. She is the author of dozens of articles and three books, including her most recent, How to Be Heard: Ten Lessons Teachers Need to Advocate for Their Students and Profession.

As a young person, Celine’s life and educational trajectory were profoundly altered by an anonymous donor. That experience made fighting for quality educational opportunities for disadvantaged students her life’s work. It also taught her the power of philanthropy, which started her on the journey to this role.

LETITIA DOWLING
Senior Operations Manager
ldowling@edfunders.org

As senior operations manager, Letitia manages operational procedures and practices across the organization. She also works directly with our impact groups and serves as liaison for the board of directors. She has more than 10 years of experience across the education spectrum including teaching, school leadership, teacher recruitment and development, and education policy. She has been an advocate for at-risk students and participated on committees to revise policies to impact student achievement. She is devoted to quality and equitable educational experiences for all students and is committed to supporting the work of organizations that champion those efforts.

Tina Gridiron
Senior Strategic Engagement Consultant
tgridiron@edfunders.org

Tina Gridiron possesses over 25 years' experience in education and philanthropy, and brings a passion and commitment to public service, strategic leadership, and collaboration. Tina supports Grantmakers for Education’s impact groups by developing and facilitating deep engagement between members around shared areas of interest. Described as a results-oriented strategic thought leader, Tina is a respected content expert with demonstrated success addressing issues of diversity and inclusion, broad community engagement, and postsecondary education. A proud mother of three, Tina calls Indianapolis, Indiana her home. Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her Master of Arts in higher education administration and Master of Arts in sociology are from Stanford University.

Jessie Lea
Systems & Data Administrator
jlea@edfunders.org

Jessie’s background includes more than eight years’ experience in data management and systems administration. As systems and data administrator, he ensures our IT systems serve us to the best capacity and makes sure we have quality data at our fingertips to support programs and decision-making within Grantmakers for Education. Jessie’s commitment to technology makes him a driver of innovation and efficiency.

Caitlyn Malik
Communications Intern
cmalik@edfunders.org

Caitlyn began her internship at Grantmakers for Education with a passion for equity for all communities, a belief in the power of good public schools and teachers, and a hunger to learn more about effective philanthropy! She will be supporting communications work through November. Caitlyn also works as a peer educator for Illuminate at Portland State University, where she leads workshops for students on topics like consent, bystander intervention and healthy relationships. She would love to see these kinds of skills and information included in public education curriculum. Caitlyn will complete her Bachelor of Science in communication, minoring in women's studies, at Portland State University this December.

Kyle Malone
Senior Manager of Partnerships
kmalone@edfunders.org

With more than 30 years of experience in program management, youth development, higher education and philanthropy, Kyle has proudly made a career in education focused on student advocacy and college attainment. As Grantmakers for Education’s senior manager of partnerships, Kyle is expanding and deepening the organization’s partnerships to generate resources, create programs and establish connections that align with the current and future needs of our members. Kyle is dedicated to ensuring that all learners, his own children included, are supported and prepared for higher education and life.

Paul Moon
Program Manager
pmoon@edfunders.org

Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Paul comes to Grantmakers for Education with experience in program management and administration in nonprofits and all levels of government. He is responsible for the successful development and administration of Grantmakers for Education’s programs, and also serves as a liaison between the organization and its members. Paul brings with him a passion for serving marginalized and disenfranchised youth through education and the arts. He graduated with his Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2017, and enjoys breakdancing and beatboxing in his free time.

Alessandra Piani
Membership Associate
apiani@edfunders.org

Alessandra believes that education is a basic human right which should be promoted by challenging inequality. In her role as membership associate, she builds relationships with current and prospective Grantmakers for Education members. Before moving to New York to earn a certificate in business management, she put her master's in foreign languages to use at the United Nations in Italy where she gained much insight in the promotion of education in developing countries. This experience contributed to her passion for the philanthropic sector.

Rebecca Smith
Communications Manager
rsmith@edfunders.org

Rebecca brings more than 20 years of nonprofit administration and communication experience as well as a M.S. in communication to her position. As communications manager, she assures that the value of Grantmakers for Education’s programs and benefits are effectively conveyed to philanthropies that serve the education community. Her passion for increasing individual empowerment and learning opportunities for all fuels her dedication to Grantmakers for Education’s mission.

HEIDI STARKS
Controller
hstarks@edfunders.org

In her position as controller, Heidi oversees Grantmakers for Education’s finance, budget and annual financial audit.  She collaborates across the organization to ensure Grantmakers for Education is financially accountable and sustainable. Heidi brings a breadth of experience in budgeting, auditing, internal operations and board engagement from over 15 years of experience in local government, complementing the team at Grantmakers for Education. As a mother of a child in public school, she is dedicated to improving education for ALL learners. She is passionate about personalized learning and empowering teachers as methods to achieve equity in the classroom and beyond.

Hannah Wang
Program Assistant
hwang@edfunders.org

As program assistant, Hannah supports the development of Grantmakers for Education's programs, including our annual conference. In her role, she assists with the planning, communication and implementation involved in Grantmakers for Education programs. Coming from a journalism background, Hannah believes deeply in the importance of accessible information and is committed to the future of education. She is currently based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.