Cynthia Nimmo is the Chief Executive Officer for the Women’s Funding Network. She brings more than a decade of experience harnessing the power of philanthropy to improve the lives of women and girls. A proven leader with a passionate commitment for women’s equality, she most recently ran a successful consultancy advising a diverse group of for-profit and non-profit clients to advance social causes. Cynthia first joined Women’s Funding Network as an executive in 2003, first serving as Vice President of Member Services, and then as Chief Operations Officer, managing all programs, communications, membership and conferences. In that time, she oversaw the development of multiple tools, including a social impact assessment system that has been used by hundreds of organizations worldwide, grew the membership by 50 percent, and led multiple strategic planning processes to grow the network. Early in her career, Cynthia helped to launch iVillage.com, the first online network for women, and served as a Legislative Aide to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and International Relations and a Bachelor of Art in Spanish from Santa Clara University. Cynthia is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy, and has presented at numerous conferences. She is the Chair of the Sustainability Commission for the City of Sausalito and is the proud mother of Max.
Candice Elder joins Women’s Funding Network as the Executive Coordinator. Prior to this, she worked as a paralegal for nine years at law firms specializing in the areas of employment, civil rights, and antitrust law.
Candice has worked with many non-profit organizations and boards. She is currently serving her second term as President of the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) Vanguard—a young professionals board dedicated to advancing the mission of MoAD by fostering long-term commitments to art, education, culture, and philanthropy. Candice has served five years on MoAD Vanguard where she has played an instrumental role in the strategic planning and fundraising for MoAD. Candice is also an advisory committee member for the African American Policy Forum’s “Breaking the Silence” Town Hall for Women and Girls of Color in Oakland, which will hear testimonies concerning education, interpersonal/intercommunal violence, impact of the criminal legal system, and displacement/gentrification. Candice also serves on the Board of Directors for the University of California, Berkeley Black Alumni Club.
Candice Elder holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. As an Oakland native, she holds a special interest in social justice, the advancement of women and girls of color, programs for the elevation of low income women, and will always be steadfast in efforts for racial and gender equality.
Cornelia recently graduated from the University of Konstanz (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), with a degree in British American Studies and Sociology, focusing her studies on American Literature and Linguistics. During her degree, she spent a year studying at Indiana University Bloomington, where she acquired conversational knowledge of Finnish. She has held a variety of internships, including a digital journalism position with Vivas.us in Helsinki; a teaching assistant role to teach German and English; and a legal internship. Cornelia’s fellowship at WFN will be her second experience doing a “Volunteer Year of Social Services.” Her first was spent at the Johann-Vanotti Gym in Ehingen, a town in the southwest region of Germany. Cornelia is passionate about travel, a voracious reader, a live-music lover, and a Pilates pro.
Reza is responsible for WFN’s finances and administration. A seasoned professional with more than 30 years of nonprofit finance and management experience in organizations such as the YWCA of Oakland , Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and National Immigration Law Center, he works to ensure that WFN’s internal operations enhance the organization’s programmatic work.
Prior to joining Women’s Funding Network, Reza served as executive vice president and CFO of Life Chiropractic College West, a nonprofit institute in northern California, where he oversaw diverse aspects of the college’s daily operations and ensured its fiscal well-being. Mr. Badiee has served on the boards of directors of several charitable organizations, including Moraga Parks and Recreation Foundation; Our Family, Napa; Lincoln Child Center, Oakland; and the Moraga Education Foundation. He earned his MBA from Armstrong College. He is an immigrant from Iran.
Kirsty joins Women’s Funding Network after serving as conference director for their 30th annual conference: “Paths to Equity.” In this role, she had the opportunity to meet and work with many of WFN’s members—further igniting her commitment to advancing women and girls’ human rights. Prior to this, Kirsty worked as a Program Officer (cross-regional) at Global Fund for Women—an international women and girls’ human rights organization—working as content lead for international conferences, including Women Deliver and It’s Time, and managing various regional convening and communication projects.
With over eight years’ experience as a content strategist, Kirsty has produced engaging content and cross-platform products for book publishers, media organizations, cultural institutions, and nonprofits—storytelling is her jam. Recently, she managed digital publishing and global communications projects for Penguin Random House, New York. In all her roles, Kirsty draws on her diverse editorial experience, having worked as an editor for organizations including the Exploratorium, San Francisco; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Australia; and University of Queensland Press, Australia.
She holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Theatre and Journalism from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and a Master of Arts in Writing, Editing, and Publishing from the University of Queensland, Australia. A passionate feminist and long-time advocate for social justice and gender equality—for empowered women and girls—she is determined to see gender equality in her lifetime.
As the partnerships manager at Women’s Funding Network, Karia looks forward to joining the movement to empower women and girls worldwide by focusing on members and allied organizations as well as cultivating new partnerships. Inspired by the pivotal role women play in global agricultural economies and food production, Karia began expanding partnership development for The Growing Connection Program (a focus on modern methods for local food production) at the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization. Prior to joining Women’s Funding Network, Karia spent three years at Root Capital, a nonprofit social investment fund. She initially worked with the global credit team to analyze and determine loan disbursements and repayment attribution for borrowers. She then joined the investor relations team to grow donor cultivation opportunities, fundraising campaigns, and special events. Her passion for gender lens investing led her to become a member of the Women in Agriculture Initiative at Root Capital, where she co-designed a research strategy for committees working to advance a workplace equality initiative. Karia holds a B.S. in applied economics and international development from the University of Vermont.
Ashley Hernandez recently graduated from the University College London with a master’s degree in Social Development Practice. Her master’s thesis focused on the evaluation and monitoring of gender empowerment and equality programs that are driven by the goal of social transformation. She is therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to learn more about the Women’s Funding Network’s own social change methodology and framework, Making the Case.
Ashley has experience in non-profit and NGO work across several areas including policy, research, and advocacy. As program coordinator for the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, she worked on the revitalization of low-income areas through the development of worker-owned cooperatives. Additionally, she managed the start-up of the Texas affiliate of the Restaurant Opportunity Centers United and assisted with research and policy work for several campaigns around increasing the minimum wage. Most recently, she worked alongside NGOs Practical Action and Kisumu Informal Settlement Network on the development of an advocacy strategy, which focused on the impact of city planning decisions on the livelihoods of informal market traders in Kisumu, Kenya.
Ashley’s motivation is to work with organizations that empower women and girls to aspire for social change. Her aim is to help facilitate this process through resource mobilization, building networks and coalitions, and implementing a rights-based approach.