Elizabeth Barajas-Román is the President & CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, the largest philanthropic network in the world devoted to gender equity and justice. Previously, she was CEO of the Solidago Foundation. For more than 20 years she has been a leader in progressive movements, including advocating at the national level for the health and rights of immigrant women and their families. She has also served as the CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. Under her leadership, the Women’s Fund was part of several strategic initiatives that resulted in systems-level change impacting millions of women and their families. She was previously a manager at The Pew Charitable Trusts, and before that, the Director of Policy at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health where she opened and directed the organization’s Washington, D.C. office.
Elizabeth serves on the national Board of Directors for Emerge and is on the steering committee for the New England Women’s Policy Initiative. She is a member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Massachusetts-Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, and the Massachusetts Treasurer appointed Elizabeth to serve on the state’s Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board, and the statewide Advisory Board on Wage Equality.
Elizabeth is a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP), a graduate of Oberlin College, and she received her master’s degree in international policy from Harvard University.
Cynthia Nimmo is the President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network. She leads the network with a focus on collaboration, shared data and best practices, and cross-sector partnerships. A proven leader with a passionate commitment to systems change, she has consulted for foundations, nonprofit organizations, and Fortune 500 companies wishing to advance social causes. Cynthia first joined Women’s Funding Network as Vice President of Member Services, and then as Chief Operations Officer, providing the strategic direction and implementation of special initiatives. In her tenure, she oversaw the development of multiple impact tools, including a social change measurement tool which has been used by hundreds of organizations around the world, and was licensed to corporations such as Nike Inc. Prior to joining the philanthropic sector in 2003, Cynthia helped to develop iVillage.com, the first online network for women. iVillage.com pioneered the notion of online community during the “new media” era with a membership of over one million women. Cynthia piloted innovative online tools to support women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, and went on to oversee the development of online communities for dozens of companies. She is a frequent speaker and in 2018 was honored with a Powerful Woman of the Bay Award.
A passionate advocate of the power of discourse as a tool for change, Cynthia began her career as a Legislative Aide in the United States Senate to Senator Dianne Feinstein during her first term as Senator. She was appointed to the Sustainability Commission for the City of Sausalito, where she served as Chair. Cynthia is a graduate of Santa Clara University with degrees in Political Science/International Relations, and Spanish. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (national honor society) and Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society). As the daughter of an immigrant, raised in a bi-national family, Cynthia is deeply committed to global relationship and dialogue.
Megan Murphy Wolf is Deputy Director and responsible for developing and stewarding partnerships, managing programs and initiatives, and supporting and executing the strategic direction for the Women’s Funding Network.
Prior to WFN, Megan served as Director of Partnerships at the Solidago Foundation where she led initiatives in line with the organization’s funding priorities and served on the senior leadership team. Working closely with the chief executive officer, program team, and the board of directors, she established targets and goals for the department in alignment with the foundation’s mission and theory of change.
Megan brings to WFN a life-long passion for equity and justice, and a career focused on amplifying the voice and causes imperative to attaining a just society. Megan began her career on Capitol Hill as an intern, eventually becoming a legislative director for two Members of Congress. As a congressional aide, Megan served members on the Appropriations, Budget, Agriculture and Small Business Committees, and worked on legislation and with various public policy advocacy groups across political ideologies to effect positive outcomes for constituents across a range of issues. After leaving Washington, D.C., Megan worked in development at Amherst College, directing leadership annual giving campaigns that supported access to education and the full range of academic experiences to all students, regardless of their ability to pay.
Originally from Portland, Oregon, a place where every shade of green exists, Megan received a bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. She lives with her family in Northampton, MA, where she serves on various city committees, volunteers with local advocacy campaigns, and in her kids’ schools.
Sama Abu Ayyash is the Membership Director at the Women’s Funding Network. She joined the team in April 2018 and brings over 12 years of experience in development and four years in marketing and communications. Born and raised in Amman, Jordan, Sama immigrated to the United States to pursue her college education. She received a bachelor’s of science in Advertising from the College of Communications at the University of Texas, Austin and a dual master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and Arts Administration (MA) from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
Sama moved to San Francisco following her graduate studies to join the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) as their onsite and online Membership Manager. Under her leadership, the museum achieved record visitor to member onsite conversion rate of 7%; enlisted 15,000 new members annually onsite; increased online membership sales from $60,000 to $280,000, and grew online subscribers from 1,200 to 17,000. After SFMOMA, Sama took on the position of Annual Giving Director at the International Museum of Women (IMOW), a start-up museum in San Francisco where she spearheaded a viral marketing campaign that increased website visitors from 3,000 to 30,000. Following IMOW, Sama became a development consultant and worked with organizations such as the San Francisco SPCA, and Seton Medical Center Foundation among others. After consulting, she became the Chief Development Officer for Wu Yee Children’s Services, the largest provider of childcare services for low income families in San Francisco. In addition to managing marketing and communications agency-wide, Sama met her annual development goals within the first quarter.
Abigail joins the team as the new Operations Manager where she will be leading the organizations operational systems and practices. Before joining WFN, she spent the past 4 years in New York at the Guttmacher Institute, the leading sexual and reproductive health and rights research organization both domestically and internationally. During her time there, she served as the Special Assistant to the CEO and Special Projects Coordinator where she supported the CEO and the executive team in the effective execution of the organizations mission and coordinated institute-wide special projects, including a racial equity initiative and anti-sexual and gender-based harassment work. She brings experience in the education sector after having worked at Idealist.org together with her dedication to advancing gender and racial equity. An Oakland native, Abigail holds a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Brianna recently relocated to the Bay Area after finishing her graduate degree in social work from Boston College. Before joining the Women’s Funding Network, Brianna spent the last six years working with non-profit organizations focused on housing and homelessness.
She focused on building cross-sector community partnerships, creating evaluation tools and metrics, and developing programs. While studying macro social work, Brianna worked with nonprofits and social impact organizations focused on economic justice and food
justice. She is interested in the transformative power of trusting in the expertise of communities to lead their own change.
Brianna enjoys checking out the local library for new magic realism fiction, traveling to see family and friends, and visiting the ocean.
Tajma Beverly is honored to be the inaugural Deborah Holmes Fellow. She’s committed to advancing Ms. Holmes’s mission to realize a bold vision of gender and racial equity.
Before coming to Women’s Funding Network, Tajma was a Composer-in-Residence and Teaching Artist with San Francisco Opera, where she brought opera creation and education programs to under-resourced, Title I, elementary schools, with predominantly black and brown students. She continues to work as an opera educator, with the goal of creating profound, meaningful connections between opera and communities that have been historically excluded from this elite, Eurocentric art form.
Working for racial and gender equity, at the intersection of art and activism, Ms. Beverly was the Founding Director of WattHer Colors, a performing arts organization dedicated to empowering women of color through liberated artistic expression. Her work with WattHer Colors included directing and co-producing a sold-out, benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, and devising a five-minute, choreo-poem in honor of Nikki Giovanni, which was performed for the poet.
Tajma authored a series of short fiction about black girlhood entitled, The Adventures of T, that includes The Possession of T, which won 1st Place for Short Fiction in the Foster City Writing Contest and T Take a Name, which was published in Azizah Magazine. As Research Coordinator for the Payton Foundation’s Spirituals Project, Tajma conducted a comparative analysis of the curative properties of African American Spirituals, and proposed methods for embedding these healing qualities into contemporary music. As a Choral Conductor for K-12th grades, Ms. Beverly developed and taught the curriculum Citizen Artist: Music For Social Change, which involved in-depth study of songs by Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder, and concertized choral arrangement Ms. Beverly created their songs.
Tajma began her career as a singer/actor/dancer performing in musicals and operas. She now focuses on composing new musicals and operas that deeply examine the history, aspirations and modern complexities of exceptional and “everyday” black people. Ms. Beverly is currently developing a musical about post-civil rights America, which scrutinizes the emergence of the black middle-class and celebrates the virtues of bacon grease. Her endeavors as an artist, teacher, researcher and activist are all rooted in the intention to connect people more deeply with their humanity.
Tajma studied Interdisciplinary Performing Arts at California Institute of the Arts. She holds an MM in American Popular Music History with an emphasis in African Diaspora Studies, from California State University, Los Angeles. Tajma earned an MFA in Artistic Collaboration and Musical Theatre Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her super power is insight.
Claudia began her work with the Women’s Funding Network as a communications fellow and continues to support WFN by producing one of its curated news vehicles, the Weekly Read.
Claudia currently serves as Development Associate for the St. Francis Center in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her WFN fellowship, she completed internships at law firms in California, including Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the Children’s Law Center of California, and the Asian Law Alliance. Claudia has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Occidental College.
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