Photographs: Jeyhoun Allebaugh
Paulette Amadi, Grants Officer, UK Program
Paulette Amadi is Grants Officer for the UK Program at Unbound Philanthropy; she joined in November 2012 as Grants Assistant. Paulette brings to the Foundation administrative experience gained as an Information Officer at Queen Mary University, and as an intern at the Young Foundation and in the Civil Service Fast Stream. Paulette earned a degree in geography from the University of Southampton, where she became a volunteer for Unbound Philanthropy grantee, Student Action for Refugees (STAR). Paulette has continued to be an active volunteer for STAR and has volunteered as a governor to a local school, and trustee of a drop-in center to provide support for migrants in Haringey, London. Both of Paulette’s parents migrated from Nigeria to London, where Paulette now resides.
Celeste Dado, Senior Manager, Grants Compliance and Operations
Celeste Dado is Senior Manager, Grants Compliance and Operations at Unbound Philanthropy. She joined Unbound in March 2012 as Grants Manager. Celeste has 17 years of grants management experience in both small and large philanthropic foundations, having worked at the Arcus and Ford foundations. She has a special expertise on regulatory compliance for global grantmakers and extensive experience in establishing grants management systems in small foundations scaling up their operations. Celeste has lengthy experience in nonprofit financial management, budgeting and long-range planning in her past work with arts and cultural organizations in New York City, including at the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, the New York Public Library, Artists Space, and PS1 Museum. She participated in the Arts Management Fellowship Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, and served on the board of Art in General and the Asian American Arts Alliance. Celeste earned a master of business administration degree in arts administration from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Douglass Women’s College of Rutgers University. She was born in the Philippines and now lives in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Adey Fisseha, US Program Officer
Adey Fisseha joined Unbound Philanthropy in May 2012 as Program Officer. Adey helps develop, implement, and evaluate Unbound Philanthropy’s grantmaking strategies in the United States. Adey previously worked for 10 years at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), most recently serving as a policy attorney and campaign coordinator. She worked on a wide range of federal policy issues at NILC, including, notably, as lead lawyer on a national advocacy campaign to pass the Dream Act. Adey was a compelling media spokesperson on the effort and led a coalition of more than one hundred national faith, education, labor, and immigrant/civil rights groups on the campaign. She also has served as a legislative aide to Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA). Adey graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in government and a certificate in African studies, and earned her law degree at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she was a Cardozo Public Service Scholar. Adey is a refugee and immigrant from Ethiopia.
Taryn Higashi, Executive Director
Taryn Higashi is the Executive Director of Unbound Philanthropy. Prior to working at Unbound, from 1997 to 2008, Taryn managed the migrant and refugee rights portfolio at the Ford Foundation and served as Deputy Director of the human rights unit from 2001-2008. Previously, Taryn was a Program Officer at The New York Community Trust; a staff attorney and Program Coordinator for Safe Horizons in New York City; and an associate at the law firm O'Melveny & Myers. Taryn has received numerous awards, including the Robert V. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking from the Council on Foundations, which she shared with Geri Mannion of the Carnegie Corporation of New York; a 40th Anniversary Community Change Champion Award from the Center for Community Change; and a Human Rights Visionary Award from the Border Network for Human Rights, among others. Taryn currently serves on the Board of the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Advisory Board of the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations, and the Steering Committee of the Asian Women’s Giving Circle. She is a former Co-Chair of the Board of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. Taryn is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and received her bachelor's degree from the University of California at San Diego. She resides in New York City with her husband and son.
Jake Lee, Deputy Director, UK Program
Jake Lee is the Deputy Director of the UK Program at Unbound Philanthropy, where he helps develop the Foundation’s strategies and runs the legal rights and protections program. Jake is an attorney and joined Unbound Philanthropy in 2012. Prior to this he was a lawyer at Allen & Overy for nearly ten years, where he managed the firm’s global pro bono program and the Allen & Overy Foundation. Jake is an advisor to the Allen & Overy Foundation and is a trustee of the Mary Ward Settlement, an adult education and legal advice charity in London. Jake also works part-time as Director of Legal Strategy at the Legal Education Foundation, a foundation that funds access to justice initiatives in the UK.
Jake has a first class degree in Economics from Warwick University and graduated from BBP Law School with Distinctions in both the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course. Jake is the lead in the UK for the Foundation’s arts and culture grantees and studied fine art before realising he was better suited to the law. When not at work, he can be found running, sometimes with a friend who is a blind war veteran.
Elyse Lightman Samuels, Communications & Learning Officer
Elyse Lightman Samuels joined Unbound as Communications, Learning, and Special Projects Officer in April 2014. She previously worked in communications, qualitative data analysis, and external relations at EngenderHealth and American Jewish World Service. Elyse has spent extensive time working in Cambodia as a founding member and Trustee of the Harpswell Foundation, whose mission is to empower a new generation of women leaders; she is also a founder of PEN Cambodia. She recently joined the Board of Directors of the international women's human rights organization, MADRE. Elyse earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University's School of the Arts, where she wrote about a Muslim ethnic minority community in Cambodia; and she earned a MPA in International Nonprofit Management and Public Policy at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, where she conducted research in South Korea on skills training and certification for migrant workers. Elyse received a BA from Brown University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and daughter.
Lucie March, Special Assistant to the Executive Director
Lucie March is the Special Assistant to the Executive Director at Unbound Philanthropy; she joined in April 2015. Prior to joining Unbound Philanthropy, Lucie worked as a research analyst in English and Arabic at a business and political intelligence firm. In the past, Lucie has worked with immigrants in New York City at both the African Services Committee in Harlem and the Arab American Family Support Center in Brooklyn. She attended Smith College where she studied Religion, Middle East Studies, and Arabic. She is also passionate about photography, and volunteers as a Production Assistant at the Brooklyn Rail, an independent arts, culture, and politics publication. She was born, raised, and currently resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Hilde Pedersen, Office Administrator, UK
Hilde Pedersen is Office Administrator for the UK Program at Unbound Philanthropy. She earned a first class degree in international development with NGO management from the University of East London, during which she spent time in Uganda as an intern at a children’s charity. After graduating, Hilde was an administrative volunteer with Student Action for Refugees (STAR), an Unbound Philanthropy grantee, and later took up the role as interim Student Network Coordinator. Most recently she worked as data and communications coordinator at Victim Support. Hilde is originally from Norway and has been living in London since 2010.
Angelina Pienczykowski, Office and Administrative Manager, US
Angelina Pienczykowski joined Unbound Philanthropy in July 2015 as Office and Administrative Manager. Angelina worked over the past year as a Policy and Research Fellow at the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security where she monitored and reported on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, and as Communications and ME+L intern at Unbound Philanthropy. Angelina has also worked for the National Model United Nations/National Collegiate Conference Association at the 2015 NY Conference. Angelina received her Masters degree in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and a Bachelors degree in International Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Angelina is a 1.5-generation Polish-American and is bilingual in Polish and English.
Pam Shepard, Director of Finance and Operations
Pam Shepard is Director of Finance and Operations at Unbound Philanthropy and brings over twenty years of experience managing non-profit infrastructure, including finance, IT, HR, and oversight of legal affairs. Prior to Unbound, she had great opportunities to develop change management and international expertise during her ten years as Chief Financial and Operating Officer with GBCHealth, a coalition that advocates for and coordinates corporate action on global health issues. Before that, Pam worked with God’s Love We Deliver, a grass-roots NYC institution that provides nutritious meals to people with life-altering illnesses. She grew into the CFO role there and played a key leadership role in managing a time of redefining transition for the organization. Pam’s values are rooted in compliance and best practices and she has gained steady successes implementing systems and data management with a holistic view, which was a large part of her most recent work with The Fortune Society as Interim Chief Accounting Officer. Pam earned her Master’s degree from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Florida State University.
Will Somerville, UK Program Director
Will Somerville is Director, UK Program at Unbound Philanthropy. In addition to his Unbound role, he also works part-time as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a think tank based in Washington DC. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield. Prior to joining MPI in 2006, Will worked at the Commission for Racial Equality, the U.K. Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). He has authored over sixty policy papers, chapters and journal articles, mostly related to migration, and has commented widely in the media, particularly for The Guardian. His most recent book is Immigration under New Labour (2007, Policy Press). Will holds a degree in History (First Class) from Leeds University, a Master’s degree (with distinction) in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
Susan Vega, Controller
Susan Vega serves as the Foundation’s Controller. She has over 10 years of experience working with not for profits and values the opportunity to share her knowledge with our dedicated team. Her current professional interest is to learn strategic processes that support meaningful analysis of an organization’s goals. Susan’s previous professional experience has focused on human resources, systems installation and compliance on restricted funding. Susan earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance and Administration from Brooklyn College.
Ted Wang, US Program Director
Ted Wang is the Director of Unbound Philanthropy’s US Program. Before joining the foundation, Ted had a public policy consulting practice, advising a mix of foundations, advocacy organizations, and elected officials. From 1990 to 2004, he worked at two nonprofit organizations, Chinese for Affirmative Action and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Ted litigated discrimination and voting rights cases and drafted local and state laws promoting immigrant rights, racial justice, and small business development. Among the recognition he received for his community work include the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus' Legislative Hero Award and the Asian American Bar Association of the Bay Area's Outstanding Leadership to the Legal Community Award. Ted received his bachelor's degree from Reed College and his law degree from Yale Law School. Ted is originally from Taipei, Taiwan, and now lives in Berkeley, California.
Julia Yang-Winkenbach, US Program Associate
Julia Yang-Winkenbach joined Unbound Philanthropy in January 2015. Previously, Julia worked at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she served as a development associate for the Annual and Special Giving Programs in the Office of External Affairs. As a second-generation Taiwanese American raised in Flushing, Queens, Julia is deeply committed to the foundation’s mission of supporting organizations and groups seeking to create transformative changes that make a difference for migrants and refugees alike. She currently serves on the Board of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum’s New York City Chapter (NAPAWF*NYC). Julia has also held civic engagement roles (census and voting rights) with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, as well as various fundraising roles with immigrant rights organizations. Julia completed a MSc in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, and earned her BA in International Studies and Political Science at the City College of New York - CUNY.
Board of Directors