Team and Board


Photographs: Jeyhoun Allebaugh

Paulette Amadi, Manager, Grants Management and Compliance

Paulette Amadi is Manager, Grants Management and Compliance at Unbound Philanthropy; she joined in 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.

Baylen Campbell, Program and Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director

Baylen Campbell is the Program and Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director. He is a trained development practitioner with interests in migration and natural resources. Before joining Unbound, he was a Program Assistant at Independent Diplomat, a non-profit diplomatic advisory group. Baylen spent four years working with migrant and refugee communities in Italy and has conducted independent research on mineral certification and traceability in Rwanda. Baylen has also conducted research and conflict analysis with several NGOs, including Students Take Action Now Darfur, Concern Worldwide, & Amnesty International USA. He holds an MSc Development Practice from Trinity College Dublin/University College Dublin and a BA in International Affairs from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.


Adey Fisseha, US Senior Program Officer

Adey Fisseha joined Unbound Philanthropy in 2012. 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.


Olena Kosheva, Accounting and Operations Manager

Olena Kosheva is Accounting  and Operations Manager at Unbound Philanthropy. She joined Unbound in 2017. Olena has 20 years of experience in Finance and  Accounting, in small, large, profit and not-for-profit organizations, having worked at The Rockefeller Foundation and the Central Bank of Ukraine. Olena earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from University of Economics in Kyiv, Ukraine.


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 Manager

Elyse Lightman Samuels is Communications Manager at Unbound Philanthropy. She joined in 2014 as Communications, Learning, and Special Projects Officer. Prior to Unbound, Elyse worked in communications and external relations at EngenderHealth and American Jewish World Service. Elyse has spent extensive time working in Cambodia as a Trustee of the Harpswell Foundation, whose mission is to equip young women in Southeast Asia with leadership skills, education, and a supportive network; she is also a founder of PEN Cambodia. She serves on 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. 

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.

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).

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 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 and Advisory Council

Board of Directors
Debbie Berger 
Kiki Fordham 
Bill Reeves
Hilary Weinstein 

Advisory Council 
Shamit Saggar
Lucas Guttentag