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Our Board of Directors

Kath Connolly
Ami Dar
Bob Giannino-Racine
Cynthia M. Gibson
Stephen D. Kahn
Rusty Stahl
Sandy Stonesifer

Kath Connolly

Kath Connolly is an educator interested in public engagement and creative practice in community-based settings, college campuses, and public schools. As the director of partnerships at The Learning Community a K-8 public school in Central Falls, RI, she manages data systems, external communications, and special projects to enhance the school and its companion consulting practice.

Before she joined The Learning Community in 2005, Kath worked for 10 years at the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University, where she created Careers in the Common Good, a nationally recognized program that encourages young people to become community activists and pursue public interest careers. She was also involved in fellowship programs and projects related to public education, the arts, and advocacy.

She has been a designer at a children's museum, a public-policy researcher, the director of a grassroots school-reform network, and a consultant to community groups, schools, and colleges. She has appeared at conferences and workshops across the country.

She was a founding board member of Farm Fresh Rhode Island, BSR 88.1 FM, and New Urban Arts. She is the founder of a progressive greeting card company, Card Carrying Liberal, and has served on boards and as a volunteer for numerous non-profits and political campaigns.

Kath, a resident of Providence, RI, is a graduate of Brown University and a student of paper engineering, data visualization and craft with a political edge.


Ami Dar

Ami is the founder and executive director of Idealist.org. Built in 1996 with $3,500, Idealist has become one of the most popular nonprofit resources on the web, with information provided by 80,000 organizations around the world and 100,000 visitors every day. Ami was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Peru and in Mexico, and lives in New York.


Bob Giannino-Racine

Bob is Chief Executive Officer of UAspire, a national leader in providing college affordability services to young people and families, with local operations in Massachusetts (Boston, Springfield, Lawrence and Fall River), Miami, FL, and the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco & Oakland) and training partnerships reaching more than 26 other states.

Under Bob's leadership, uAspire has been recognized for the important role it plays on issues of college access, success and affordability. Since 2010, uAspire received the Organization of Excellence Award by the National College Access Network, was named a Social Innovator by Root Cause, was recognized by Opportunity Knocks as one of nation's "Best Non-Profits to Work For" and the Boston Foundation for "exceptional non-profit leadership", and by Year Up as recipient of its Urban Empowerment Award. Personally, Bob's leadership and contributions to the community been recognized by the Boston Business Journal, the Harvard Club of Boston, Social Capital Inc., and Freedom House.

Prior to joining UAspire, he served as the Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations at Jumpstart for Young Children, a national nonprofit organization that engages college-aged young people in service.

In addition to serving on the Board of Idealist, Bob serves board of the Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard, and is on the Advisory Board of Excel Academy Charter Schools.

As the first in his family to attend college, a product of the Somerville (MA) Public Schools, and a graduate of Harvard College, Bob knows the vital role that strong financial aid advice and minimizing debt plays in ensuring a strong economic future. He resides in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.


Cynthia M. Gibson

Cynthia M. Gibson, is founder and principal of Cynthesis Consulting, a firm celebrated for providing custom support to improve capacity and program effectiveness for leading national foundations and nonprofit organizations through public policy research and analysis, program development, strategic planning, survey design, evaluation, and marketing and communications.

Gibson is also a widely published author and active blogger on issues affecting the nonprofit/philanthropic sector. In 2007 for the Case Foundation, Gibson authored Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement which served as the frame for a new "open source" approach to grantmaking that she helped to develop. Previously, she served as a program officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York in the area of Strengthening U.S. Democracy, developing and overseeing two subprograms in Strengthening the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector and Youth Civic Engagement. She authored two publications—From Inspiration to Participation: Strategies for Youth Civic Engagement and The Civic Mission of Schools—that became standards for the field, the basis of a national advocacy campaign, and catalysts for federal legislation for school-based (K-12) civic education. Recently, Gibson co-edited From Command to Community: A New Approach to Leadership Education in Colleges and Universities (Tufts U./New England Press).

Gibson has taught at the New School University's Milano Graduate School of Management/Urban Policy; serves as a senior fellow at the Philanthropic Initiative and Tufts University; and been a member of numerous advisory committees, selection panels and boards, including VolunteerMatch.org, Mobilize.org, Nonprofit Quarterly, Public Allies, Public Conversations Project, Idealist.org, and Whatgoesaround.org. Gibson has a B.A. in psychology from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S.W. from Catholic University of America; and a Ph.D. in social welfare policy and administration from Rutgers University.


Stephen D. Kahn

Steve is a retired partner of the Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP law firm.

He has practiced all areas of intellectual property law for several decades including patent, trade secret, copyright, and trademark litigation and counseling and transactions involving intellectual property of all types. He has been involved in intellectual property issues arising in the context of the internet and e-commerce and has negotiated computer software development and licensing agreements, including a major computer system acquisition for the New York City Department of Education.

Steve has been an adjunct professor of law, teaching all areas of intellectual property law at Brooklyn and New York Law Schools. He has taught a patent law seminar at the Yale Law School and lectured there on software protection. Finally, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Information Technology Law of the New York City Bar Association.

For many years he has been active in pro bono legal work, including for Idealist, Save the Children and Ashoka.

Steve's academic background is as follows:
Yale University, B.E. (summa cum laude) (1964).
Yale Law School, LL.B. (1968).


Rusty Stahl

Rusty Stahl is currently a Fellow at the Tides Foundation and a Visiting Fellow in Residence at the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) at NYU's Wagner School of Public Service. Through this joint appointment, Rusty is exploring how increased investment in nonprofit human capital can advance effectiveness, social impact and program results.

Rusty is the founder and Executive Director Emeritus of EPIP. During his 10-year tenure, which ended in June 2012, Rusty organized a diverse network of next-generation foundation professionals working and learning together for their own development, to increase the effectiveness of philanthropy, and to advance the greater good.

Prior to EPIP, Rusty worked at the Ford Foundation as a Program Associate, where he supported multiple program officers focused on strengthening the infrastructure of philanthropy and civil society, as well as community organizing and social justice movements. Rusty also founded the Central Indiana affiliate of Jobs with Justice, a labor-community alliance.

Stahl holds a Masters in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University. At Indiana, Rusty was privileged to study under the late Robert L. Payton, first Professor Emeritus of Philanthropic Studies. He began his studies in Mr. Payton's Jane Addams Fellowship.

Sandy Stonesifer

Sandy Stonesifer is the founder of S-Squared Consulting, an organization development consulting firm. As a skilled organization development practitioner, facilitator, and coach, Sandy works with social change organizations and leaders to meet their goals and maximize their impact.

Before entering the American University Master of Science in Organization Development program, Sandy served as Executive Director of the external advisory board for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to that she worked in global development advocacy, most recently at the ONE Campaign.

She has significant experience in non-profit board strategy, strategic planning and leadership transitions for social change efforts. Sandy is a member of the OD Network and the International Society for Organization Development and Change. She graduated from Brown University with honors and was a fellow in Stanford University's Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.