The Overbrook Foundation Board of Directors
Arthur G. Altschul, Jr.
Stephen F. Altschul
Emily Altschul Miller, Vice Chair and Secretary
Carolyn J. Cole, Vice Chair and Treasurer
Kathryn G. Graham
Robert C. Graham, Jr., Director Emeritus
Aaron Labaree, Chair of the Board
The Overbrook Foundation Staff
Stephen A. Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer
Steve is the first President and CEO of The Overbrook Foundation. His career began at the National Institutes of Health in 1974 and has continued, since 1985, within private philanthropy. Between 1997 and joining The Overbrook Foundation in June 2002 he worked as an independent consultant, providing advice to foundations, corporations and individuals on a broad spectrum of programmatic, governance and management concerns. Steve spent twelve years with the Charles A. Dana Foundation; beginning his career in private philanthropy at Dana as a program officer in 1985 and, ultimately, serving as the Dana Foundation president.
Steve is Chair of the Steering Committee for the U.S. Human Rights Fund, a collaborative donor initiative dedicated to the full realization of human rights in the United States. He also co-chairs the Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC) a separate donor collaborative focusing on state-based strategies to win marriage equality for same-sex couples. Since its inception in 2005, the CMC has been active in all state-based civil marriage campaigns which have either won the freedom to marry for same sex couples or have successfully defended the freedom to marry from attack.
After graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1969 with a B.A. in Political Science, he served as a volunteer for two years in the United States Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Upon returning he studied at Northwestern University where he earned his M.A. in history (African Studies) in 1973, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He went on to successfully complete the National Institutes of Health’s, Management Intern Training Program in 1975.
Daniel R. Katz, Senior Program Director of the Environment Program
Daniel leads the Foundation’s environmental giving in the areas of international biodiversity and sustainable consumption and production. He is the Board Chair and former executive director (1986-2000) of the Rainforest Alliance, an organization he co-founded in 1986 at the age of 24. The Rainforest Alliance is now considered one of the premier international conservation organizations, with 13 offices working in over 80 nations.
A former Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellow, Mr. Katz serves as board member of several other organizations, including the People for the American Way Foundation, Catalog Choice, and Grist. He is the editor of two volumes: Why Freedom Matters: The Spirit of the Declaration of Independence in Prose, Poetry and Song (Workman) and Tales from the Jungle: A Rainforest Reader (Crown). He received his MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University, and studied Chinese linguistics in Wuhan, The People’s Republic of China. He lives in New York City with his wife, Maggie, and their two children.
Mary Grecco, Chief Financial Officer and Grants Manager
Mary began working with The Overbrook Foundation in 1989 when she joined Overbrook as its Assistant Controller, and she now serves as both Grants Manager and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Overbrook, she worked in public accounting at Coopers & Lybrand, now PriceWaterhouse Coopers, in both the audit and executive tax departments. Mary is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs. She graduated summa cum laude from Manhattan College where she earned a B.S. with a dual major in Accounting and Computer Information Systems.
Samantha Harvey, Environment Program Associate; Program Manager, Council for 16,000
Samantha is both Associate to the Environment Program at The Overbrook Foundation and Program Manager of The Council for 16,000, an Overbrook initiative looking at tools the U.S. environmental movement can use to be as inclusive and united as possible against the complex challenges of the coming years. Samantha found her environmental calling in the canyons of Utah on a 2002 Outward Bound trip, and went on to earn a Master’s in Journalism through the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado. Her first career was as a modern dancer, and she has performed and taught with dance companies internationally and throughout the New York area.
Lena Golze Desmond, Environment Program Assistant
Lena is the Environment Program Assistant at The Overbrook Foundation, and coordinates management of the Foundation’s environmental grants. She is also an attorney-consultant with the Law Offices of Natara G. Feller. Prior to working with the Foundation, she received her M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where she wrote her thesis on the development of the solar PV market in Rwanda. She graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee School of Law, is on the International Environmental Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and is a 2013 member and on the Board of the New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute (NYCELLI).
Sarah Abelow, Human Rights Program Associate
Sarah Abelow has been working at The Overbrook Foundation as the Human Rights Program Assistant since 2011. In this role, she assists with the Foundation’s human rights grantmaking and other administrative tasks at the Foundation. She has recently returned to her native New York City after attending Pomona College where she studied History and French and worked with several local non-profit organizations.
Nikole LaVelle, Assistant Grants Manager
Nikole LaVelle joined Overbrook Management Corporation in 2007 and has been working with the Foundation in various capacities since her arrival. She currently assists Mary Grecco with grants administration, office operations and website development. She graduated from Pitzer College with a concentration in International Intercultural Studies and is originally from El Paso, TX.
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