Duties include determining YANA’s mission and agenda, and overseeing governance, impact assessment and financial operations.
If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining the YANA Board, please fill out this Nomination Form
BA, Yale; JD, Harvard Law School; MPP, Harvard Kennedy School
Governance Committee; Yale Community Connect
Astrid joined the YANA Board in 2021. She has an extensive background in affordable housing and economic development, having worked at an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. She currently serves as Deputy General Counsel at Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. focusing in large part on affordable housing for seniors, and is an adjunct professor at New York Law School. Astrid previously served as a board member and co-chair of the Public Service & Social Justice Committee of the Yale Alumni Association of New York (yale.NYC) and remains interested in volunteer activities focused on creating and sustaining positive social impact
BA, Yale; JD, Harvard Law School; PhD Anthropology, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Development Committee; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances
Dr. Lawrence Coben is the founder and Executive Director of the Escala Initiative, the innovative community sustainable economic development not-for-profit. ESCALA (formerly the Sustainable Preservation Initiative) empowers disadvantaged entrepreneurs and artisans – the majority of whom are women – living in poverty around the world. Coben is an archaeologist and a Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Dr. Coben is also Chairman of the Board of NRG Energy, the Fortune 500 leading integrated power company in the US. He has started, run and served on the board of numerous energy companies, including as CEO of several public companies. In addition to NRG, he currently sits on the board of Freshpet Inc.
BA, Columbia; JD, Georgetown; MBA, Yale School of Management
YANA-Dwight Hall Fellowship; Nominating (Chair); Governance; Finance; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances
Daniel joined the YANA Board in 2018. He currently serves as in-house counsel and advises on business development, strategic planning, and technology development initiatives for Syntax LLC, an asset management firm where he was a founding member. Daniel also helped found Locus Analytics, a macroeconomic data analytics firm and think tank. Daniel previously worked for an impact financing platform, the World Bank, and Balfour Venture Partners, an investment advisor focused on life sciences and software companies. Prior to that, he was an independent film producer and worked for the New York Stock Exchange. He has advised dozens of technology startups, social enterprises, and NGOs in the US, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He serves on the Bretton Woods Committee.
Merle Duskin Kailas
BA, The University at Buffalo; MPPM, Yale School of Management
Nonprofit Pro Bono Consulting; Finance; Marketing
Merle is a leader, producer, financial expert and fundraiser with over 45 years of experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Prior to launching her own production company, she was Executive Director of The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, Managing Director at Thirteen/WNET, VP and COO/CFO of Globalvision, Inc. Currently President of the Board of Directors of The Literacy Network of South Berkshire she has served as Chair of the Board of the Cherry Lane Theatre and Soho Rep, as Treasurer of New York Women in Film and Television, as VP of the Board of En Garde Arts and Chair of the Sponsorship Committee of the Board of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts New York. Additionally, she has served on the Board of The Lark International Theater Laboratory and The University at Buffalo College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. At SOM, she was the first recipient of funding from the Internship Fund.
BS, Penn State; MPPM, Yale School of Management
Finance; Marketing; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances; Nonprofit Pro Bono Consulting
Lou is a long-time member of the YANA Board and spearheads the webinars program. He established the YANA New York Roundtable program on best practices for board members and social enterprise leaders. At Penn State, Lou currently serves on, and has chaired, the Dean’s Advisory Board and the Development Committee for the Eberly College of Science, and the Advisory Board of the Palmer Art Museum. He also is the Director of the Penn State Science BS/MBA joint degree program. Lou has served on the Marymount Manhattan College Board of Trustees as a trustee and Chair. Lou has led groups in the United States and Europe in the financial services industry for Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody.
Vice President; Executive Committee; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances (Chair); Development
James has more than three decades of experience leading high-impact nonprofit organizations. He has worked extensively with boards, funders, teams and consultants to build programs, partnerships and financial resources to meet ambitious goals. He is Principal of JHW Advising, which provides consulting services to social impact organizations on strategic planning, partnerships and board, talent and fund development. James recently served as Senior Advisor at the Poses Family Foundation. For 17 years he led the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), where he directed NCLD’s strategic initiatives to empower parents and young adults, transform schools and advocate for equal rights and opportunities. James has also served as: Vice Chair of the Congressionally authorized Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities; as a member of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); as a member of the NIH Chimpanzee Research Usage Panel; and as an advisor to several education organizations.
BA, Yale; JD, UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law
Nonprofit Pro Bono Consulting; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances; Nominating
Todd joined the YANA Board in 2017 and previously served as Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee. Todd is the founder of Affinity Advisors, a consulting practice focused on helping mission-driven organizations engage in all types of collaborative initiatives. Todd has a particular interest in the future of Jewish communal organizations and is currently a member of the North American Board of the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as a consultant to two Jewish “spiritual startups”, Judaism Unbound and Sanctuary. Todd is also the part-time General Counsel and Senior Advisor, Corporate Development for Learner-Centered Collaborative, a public benefit corporation which provides technology and professional development consulting services to K-12 schools. Todd previously had an extensive career as a legal and corporate development executive at Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems Corporation, serving as a trusted advisor to C-suite executives and leading dozens of major transactions and other growth initiatives in a fast-paced, technology-driven environment.
BA, Yale; MIA, Columbia, School of International and Public Affairs
Development Committee; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances
Hugo joined the YANA Board in 2021. Since 2017 Hugo has pivoted full-time to the education sector. Hugo worked at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, where Hugo was SEO’s Vice President responsible for their top-of-class college program and, later he became SEO’s first Chief Operating Officer. Now at Autentike Advisors he works on a range of projects with organizations focused on higher education access, completion, and early career readiness, from hands-on instruction and direct service with students to strategy advisory consulting.
Prior to focusing on education, Hugo worked for three decades in financial markets. Hugo started his financial career at Citibank and went on to hold leadership positions at other top-tier, internationally active banks. At these firms Hugo either built, or turned-around, derivatives marketing and structured trading businesses. As a Managing Director in global and regional, analytical, transactional, and managerial roles, his career includes on the ground experience in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
BA, Yale; MBA, Stanford
Founder, President, Board Chair; Executive Committee; Nominating Committee; Finance; Development; Chapter Chairs
Ken is the founding chair of YANA, the co-chair of the Yale Alumni Task Force on Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion, and former co-chair of Project Redwood, a social philanthropy program funded and managed by alumni from the Stanford Business School. He currently serves as the executive director of NYPACE (New York Professional Advisors for Community Entrepreneurs), a nonprofit that provides pro bono consulting to entrepreneurs operating in underserved, under-resourced communities of New York City. Ken was awarded the Yale Medal in 2017.
BA, University of Michigan; MBA, Yale School of Management
Development; YANA-Dwight Hall Fellowship
Rob joined the YANA Board in 2018. He is the executive director of iMission Institute Inc, a benefit corporation providing strategic fund development services for nonprofit organizations. Rob has served on public and nonprofit boards including Boys & Girls Clubs, Connecticut Tobacco and Health Trust, and various economic development and workforce development organizations. He held various executive positions in the private sector, including president and CEO of private-equity controlled natural foods companies. Prior to attending business school, Rob was a representative with the Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles. He is a partner with Social Venture Partners in Connecticut.
BA, Yale; JD, Columbia Law School; MEd, Univ. of Nevada-Las Vegas
Andrea McChristian is the Law & Policy Director at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (“NJISJ”). In this capacity, she leads the implementation of the strategic vision and the direction of the law and policy program. Andrea oversees the programmatic function of the Institute’s three pillars of social justice: democracy & Justice, economic justice, and criminal justice reform. Prior to becoming Law & Policy Director, Andrea served as the Director of the Criminal Justice Reform initiative and was the primary author of Bring Our Children Home: Ain’t I A Child, which forms the basis of the 150 Years is Enough campaign. Andrea’s writing on juvenile justice and racial justice has been published in the Star Ledger, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, and NJ Spotlight.
Before joining the Institute, Andrea served as a Litigation Associate at the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (“Fried Frank”). During her time at Fried Frank, Andrea worked on complex commercial litigation and pro bono cases.
Andrea is a 2008 graduate of Yale University, graduating with distinction in the major of Political Science. At Yale, Andrea served as co-President of the Yale NAACP, co-reactivating the chapter after a years-long absence from campus. After graduation, Andrea joined Teach for America, teaching Head Start for two years in the Las Vegas Valley. Andrea then attended Columbia Law School where she participated in the Challenging the Consequences of Mass Incarceration Clinic, interned in Auckland, New Zealand as part of the law school’s Human Rights Internship Program, and interned at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. After graduating from Columbia Law School in 2013 as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Andrea clerked for Chief Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
BA, Yale; MD/MPH Emory University (Woodruff fellow)
Public Health Committee
Patrice is a family physician and HIV specialist who has been committed throughout her career to working with underserved communities. She has worked in settings including community health centers, county hospital systems, Indian Health Service and relief organizations. Patrice has worked globally in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders), Haiti, India and Burkina Faso (Peace Corps). She has also held faculty positions teaching residents and medical students. Patrice currently practices at a nonprofit FQHC that is a leader in LGBTQ care in South Florida.
BA, Yale; MS, Hunter College CUNY
University Connections (Chair); YANA-Dwight Hall Fellowship; Yale Community Connect
Andrew has been on the YANA Board since 2017. He started the YANA Extended Day of Service initiative that seeks to convert the Yale Day of Service into a year-long endeavor with multiple entry points for new Yale Community Connect volunteer opportunities. Andrew is an industrial hygienist who specializes in health and safety training for emergency responders in New York State, and an adjunct professor in Global Environmental Public Health issues at NYU’s College of Global Public Health. He is also a co-chair of the Public Service/Social Justice Committee of yale.nyc and very active in student outreach for various committees of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.
BA, Yale; MSc, London School of Economics
Executive Committee; Finance
Demetris Giannoulias is a founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Spring Bank, a US Treasury designated CDFI, and New York’s first B Corp Bank. Spring Bank was created in 2007 with a mission to promote financial inclusion and is the only bank to open its doors and establish headquarters in the Bronx, New York in over thirty years. Demetris has worked closely with numerous non-profits both personally and professionally throughout his career.
Molly F. James
BA, Tufts University; MDiv, Yale Divinity School; PhD, University of Exeter (UK)
Secretary; Executive Committee; Governance; University Connections
Molly is an ordained Episcopal priest. She currently works at The Episcopal Church Center in NY as the Deputy Executive Officer of General Convention. Previously, she has served as a hospital chaplain, a parish priest, and as Dean of Formation for the Episcopal Church in CT. Molly is a previous co-chair of Young Clergy Women International (an ecumenical organization of clergy women under 40), and has served as a board member for the Society of Scholar Priests. Molly previously served on the leadership committee for the YANA New England chapter.
BA, Princeton; Ph.D., Yale
Nominating Committee; Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances
Marilyn joined the YANA Board in 2021. From founding the firm in 1997 until retiring in 2021, she has worked in executive search, serving noted nonprofits and foundations. It was the privilege of a lifetime, for instance, to help recruit Darren Walker, now president of Ford Foundation, to his first job in philanthropy nearly 20 years ago. It also has been a continuing joy to see the wellspring of interest people have in moving to the nonprofit sector or joining a nonprofit’s board, something to which YANA contributes mightily.
BA, University of Southern California; MBA, Yale School of Management
Development (Chair); Strategy, Partnerships, Alliances
Kimberly joined the YANA Board in 2018. She started her career as a teacher in New Orleans through Teach for America. Kimberly previously worked for CCS, a strategic fundraising firm that partners with non-profits for transformational change. Representing a range of sectors, her clients include: Sanctuary for Families, The New York Public Library, Greenwich Academy, the International Network for Civil Liberties Organizations, Manhattan College, and Brooklyn Public Library. She currently serves as Chief of Staff at DREAM, which runs a charter school in East Harlem and Mott Haven, and after-school and summer school programs in East Harlem, the Bronx, and Newark.