National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Announces New Board Leadership, Five New Board Members

Sep 26, 2013, 11:11 ET from National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury elected as board chair of country's philanthropy watchdog group

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) announces new officers and welcomes five new exemplary nonprofit and foundation leaders to its board of directors.

Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, was elected unanimously yesterday as the new chair of NCRP's board, succeeding Diane Feeney. Feeney, who led the French American Charitable Trust before the foundation closed its doors in 2012, served as board chair for four years.

Additionally, Taj James, founder and executive director of Movement Strategy Center; Pramila Jayapal, Distinguished Taconic Fellow at Center for Community Change; Daniel J. Lee, executive director of Levi Strauss Foundation; Mary Lassen, managing director of Center for Community Change; and Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service join NCRP's dynamic board.

"It's an exciting time for NCRP. Sherece brings a wealth of experience working with disadvantaged communities in the Southeast," said Feeney, who will remain on NCRP's board for one more year. "Her leadership will be invaluable in implementing NCRP's strategic plan of moving more money to disadvantaged communities and social justice."

Under Feeney's leadership the past four years, NCRP executed a bold strategic plan that advocated for the kind of philanthropy that prioritizes the common good above other interests. The organization documented the benefits for families and communities when foundations invest in community organizing and advocacy, and it also conducted its first organizational evaluation, noting NCRP's positive impact on the sector. In addition, NCRP grew financially in spite of the recession.

"Diane's stewardship of NCRP was phenomenal, and I am honored to continue a history of remarkable leadership of NCRP," said Dr. West-Scantlebury. "We are also extremely lucky to have Pramila, Mary, Ruth, Daniel and Taj on board. Their diverse experience and unwavering commitment to the greater good will strengthen NCRP's efforts to promote grantmaking practices that make philanthropy more effective agents of positive and lasting change."

Passing on the baton

NCRP also announced that several board members have stepped down due to term limits or other factors, including Dave Beckwith, former executive director of Needmor Fund; Pablo Eisenberg, a co-founder of NCRP and senior fellow at Georgetown's Public Policy Institute; Russell Roybal, deputy executive director of external relations for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and Gary Snyder, managing director of Nonprofit Imperative.

"We are extremely grateful to Dave, Pablo, Russell and Gary for the many years they have dedicated in service to NCRP. Their passion and wisdom have made NCRP better and stronger than it would have been without them. They've helped us advocate in powerful ways for philanthropy at its best," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "While we will certainly miss the contributions of the outgoing board members, we look forward to the new energy and fresh perspectives the new board members will bring."

In addition to a new board chair, NCRP's board of directors elected new officers. They are: Gara LaMarche, senior fellow at New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, as vice chair; Priscilla Hung, program director oat Community Partners, as secretary; Judy Hatcher, executive director of Pesticide Action Network of North America, will continue as treasurer; and Cynthia Renfro, principal at Civis Consulting, as at-large representative on the executive committee.

Honoring a legacy

Pablo Eisenberg was honored last night by family, friends and colleagues at a reception in Washington, D.C., hosted by NCRP, for 38 years of outstanding work and service to the organization and the people and communities it seeks to benefit.

A complete list of NCRP's current board of directors and brief biographies are available at

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in Washington, D.C., is a national watchdog, research and advocacy organization that promotes philanthropy that serves the public good, is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness. Visit

Complete List of NCRP's Board of Directors:

Executive Committee

  • Dr. Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, (Chair) Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • Gara LaMarche (Vice Chair), Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, New York University
  • Judy Hatcher, (Treasurer) Pesticide Action Network North America
  • Priscilla Hung, (Secretary) Community Partners
  • Cynthia Renfro, (At-Large), Civis Consulting, LLC


  • Marjorie Fine, The Linchpin Campaign
  • Ana Garcia-Ashley, Community Organizer
  • Trista Harris, Minnesota Council on Foundations
  • Taj James, Movement Strategy Center
  • Pramila Jayapal, Center for Community Change
  • Mary Lassen, Center for Community Change
  • Daniel J. Lee, Levi Strauss Foundation
  • Vivek Malhotra, Ford Foundation
  • Ruth W. Messinger, American Jewish World Service
  • Ai-Jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Board members affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.

SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy