About Us


Publication: 2014-01-20




Name:Tides Foundation


Tides is a nonprofit organization that works at the heart of today's most critical issues ...


  • Thoreau Centers for SustainabilityTides has offices in San Francisco and New York at the award-winning Thoreau Centers for Sustainability.

  • Tides Leadership

  • Gary D. SchwartzInterim CEO -- Gary joined Tides in 1999 after he served for nearly ten years as a consultant and the Executive Director of the Fund of the Four Directions in New York. The Fund was a leading grant making institution in the areas of indigenous peoples' organizing, women's empowerment and environmental sustainability. Gary has spent his entire career working in the nonprofit arena including tenure at the Houston Area Women's Center Rape Crisis Center and Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City. He currently serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and is a trustee with two private family foundations, as well as a trustee for Artists For A New South Africa. A former Peace Corps Volunteer (stationed in the Fiji Islands), Gary studied creative writing at Southern Illinois University and nonprofit management at the New School in New York City.

  • Judith HillChief Financial Officer -- Judith Hill has been a Senior Financial and Administrative Executive in non-profit and/or educational institutions for over 20 years. She has served in the Chief Financial role at the San Francisco Art Institute, Heald College, Sequoia Institute and CTB, a division of McGraw-Hill. Judith began her career in public accounting with Touche Ross, has an MBA with MIS emphasis from Regis College and is a Colorado licensed CPA. She is a member of the California Society of CPAs, has served on the Board of Enterprise for High School Students and the ACCSC Finance Review Committee.

  • Nathaniel "Toby" ThompkinsVice President, Tides 21st Century -- Nathaniel Toby Thompkins Nathaniel "Toby" Thompkins brings to Tides over 20 years' of experience working across nonprofit, for profit, and international development sectors as an executive coach, organizational development consultant, journalist and best-selling author. Prior to joining Twenty-First Century Foundation powered by Tides, Toby served as founding principal of a global professional services firm that offered executive search, leadership coaching, organizational development, strategy, branding and communications services to socially conscious for-profits, nonprofits, foundations, governments and leaders. After returning from working and living in Ghana, where he led a public/private partnership to reverse the negative impact of surface gold-mining on indigenous tribal communities, he reframed his consulting practice to work exclusively with social and racial justice leaders and organizations in the United States and abroad. Toby is an innovative, collaborative and results-oriented leader who possesses an extensive background in leading large-scale organizational change initiatives that refocus and revitalize the people, culture, policies and systems of an organization or community against a compelling shared vision. Toby has a B.A. in psychology and political science from the University of Delaware, and a Masters in Public Administration from University of Hartford.

  • Tides Board of Directors

  • Noa Emmett AluliNoa Emmett Aluli is a Native Hawaiian physician on Moloka'i and a long-time activist for the preservation of Hawaiian culture and beliefs, the preservation of historical sites, and environmental integrity. He serves as a member of a number of organizations pursuing this work and he serves as the Chairman of the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission, the State agency overseeing the clean-up and restoration of Kaho'olawe.

  • Kafi D. BlumenfieldKafi D. Blumenfield has two decades of experience as an advocate for social change working to improve the well-being and civic engagement of disenfranchised communities. Between 2007 and 2013, she served as Liberty Hill Foundation's President and CEO during which time she strengthened the foundation's investment in community leaders on the frontlines of change by launching innovative programs including the Brothers, Sons, Selves initiative and the Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change. Prior to becoming the President and CEO of Liberty Hill, Kafi developed and directed Liberty Hill's LibertyVote grantmaking and training program dedicated to helping grassroots organizations integrate voter engagement strategies into their organizing campaigns. Earlier in her career Kafi served as Deputy Director of Neighbor to Neighbor. She also served as Director of Programs for the Fair Housing Council of San Gabriel Valley and worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council on urban air issues. Ms. Blumenfield was appointed to the California Commission on the Status of Women in 2011. She serves on the boards of Southern California Grantmakers, The Association of Black Foundation Executives, The Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project in Los Angeles and is a member of the advisory board of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation. Ms. Blumenfield's leadership has been recognized by organizations such as the National Women's Political Caucus LA Westside, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Council of Negro Women, and Stonewall Young Democrats. She holds a law degree from UCLA and a B.A. from Pomona College.

  • Joanie BronfmanJoanie Bronfman is a long-time advocate of social justice. She was a founder of the Threshold Foundation's Social Justice Committee, the Women Donors Network and the Jewish Funders Network. Over the years, Joanie has served on the boards of Tides Canada and the Threshold Foundation. She was a member of the Racial Justice Working Group of the Women Donors Network. She has also been a member of several funding circles including: the Ms. Foundation Safety Circle and Democracy Funding Circle, as well as the Global Fund for Women's circle on issues of Trafficking, and Women's Rights and Traditional Practices.

  • Stephanie J. ClohesyChair -- Stephanie J. Clohesy is a public service leader with experience in public policy, women's rights, citizen participation/democratization, organizational and leadership development for the U.S. and international nonprofits. As founder and Principal at Clohesy Consulting, she specializes in providing strategic organizational, program planning, research, and design services to philanthropic foundations and to national and international nonprofit institutions.

  • Michael FernandezMichael is the founder of Quant 6. He leads data science and software engineering teams focused on Big Data. He is Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Little Kids Rock, a national non-profit restoring and revitalizing music education in disadvantaged public schools by donating instruments and music lessons to over 100,000 kids annually across the U.S. and in 25 cities. Little Kids Rock has been featured in Forbes and Rolling Stone, and supported by Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Metallica, and many other musical luminaries. Michael serves on the board of NCIRE, the leading nonprofit medical research institute in the United States devoted to pioneering new treatments and providing medical care for military Veterans. He served in the US Army and was the #1 ranked Distinguished Military Graduate of his ROTC class and ranked #1 in his Officer Basic Course. He was promoted to the rank of Captain after graduating from the JFK Special Warfare Center and while serving in a special operations unit; US Army Reserves. He is a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a White House Fellowship-National Finalist, and is recognized as "One of the most influential Bay Area Latinos" by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Born in NYC, he is the son of hard-working immigrant parents and the first to attend college earning a BSE from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA from Harvard University.

  • Jacob Hunter FisherJacob Hunter Fisher is part of the Executive Management function at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., where he focuses on Global Public Affairs and Philanthropic Investments for the Company and its 30 brands. He also serves as Global Chair of wELCome, the Company's employee business group for LGBTQA professionals. Between 2009 and 2011, he was Chief of Staff & Special Advisor to the CEO at Taproot Foundation, which makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society by engaging millions of business professionals in pro bono services through its signature Service Grant Program and award-winning Advisory Services Practice. Previously, he worked in Social Innovation at global PR agency Weber Shandwick as well as in Corporate Responsibility and Philanthropy at Time Warner Inc. In 2007, Mr. Fisher served as a Fellow to the CEO of The Trevor Project, the nation's leading organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Mr. Fisher is a Point Scholar Alumni and graduate of Columbia University.

  • Lisa HallMs. Hall is Managing Director of Impact Investing with Anthos Asset Management B.V., a privately owned investment manager. At Anthos Asset Management, Lisa is responsible for managing a portfolio focused on social, environmental and financial returns. Lisa previously served as President and CEO of Calvert Foundation, a global leader in impact investing with assets under management of more than $400 million. She holds a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard University. In 2003, Lisa participated in the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a travel program for emerging leaders from the US and Europe. Lisa serves on the executive committee of ANDE (Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs), a global network focused on promoting entrepreneurship in emerging markets, and the Board of the Non-Profit Finance Fund, a US based community development financial institution. She resides in Amstelveen, NL with her husband and young daughter.

  • Vincent McGeeVincent McGee has been active in the non-profit and donor fields since 1969. Currently he is a board member of The Overbrook Foundation, The Gagarin Trust, The Sister Fund, several other family foundations and of PATH, A Catalyst for Global Health. His professional career has paralleled active work for human rights, nonviolence, access to health and for expanded support for women and girls. As a consultant Vincent's clients have included individuals, families, foundations and corporate giving programs. As Senior Advisor at The Atlantic Philanthropies (2007-2012) duties included support for programs in health, human rights, youth and ageing in the United States, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, South Africa, Viet Nam and Cuba and participation in committees of the European Foundation Centre and the Global Committee of the US Council on Foundations. Vincent McGee received an honorary Doctorate in Law from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2003. He is a frequent speaker and panelist and has been recognized by non-profit groups and colleagues for his leadership and volunteer commitments.

  • Peter MellenPeter Mellen is an entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in online business and commercial real estate. He is currently President of Mellen Investment Properties, a real estate investing firm that manages and develops residential and commercial properties. He also served as co-founder and CEO of Edison|Wright, where he launched one of the first PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs in the world to finance clean energy projects in buildings through voluntary property tax assessments. Previously, he served as Director of Premium Education Services at AOL, where he managed a portfolio of online education services provided to K-12 students. Prior to AOL, Peter served as Vice President of Business Development for Safari Books Online. Immediately after earning his MBA in 1998, Mr. Mellen co-founded Headlight, an online learning company that raised more than $15 million of venture capital from investors that included Draper Fisher Jurvetson and the Silicon Valley Band of Angels. Peter currently serves as chairman of the Washington DC Local Advisory Board for BUILD, a program that provides entrepreneurship education for high school students in under-resourced communities. He earned a Bachelor's degree and an MBA (Honors) from Georgetown University, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

  • Suzanne NosselSuzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN American Center: Prior to coming to PEN American Center, human rights advocate and non-profit leader Suzanne Nossel served as the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, where she led a strategic reorganization to strengthen Amnesty's external human rights impact and focus on building the next generation of human rights activists. She also led successful efforts to secure passage of the Afghan Women and Girls Security Promotion Act of 2012 and convened a historic youth Town Hall with Burmese Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Nossel also previously served in the Obama administration, where, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, she oversaw U.S. engagement in the UN Human Rights Council, championing groundbreaking resolutions on freedom of expression; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights; and human rights abuses in Iran, Libya, Syria, Cote d'Ivoire, and elsewhere. Prior to that she was the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador for UN Management and Reform at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She has also served as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and as an executive at Dow Jones/The Wall Street Journal and at Bertelsmann. Nossel spent two years in South Africa working to address political violence during that country's transition into democracy, a formative experience in her development as a human rights activist. She has published pieces on international affairs and human rights in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Dissent, The National Interest, and Foreign Affairs magazine, where she coined the term "Smart Power," the title of a 2004 article. Nossel received her A.B. from Harvard College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

  • john a. powellProfessor john a. powell is Director of the Haas Diversity Research Center (HDRC) and Robert D. Haas Chancellor's Chair in Equity and Inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2003 to the end of 2011, he was Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University and Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Right and Civil Liberties at Ohio State's Moritz College of Law. Previously, Professor powell founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He also served as Director of Legal Services of Greater Miami and was National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union where he was instrumental in developing educational adequacy theory. Professor powell is a co-founder of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC) and serves on the board of several national organizations. He has taught at numerous law schools including The Ohio State University, Harvard University and Columbia University. He earned an undergraduate degree in psychology at Stanford University and the Juris Doctor at the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall).

  • Chuck C. SavittCharles (Chuck) C. Savitt co-founded Island Press in 1984 to stimulate, shape, and communicate the ideas essential to solving environmental problems. Under Chuck's leadership, Island Press has become more than a publisher -- it convenes experts, helps them hone their ideas, then helps share the results. Chuck received a B.A. in Community Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a M.P.A from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also serves as a director of Fauna & Flora International and the National Environmental Trust Action Fund.

  • Tuti B. ScottVice Chair -- Tuti B. Scott is President and Founder of Imagine Philanthropy, an international consulting firm that supports philanthropists in building effective giving strategies and guides organizations and nonprofit leaders seeking to enhance and energize their work. As a certified fundraiser, a member of the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, and through her work on the Board of Directors of the Women Win Foundation, Tuti's commitment to the women's funding movement has elevated the conversation about health and wellness, movement, gender equity, and leadership excellence for women in the global philanthropic arena. In addition to lecturing and presenting internationally on leadership, organizational development, fundraising, and brand building; Tuti serves as an adjunct professor at Bay Path College in the school of Nonprofit Management and as a research associate for the Smith College Project for Social Change.