Eric S. Nonacs, Advisor, Strategy & Implementation
Eric has been working for 25 years with the private sector, governments, philanthropy, and NGOs to develop and implement results-oriented projects around the world. As the Principal of Golden State, an independent consultancy based in Northern California, he focuses on crafting strategies, building cross-sectoral collaborations, and strengthening organizations, to meet global challenges such as climate change, pandemic disease, and economic inequality. Recent clients include Gilead Sciences, The Inter-American Development Bank, Lincoln Center, and The Rockefeller Foundation. Previously, Eric served as the Vice President for Alliances & Partnerships at the Skoll Global Threats Fund and as the Managing Director for Global Affairs at Endeavour Financial (a merchant bank based in Vancouver, Canada). From June 2002 until August 2007, he was the Foreign Policy Advisor to President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. During his career, Eric has led numerous organizations and programs supporting sustainable economic and social development, conflict resolution, increased access to health services, food security, and climate change mitigation across Africa, Europe, North America, and Latin America. Eric holds degrees from the University of Chicago, the London School of Economics, and New York University. He is the President of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) and a Senior Advisor to the Clinton Foundation. He is also a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Marilia Bezerra, Strategy Advisor
Marilia is an experienced shape-shifter, having worked with every size and type of organization, and across the range of social and environmental causes. After establishing an arts school in Brazil, spending six years as a founding team member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and managing Partnerships at Purpose.com, she’s at home working with everyone from top leadership to grassroots activists. She brings her unique experience and extensive network to bear on behalf of all of her clients, and has dealt with more Fortune 500 CEOs, Presidents and Prime Ministers than most people on the planet. She has a Brazilian law school degree, a Master’s in Global Affairs, and a history of political activism.
Michael Skolnik, Culture Change Advisor
Michael is a renowned movement-builder, activist, storyteller and proud father. He is CEO of SOZE, a creative agency focused on social impact campaigns and triple bottom line companies. He is a celebrated leader in the new social justice movement who, among other topics, helped ignite debate around America’s relationship with race, the death of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the rise of violence in Chicago. He was recently profiled in the NY Times for his civil rights activism, and identified as "the man you go to if you...want to leverage the power of celebrity and the reach of digital media to soften the ground for social change." He is a prolific voice on social media, with more than 200,000 followers, and a regular commentator on outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR and HLN. From 2009-2015, Michael served as the President of GlobalGrind.com, a millennial driven news website founded by hip-hop impresario, Russell Simmons. Michael serves on the Board of Directors for The Trayvon Martin Foundation, The Drug Policy Alliance, Revolutions Per Minute, The Gathering For Justice and The Young Partners Board of The Public Theater. Earlier in his career, Michael spent over a decade as an award winning film director and producer.
Beth Flores, Leadership and Organizational Change Advisor
Beth is committed to unleashing the power of human ingenuity to change the world. She thinks in systems but believes that the key to large-scale change resides in each of us. Beth blends individual coaching, innovation methodologies and storytelling to help individuals and organizations achieve their potential. She has worked with numerous public and private organizations, including The Omidyar Group, the Social Innovation Fund, Impact Hub DC, GovLoop, and the U.S. Department of Defense to help intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs develop their innovation muscles. Beth is a Nonresident Fellow with the Atlantic Council, a certified leadership coach and founder of Groove Leadership Lab, and a professional storyteller. She is a recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Presidential Management Fellowship, and a graduate of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. She earned a M.S. in Foreign Service and an MBA from Georgetown University and received a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University.
Jennifer Butte-Dahl, International Affairs Advisor
Jen is an accomplished architect of initiatives, organizations, and alliances that span continents and sectoral boundaries to tackle critical global challenges. She has extensive experience working within and between the worlds of business, government, philanthropy, academia, and international and non-governmental organizations. Early in her career, Jen set up a nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship in post-apartheid South Africa and later opened a sales support office for a large multinational in the United Arab Emirates. During her career with the U.S. Government, she worked in the U.S. Department of State, on Capitol Hill, and across the Interagency as a senior advisor to U.S government officials and high-level presidential envoys. After leaving DC, she built public-private alliances for a social enterprise committed to providing renewable energy to communities across the globe that lacked electricity. She went on to design and launch an accelerated graduate program in international studies at the University of Washington. She has also built a private family fund dedicated to building bridges between cultures, and a multilateral, public-private initiative that harnesses global connectivity to build meaningful relationships between young people in the U.S., Middle East and North Africa, and equips them with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Jen is the founder and director of the Master of Arts in Applied International Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, and an affiliate faculty member at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. She serves on the boards of the J. Christopher Stevens Fund and AIESEC Seattle. She is also a Truman National Security Fellow and a Response Team Member for ShelterBox, an international disaster relief organization. Jen was previously a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Presidential Management Fellow. She holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.S. in Management from Purdue University.
Alexa Courtney, International Development Advisor
Alexa is dedicated to helping organizations and communities thrive in complex environments - from fragile states and resource constrained markets, to emerging and developing economies. She has extensive experience working in the US, South Asia, Africa, and Europe, building new businesses, helping organizations adapt to new markets, and leading research and assessment teams. She is the founder and CEO of Frontier Design Group, a strategy and design firm that harnesses the tools of design and systems thinking for social good. She has partnered with numerous companies and organizations, including the US Institute of Peace, Social Innovation Fund, and Omidyar Group, to design strategies and tools for social impact. Alexa also serves as the Executive Director to the Senior Study Group on Conflict and Fragility, co-chaired by the Presidents and CEO of the US Institute of Peace, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Center for New American Security. Previously, Alexa held senior positions at Mission Essential, Caerus Associates, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She is a former Fulbright Scholar, Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, and Presidential Management Fellow, and a current Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is an Advisory Board member for the non-profit, Ascend Athletics and for the social enterprise, Motive International. Alexa holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.S. from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
Yigal Kerszenbaum, Impact Investing Advisor
Yigal is an experienced veteran of the impact investing community, having executed investments across multiple sectors and geographies, including the US, Latin America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, India and South East Asia. Yigal currently manages a $60MM global portfolio of Impact Investments for The Rockefeller Foundation, including 20 investments in the form of debt, equity and guarantees. In addition to transactional work, Yigal leads the innovative finance and strategy work for the Foundation’s $120MM YieldWise Initiative. YieldWise seeks to reduce post-harvest food loss by at least 50% in representative value chains, improving millions of rural lives. His record includes leadership on the formation and implementation of a co-investment partnership with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)—the first partnership of its kind for both OPIC and The Rockefeller Foundation. Previously, he worked as an investment professional on the private equity team at Developing World Markets (DWM), an impact investment fund manager and advisor focused on inclusive finance. Prior to that role Yigal “cut his finance teeth” at a global private equity manager and advisor, 57 Stars. Yigal is a graduate of UC San Diego and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Ari Ratner, Public Policy Advisor
Ari is an experienced political operative and leading thinker who has helped shape innovation and economic policy across the U.S. government. He works with C-Suite executives, leading nonprofits, and public sector clients to develop strategic campaigns to advance their public policy and social good objectives. His ideas and commentary have shaped debates around 21st century statecraft, international competitiveness, innovation, and inclusive economic growth. He served in the Obama Administration as Speechwriter and Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, and as a Congressional Liaison for the State Department. He is a prolific writer and pundit, and recently collaborated with Secretary Clinton’s former Senior Advisor for Innovation, Alec Ross, on his book “Industries of the Future.” In 2014, he served as the Special Political Correspondent for Vice News during the midterm elections and was a correspondent for Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest newspaper, from 2003 to 2006. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Reuters, Huffington Post, Slate, CNN, Quartz, and Mashable. He makes regular appearances on networks such as the BBC, NPR and Al Jazeera. Ari is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Simone Pero, Marketing & Media Advisor, Impact Producer
Simone is an integrated marketing strategist and producer of issue-driven media. She is the president and founder of For Impact Productions, a strategic advisory practice dedicated to social, commercial, and policy change through visual storytelling. Simone is known for strategic thinking, creative leadership, and keen ability to connect the dots across sectors. She has served in a number of executive roles, including Vice President for Corporate Communications at MTV, Director of Communication and Marketing at Rainbow Media/Cablevision, and Vice President, External Affairs for Taproot Foundation. She was also public policy specialist at the U.S. Department of Labor and on the advance team for Clinton/Gore ’96. Today, she counts a swath of visionary projects, organizations and initiatives among her clients including the Emmy-nominated Sundance & CNN hit ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, the upcoming feature film THE TALE starring Laura Dern and Common, and THE C WORD movie executive produced by Morgan Freeman. Simone is on the leadership team and faculty for the Stony Brook Killer Films MFA in Film program, serves on the Executive Board of Directors for New York Women in Film and Television and is an alumna of the Sundance Institute Producers.
Jacques-Philippe Piverger, Social Enterprise Advisor
Jacques-Philippe is a social entrepreneur who is harnessing his business and philanthropic acumen to affect change where it is needed most in the globe. He is co-founder of MPOWERD, Inc., a solar company he led from inception through to global distribution into more than 70 countries, and Executive Chairman of RegenOrganics, a commercial-scale, smart technology food dehydration system. He honed his business acumen as a Director at PineBridge Investments, helping direct over $10 billion of private equity, hedge and real estate transactions globally. Jacques-Philippe also worked at AIG Investments, Friedman Billings Ramsey and Barclays Capital. He founded The Soleil Group, a strategy firm with a diverse portfolio of clients such as Western Union, Universal Music, New York Public Library, Glaceau Vitamin Water, BMG, and Motorola. He is co-founder and board member of The Council of Urban Professionals and a Young Global Leader in the World Economic Forum. He was a Term Member at The Council on Foreign Relations and an Advisory Board Member of George Clooney’s Hope for Haiti Now Fund. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He also has executive certificates from Yale University and Harvard Kennedy School.
Jacob Park, Futurist & Scenario Planning
Jacob is a futurist with a focus on sustainability and system innovation. He uses methodologies such as scenario planning and trends analysis to enable Fortune 500 companies, philanthropies, multi-stakeholder groups, and others to create more resilient and adaptive strategies. Recent projects include working with Levi's to reimagine the future of sustainable fiber; creating the Retail Horizons scenarios that are being used to drive sustainability strategy and innovation processes at companies including Target, Unilever, and Ikea; and running multi-stakeholder futures projects in Bangkok and Manila as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Informal City Dialogues project. Jacob is an in-house futurist and Principal Sustainability Advisor at Forum for the Future. The first part of his career was spent as an international human rights advocate at various NGOs in New York, including Human Rights First and the Center for Economic and Social Rights. Jacob has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in French History from the University of Chicago.
Pauline Zalkin, Impact Storyteller + Filmmaker
Pauline is a filmmaker and visual artist with a background in social impact communications. She is known for combining a rigorous strategic framework with highly original creative content to help nonprofits and other changemakers leverage the power of story to reach their most important audiences. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Fineas Media, a social impact storytelling agency that raises empathy and drives stakeholder engagement through authentic, emotional and visually arresting short films. Over the course of a career, she has led initiatives for a range of organizations and causes including McKinsey & Company's nonprofit and CSR division, the White House, Devex, the RAND Corporation, Business Fights Poverty, and Taproot Foundation. She has produced short films for innovative nonprofits and social enterprises all over the country and the world, developed innovative social media campaigns, led multi-stakeholder coalitions, produced press operations for high-profile Presidential events, and designed capacity-building trainings to help organizations tell their story effectively and compellingly.