Nisha G. Patel
Nisha G. Patel serves as an advisor to NEON. Her independent consulting practice, Powered by Shakti, draws on her more than two decades of cross-sector experience leading and implementing initiatives to increase economic opportunities for families with low income. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty at the Urban Institute. The Partnership was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and assembled 24 leading voices to identify ideas for investment to dramatically increase mobility from poverty.
Patel’s career has spanned philanthropy, government, and think tanks. She served in the Obama administration as Director of the Office of Family Assistance within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was Deputy Director and part of the founding team of Ascend at the Aspen Institute, where she led national efforts to expand two-generation approaches to improve outcomes for children and their parents. As a social sector startup strategist, Patel has designed and launched multiple place-based philanthropic initiatives focused on increasing social and economic mobility, including as a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Director of Programs at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and Managing Director at the Robin Hood Foundation.
Lisa D. McGill
Lisa D. McGill is the founder of LM Strategies Consulting and the managing director of Kemp Whitfield, Inc. Over the years, McGill has consulted on projects for foundations, nonprofits, and public/private partnerships to drive social change. Her content expertise includes leadership and pipeline development, racial equity, youth-to-adult transitions, and increasing opportunities for under-resourced communities. With her tactical approach to community building, McGill is known for helping clients design initiatives that work at the intersection of strategic planning, analysis, stakeholder engagement, and the realities of on-the-ground implementation.
Her clients have included the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Charles S. Mott Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation, among others. She has also worked with associations and networks such as Grantmakers for Education, Independent Sector, Youth Transition Funders Group (YTFG), the Association of Black Foundation Executives, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE), PR Council, and CFLeads.
McGill received her B.A., in English modified with Latin American and Caribbean Studies, from Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.
Tom Kelly [he/him/his] is an independent learning and evaluation consultant (dba KEL Advising) based in Palm Springs, California, USA*). Tom has been an evaluator for more than 30 years and has been working to strengthen philanthropy’s practice of evaluation for more than two decades. He works with and advises nonprofits; independent, family, and community foundations; corporate philanthropies; individual donors; and social impact investors. His work has included the design and evaluation of complex program strategy, systems change, community capacity, policy advocacy, and social impact investments – with increased intention around ethical and useful evaluations that address structural racism and other inequities.
Formerly the vice president for evaluation & impact at the Hawaii Community Foundation in Honolulu and the associate director of evaluation at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland, he is an elected board member of the American Evaluation Association (2020-2022) and former board member of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Baltimore Area Grantmakers. Tom was graduated from Harvard College and The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences.
* I acknowledge the Agua Caliente People as the original stewards of the land on which I now live and work. I am grateful to have the opportunity to live in this place and pay my respect to the Agua Caliente and Cahuilla People past, present and emerging who have been here since time immemorial. Honor Native Land