Staff

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We depend on our dedicated staff to carry out Foundation for Louisiana's mission.

FFL's high-engagement team works closely with Louisiana residents to provide resources in support of their work. Our staff bring a wide array of experience and talent to our work, and they share an abiding commitment to building a better Louisiana.

Foundation for Louisiana’s leadership team is made up primarily of women, Black folks, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color. In a state that routinely reinforces its legacy of white supremacy, we are proud to have a team that looks like Louisiana. 

Charmel Gaulden

CEO and President

Charmel Gaulden is a lawyer and philanthropic executive with over 15 years experience in nonprofit administration, program design, and strategic advocacy. She previously served as the Vice President of Public Safety Grants at Baptist Community Ministries and chair of the Greater New Orleans Funders Network (GNOFN) Criminal Justice action table, a collection of seven local and national funders working to support equity and justice in the Greater New Orleans region. Licensed in both Georgia and Louisiana, Charmel has practiced law in both state and federal courts. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Contact Charmel at cgaulden@foundationforlouisiana.org

Dana Delpit

Chief Financial Officer

Native New Orleanian Dana Delpit brings over 30 years of experience in non-profit fund accounting to Foundation for Louisiana. Her decades of experience include five years of working in community health centers. Dana comes to us from Louisiana Public Health Institute where she served as Compliance and Finance Manager for the PCCP program. The Xavier University graduate earned her MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. Contact Dana at ddelpit@foundationforlouisiana.org

Jamie Schmill

Vice President of Programs

Jamie Schmill is a creative systems thinker, strategist, and team builder, who has cultivated her expertise in programs and grants management, capacity building, and equity-centered evaluation through work across the higher education, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. She is fascinated by the relationship between diverse ways of learning and knowing, values-based leadership, and community-led social change and nurtures this interest as a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University. A life-long dancer and athlete, she holds undergraduate degrees in Gender and Sexuality Studies and Dance and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Tulane University. Contact Jamie at jschmill@foundationforlouisiana.org

Wankeeta Jackson

Racial Justice Program Officer

New Orleans Program Officer Wankeeta Jackson is a passionate racial justice advocate whose work has spanned both the public and private sectors. Prior to her work at FFL she served as Grant Research and Evaluation Associate at Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation. Currently she serves on the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition board as Co-chair working towards a safer, decarcerated New Orleans. Keeta earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech and later a Master’s in Human Services. Contact Keeta at kjackson@foundationforlouisiana.org

 

Mita Shrestha 

Senior Staff Accountant 

Mita Shrestha brings her more than eight years of work experience in financial recording, financial reporting, and budgeting of government and non-governmental grants from a national and international non-profit organization. She has excellent teamwork and cross-functional collaboration skills while working with various program teams. Before joining Foundation for Louisiana, she worked at YWCA Hartford Region, Connecticut as a Staff Accountant and Save the Children International, Nepal as a Finance Officer. She earned her MBA in Finance from Apex College, Pokhara University in Nepal. She likes to listen to music and cook during her leisure time. Contact Mita at mshrestha@foundationforlouisiana.org

Caryn Blair

Strategic Projects Manager 

Caryn Blair is an urbanist born and raised in New Orleans. Caryn has experience in government, social impact consulting, academia, and nonprofit operations. Her multi-sector advocacy has focused on racial justice, equitable work environments, PK-16 education, anti-displacement efforts, and food access initiatives. Caryn is skilled in grantwriting, strategic thinking, event coordination, and program development and evaluation. She earned her bachelor's degree in urban studies and a graduate certificate in disaster management and community resilience from the University of New Orleans. She received her master's in urban planning with a specialization in community development from SUNY Buffalo, where she was the recipient of the School of Architecture and Planning's Public Service Award. Caryn currently serves on the board of SPROUT NOLA, a community-driven nonprofit committed to creating a more equitable food system. Contact Caryn at cblair@foundationforlouisiana.org

Tiffany Hall

Grants Manager

Tiffany Hall is a non-profit administrator from New Orleans, LA. Tiffany previously held a position at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, as the Operations & Grants Manager, where she created systematic and shared practices that supported the organization, staff, and Board of Trustees and identified and managed fundraising opportunities. Passionate about the arts at an early age, Tiffany has a background in visual arts and dance. She received her B.A. in painting and M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. She was one of six selected to participate in the 2020 cohort of Dance in Leadership Training (DILT) offered through Dance/USA and is a proud alumni of the intern program at Jacob’s Pillow. Contact Tiffany at thall@foundationforlouisiana.org

Chantelle Pierre

Director of Development

Chantelle Pierre, a native of New Orleans, brings over 25 years of experience in education and nonprofit leadership. 

A go-to strategist for organizations experiencing leadership transitions, she has led teams to produce goal-shattering results. Chantelle is a sought-after speaker, presenting and facilitating discussions on donor engagement and inclusive leadership development strategies regionally and nationally. She raised seven-figure, multi-year gifts used to resource historically excluded, Black-led grassroots organizations serving vulnerable populations. 

In addition to pursuing her P.h.D. in Justice Studies at the University of New Orleans, she serves as an executive committee member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in New Orleans, as an advisor of Outdoor Afro, a cohort three member of Loyola’s Women’s Leadership Academy and a local board member of the St. Charles Center for Faith + Action. She is an FFL L.E.A.D. alum. Contact Chantelle at cpierre@foundationforlouisiana.org

 Patrick M. Young

Criminal Legal Reform Program Officer

Patrick M. Young previously served as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Gun ViolencePrevention (OGVP) for the City of New Orleans. Under Patrick’s leadership since April 2021, OGVP has addressed gun violence prevention from a public health approach where the city’s residents are provided and empowered with trauma-intervention services and resources from crisis interventionists, partnering agencies and institutions, community stakeholders and evidence-based policymaking. Upon his exit, the city had a 30% reduction in murders and shootings.

Prior to working in Mayor Cantrell’s administration, Patrick served as training manager of Talent and Workforce Development at New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA). In partnership with four local opportunity centers, Patrick oversaw trainers who taught a New Orleans-model of the STRIVE® work readiness training program. In less than three years, Patrick helped more than 890 formerly incarcerated persons gain full-time employment and potential career pathways─directly contributing to New Orleans’ robust labor force based on the four-week curriculum that taught them professional development and soft skills training.

Patrick is the Founder and Executive Director of SHARP MEN, a non-profit that provides professional attire to men striving to overcome workforce barriers to employment. Based on his passion and follow-through as an inspiring leader and role model, Patrick was recognized as a 2021 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Fellow for his proven leadership and dedication to making the city of New Orleans one of the best cities in the world. And more recently, he was selected to participate in the inaugural Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy in partnership with the University of Chicago and the White House. He is the only representative from Louisiana to develop strategies and policies for cities to get CVI funding distributed from the $5 billion dollars of funding assigned to CVI from the Biden Administration.

During the shelter-in-place phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick wrote "A Way Up: Economic Development Post Incarceration," a guide that offers strategies for wealth building after a conviction. He is a certified community organizer from Midwest Organizing Academy; a certified Advanced Core Trainer from STRIVE® International; a graduate of the New Orleans Business Alliance Economic Development Ambassadors Program; a Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice Fellow; a recipient of the 100 Black Men of New Orleans Innovator of the Year Award. But his most proud accomplishment and important responsibility is being father to his daughter, Paris, and to his son, Paxton. Contact Patrick at pyoung@foundationforlouisiana.org.

Angelique Phipps

Communications Officer

Angelique Phipps is an experienced public relations and brand strategist with almost two decades of communications experience, serving clients in the legal, financial, entertainment, education, and hospitality industries.

As a subject matter expert in the area of social justice communications, Phipps has worked extensively on a myriad of focus areas relative to historical and systemic issues associated with the criminal justice system, education, violence against women, and equity in the workplace.

Skilled in crisis communications and management, along with media and influencer integration, her media relations work ensures that her clients’ stories regularly appear across major media platforms and outlets. Some of her highlight placements include National Public Radio, CBS, ABC-TV, Hulu, The Daily Show, Rolling Stone, ESPN, HuffPost.com, Paper Mag, USA Today, The Undefeated, the Red Bulletin, and many more.

Additionally, Phipps’ body of work includes planning, execution, and management of major fundraisers for nonprofits and public education initiatives. Phipps earned a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Indigenous Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Contact Angelique at aphipps@foundationforlouisiana.org.

 

Antonio Dorado

Fiscal Sponsorship Program Associate 

Antonio Dorado is a thoughtful, organized, and adaptive team builder, who has expertise in program management, administrative support, and grant writing. His experience as a Marine Corps veteran provides him with an in-depth understanding into the challenges facing the veteran community, including healthcare, VA services, and challenges with houselessness. He also has history working with communities through the nonprofit, international development, and private sectors. He is moved by the relationship between humanity and nature, decentralized leadership models, and community-led social movements. He also is a lover of hiking, music, and his sobrinas and sobrinos (both human and dog). He studied Political Science and International Studies at California State University, East Bay. Contact Antonio at  adorado@foundationforlouisiana.org

Jessica Kinnison

Fiscal Sponsorship Program Director

Jessica is a nonprofit leader, educator, and writer with 15 years of federal and private grant management experience. She came to FFL from Project Lazarus where she wrote and administrated federal and private grants and provided support services to 75 individuals annually who were experiencing homelessness and living with HIV. A fellow in Tulane University’s inaugural Experiential Education and Leadership Institute, she holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Loyola University and an MFA in Writing and Pedagogy from Chatham University. A Mississippi native, she is co-founder of the New Orleans Writers Workshop and Dogfish New Orleans Reading Series. Contact Jessica at jkinnison@foundationforlouisiana.org

Michele Garval

Senior Staff Accountant

Michele Garval brings 35 years of accounting, spanning both the public and private sectors, experience to the Foundation for Louisiana. Previously Michelle served at the Vera Institute of Justice, The Women’s Action Alliance, and Victim Services. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering to procure props and costumes for several local theatre companies. Contact Michele at mgarval@foundationforlouisiana.org

Ashley Navarre 

 Director of Grantmaking

Ashley Navarre has more than 15 years of professional experience in the philanthropic sector. She is a former Grants Learning & Impact Officer and Grants Manager at BCM, where she led grantmaking operations to enhance the Foundation’s overall impact. She also successfully led the transition to an online grant application and review process and the migration to a new grants management system. Ashley served on the planning committee for the Philanthropy Southeast in 2021, has held leadership roles with Peak Grantmaking as Membership Chair for the Southeast Region, and is a former Chair of the Conference Connections Committee. Ashley, a New Orleans native, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Dillard University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of New Orleans. Contact Ashley at anavarre@foundationforlouisiana.org

Nicole Harris

Finance Director

New Orleans native Nicole Harris is a dedicated accountant who brings over ten years of accounting and non-profit financial reporting experience to Foundation for Louisiana. The Dillard University alumna’s experience spans the legal and medical fields having previously served at the Louisiana State Bar Association and Fresenius Medical Care. Contact Nicole at nharris@foundationforlouisiana.org

Sabrina Joseph

Staff Accountant

St. Maarten native Sabrina Joseph brings a wealth of experience to the Foundation for Louisiana. Having lived all over the country, her previous experience includes work in the logistics, transportation, and medical fields. The Wilberforce University alumna earned her master’s in accounting from the University of Phoenix and is active in her church Choice International Family Outreach Center where she is an ordained minister and executive administrator. Contact Sabrina at sjoseph@foundationforlouisiana.org

Jennifer Harding 

Racial Justice Program Officer

Jennifer brings an extensive background in criminal justice reform, civil rights advocacy, and leading winning policy and electoral campaigns to FFL in her role as the Baton Rouge Racial Justice Program officer. A Louisiana native, she is deeply committed to a vision of a more just, equitable, and compassionate South. Her approach is informed by her community organizing
experience and rooted in the belief that the wisdom of lived experience should always inform strategy. A creative and strategic thinker, she loves building people power and community-led initiatives. An avid traveler, foodie, and lover of hiking, she enjoys finding new adventures to share with her family. Contact Jennifer at jharding@foundationforlouisiana.org.

 

 Morgan-Me'Lyn Grant

Grants Program Associate

Morgan-Me’Lyn Grant is a revolutionary academic artist with a wealth of development experience. She has served in roles ranging from Administrative Assistant to Director of Special Events, creating opportunities for research and organizational prosperity in Black women-led businesses and spaces. Morgan-Me’Lyn studies intersectional justice rituals and earned her B.A.from Stanford University in African and African American Studies, with her research at Stanford University in New York, Oxford University, and the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence, Italy and culminating honors thesis achieving Creative Honors in Identity, Diversity, and Aesthetics. Contact Morgan-Me'Lyn at mmgrant@foundationforlouisiana.org 

 

Emilia Aguinaga

Climate Justice Program Manager

Emilia comes to FFL with experience at the intersection of operations management and education in support of climate justice, youth development programs, and the disability community. Emilia holds a BS in Psychology and French and an MSPH in Environmental Public Health and Development from Tulane University. Her multicultural background and understanding of our world’s interconnectivity drive her passion for intersectional work that furthers health, equity, and justice. Contact Emilia at eaguinaga@foundationforlouisiana.org

Cherrie Barthelemy

Senior Staff Accountant

Cherrie comes to Foundation for Louisiana with over 30 years of accounting, budgeting, and financial management experience.  She has worked in nonprofit, government, and private sectors.  Born and raised in New Orleans, Cherrie returned home in 2014 after seventeen years, during which she resided in Washington, DC and Memphis, TN.  She is excited to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to supporting and uplifting people and communities across the state of Louisiana.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Xavier University. Contact Cherrie at cbarthelemy@foundationforlouisiana.org

Jules Goins

Institutional Giving Officer

Raised in New Orleans, Jules Goins is a fundraising professional with more than seven years of experience. Jules has been a contract grant writer, Director of Development at Dancing Grounds, Grant Writer/Prospect Researcher at Dillard University, and Senior Grant Writer at Jeremiah Program. Jules has also worked as a training coordinator for Public Allies New Orleans and has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in New Orleans and an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader in Boston. Jules earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from New York University. Contact Jules at jgoins@foundationforlouisiana.org.

Marie-Isabelle Pautz

Fiscal Sponsorship Program Manager

Marie-Isabelle has been designing and developing projects that model the beloved community for over 20 years. Since 2004, Marie-Isabelle has provided Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices programming through Turning Point Partners, Partners in Restorative Initiatives, Juvenile Accountability Conferencing, International Institute of Restorative Practices, Center for Restorative Approaches, Lycée Français, Tulane University, and her own practice, Restorative and Resilient. Marie-Isabelle’s work on ending homelessness has included Trauma Informed program design and management at Bethany House, Travelers Aid Society of GNO, and UNITY.  Since founding EarthShare Gardens, she has remained involved in Food Justice projects including Gathering Tree Growers Collective, New Leaf Garden, and Sprout. Her community organizing work includes campaigns for equal access to housing and transit with People’s Hurricane Relief.  Marie-Isabelle is a second generation culture bearer. Her cultural arts involvement includes writing and photography, as well as music through her band, T Marie and Bayou Juju. Marie-Isabelle grew up in Lafayette, LA  She lives in New Orleans and hosts an urban homestead and accessible housing community at her home. Contact Marie-Isabelle at mipautz@foundationforlouisiana.org.