Click a team member to navigate to their bio:

Nwamaka Agbo
Affiliate Consultant

Jamie Carter
Operations & Administrative Coordinator

Michael Gast
Affiliate Consultant

Rachel Humphrey
Senior Program Director

Dana Kawaoka-Chen
Executive Director

Mario Lugay
Senior Innovation Director

Kimi Mojica
Consulting Director

Maria Nakae
Senior Engagement Director

Jennifer Near
Program Director – Maestra

Nwamaka brings a solutions-oriented approach and deep commitment to restorative economics framework to her work with her clients. With a background in organizing, electoral campaigns, policy and advocacy on racial, social and environmental justice issues, Nwamaka supports philanthropic institutions in aligning their investments, grantmaking and operations with Just Transition principles.

In addition to her consulting work with Justice Funders and as an Restorative Economics consultant, Nwamaka is an Associate with the Movement Strategy Center after having completed a Senior Fellowship with the organization, and a Fellow at Center for Economic Democracy. She is also a 2017 Fellow for the RSF Integrated Capital Fellowship Program. Nwamaka serves as an Advisor to Chordata Capital and is a Faculty member with EcoDistricts. At EcoDistricts, she previously served as the Director of Programs for Target Cities—a program to support 11 neighborhood-scale sustainable urban regeneration projects across North American committed to equitable economic development.

Nwamaka has provided consulting services to projects like Restore Oakland, Richmond Community Development Enterprise, Transform Finance, and foundations including the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the Hyams Foundation.

She currently serves as a Board Member to Thousand Currents, Resource Generation and the Schumacher Center for New Economics. She graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and African American Studies and holds a Master’s of Public Administration specializing in Financial Management from San Francisco State University. Nwamaka lives in Oakland with her husband, where she can be found geeking out on the latest sci-fi, Afrofuturism novels or cheering for the Golden State Warriors. She likes her bourbon neat and her sake chilled.

As Operations & Administrative Coordinator, Jamie supports the dynamic team of organizational and departmental directors in carrying out the mission of reimagining philanthropy’s role in advancing a thriving and just world. Jamie specializes in anthropological research, data analysis, and logistics, and is excited to bring her expertise to the field of philanthropy for the first time.

Jamie comes to Justice Funders with 11 years of experience supporting the educational and personal development of Black and Brown youth residing in underserved communities. While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English degree at Ursuline College, Jamie served as a mentor for the institution’s civic engagement initiative/ pilot program. By 2014, she became the Program Coordinator whose efforts in curriculum and events yielded 100% high school graduation rate among its participants in 2016.

That same year, she launched a campaign entitled “Dance for Flint” that partnered with the YWCA of Warren, Ohio, and local professional artists to raise resources for the Flint, Michigan water crisis. She is currently working on turning this campaign into a movement that not only fosters diverse social justice efforts, but brings the arts to low access communities.

When all of the professional hats come off, Jamie can be found in various dance spaces across the Bay Area—immersing herself in Afro Urban, Modern, Hip Hop and Ballet dance festivities.

Michael Gast is a social justice donor organizer and fundraiser. Michael got his start with Resource Generation (RG) in 2002 when he attended his first Making Money Make Change Retreat. Since then, he has organized thousands of young people with wealth to use their resources and privilege in support of equity and justice, moving tens of millions of dollars towards social change causes nationally and internationally. He spent 6.5 years as a staff person with RG, first as Family Philanthropy Coordinator, organizing young people involved in their families’ funds, and then as Co-Director and Associate Director. Since leaving RG in 2014, Michael has been Interim Development Director at generative somatics (gs) and with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) as well as a development consultant with both Thousand Currents and Chinese Progressive Association. In these positions, he has led highly successful individual donor campaigns, helped build major donor programs from the ground up, and supported and trained leaders in making successful individual fundraising asks. Currently, Michael is working with Justice Funders to help East Bay Community Foundation develop a new model for progressive donor organizing inside a community foundation. Michael is a 5th generation Bay Area resident, and lives in Oakland with his wife and three year old son.

As Senior Program Director, Rachel leads Justice Funders’ leadership development and consulting services, guiding and supporting philanthropic institutions in re-imagining how their organizations can operate as a justice funders. Prior to joining Justice Funders in 2015, Rachel was an independent coach and consultant supporting social justice and human rights nonprofits and foundations in change management, strategy development, and capacity building. She previously served as a Senior Consultant for TCC Group and Director of Philanthropic Partnerships at the Global Fund for Women. Rachel is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation and has trained extensively in participatory facilitation methods with Institute of Cultural Affairs, Social Transformation Project and the Center for Right Relationships. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco and an A.B. in Anthropology and Asian Studies from Bowdoin College. Before her decade in coaching and consulting, Rachel spent a decade mobilizing resources for immigrant families in San Francisco; grassroots organizations in India, Nepal and Tibet; and for youth to connect to nature through experiential environmental education.

Since 2015, Rachel has served as Chair of the Board of International Accountability Project, a global human rights advocacy organization that seeks to create development policies and practices that respects people’s homes, environment and human rights. She also serves on the Steering Committee of Indie Philanthropy Initiative, a creative disruption to the status quo of funding, lifting up decentralized, daring funding alternatives. Rachel is a founding board member of Sacred Mountain Sangha, a Buddhist organization with the guiding ethos of the bodhisattva ideal and an integrated spiritual life in service of the welfare of all. In her spare time she can be found at yet another yoga training or on a mountain trail.

As the Executive Director for Justice Funders, Dana Kawaoka-Chen partners and guides philanthropy in reimagining practices that advance a thriving and just world.  She is a co-author of “The Choir Book: A Framework for Social Justice Philanthropy,” and frequently serves as a trainer and facilitator for values-aligned practice in philanthropy.  Dana’s leadership has been recognized by her peers–in 2014, she was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award by Oakes College of the University of California at Santa Cruz, and in 2015, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy recognized Dana as one of twenty-five national “Leaders in Action.”

Dana has previously served in executive functions for two other non-profit organizations.  She has a Masters of Science degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, Bachelor of Arts degrees in American Studies and Visual Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Non-Profit Management Certification from San Jose State University.

Dana attempts to practice patience every day as a parent of two very opinionated kids and a stubborn dog.  She occasionally finds time for her yoga practice, and has been known to be rendered speechless by good chocolate.  Born and raised in the Bay Area, Dana currently lives in San Jose with her family.

As Justice Funders’ Senior Innovation Director, Mario partners with philanthropy and field practitioners to design, pilot and scale both innovation and coordinated action that advances social movements. Mario comes to the organization via Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (, where he served as a 2016-2017 Civic Innovation Fellow. He currently holds the position of Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Guidestar, and is the founder of the technology platform, Giving Side.

In 2010, Mario co-founded the New American Leaders Project, the country’s first and only organization dedicated to training first- and second- generation immigrants to run for elected office. He has held leadership positions at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, as well as the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, providing leadership around new and unprecedented philanthropic investments in both integrated voter engagement strategies and for a fair and accurate 2010 census count. He built significant community organzing experience as the National Coordinator of Racial Justice 911 and at CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities in the Northwest Bronx.

Mario is a long-time philanthropic and nonprofit consultant, speaker and trainer. He currently is an advisor to the High Net Worth POC Donor Collaborative, Digital Impact and New Media Mentors, and previously served as board member of Resource Generation, American Prospect, and as board chair of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. He is a graduate of Columbia University.

As Consulting Director, Kimi guides and supports philanthropic institutions in aligning practices with social justice values. As an experienced trainer, facilitator and mediator who has been helping individuals and organizations initiate positive change, Kimi has worked in the fields of higher education and philanthropy for over 15 years with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion; communication; and leadership and team development.

Prior to joining Justice Funders, Kimi served as the Director of Programs at the International House at UC Berkeley. Prior to that, she was the National Membership Services Manager at Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Kimi is a curriculum developer and facilitator for Awaken, and an affiliate trainer and mediator for SEEDS Community Mediation Center in Berkeley, CA. Kimi holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Dispute Resolution from the University of Oregon School of Law.

As a dedicated practitioner of Vipassana meditation since 2003, her pedagogy is firmly grounded in Buddhist principles of compassion, mindfulness and liberation. Kimi’s work in the field of peace studies extends to incorporating restorative justice/circle practices with dharma practitioners at the East Bay Meditation Center, in addition to teaching self-defense as a radical embodiment practice at Hand to Hand Kajukenbo and Self Defense Center, both in Oakland, CA. Kimi has been invited to speak, train and facilitate nationally at Wisdom 2.0, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity and the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, among others.

As Senior Engagement Director, Maria leads resource development, communications that promote justice funder values & philanthropic transformation, and programming for the Bay Area Justice Funders Network — Justice Funders’ regional network for learning and action. She brings 18 years of experience in expansive roles as movement builder, organizer, trainer, fundraiser, communicator, capacity builder, community educator, researcher and direct service provider.

Prior to Justice Funders, Maria served as Development Director for Forward Together where she led a team that tripled the organization’s institutional and individual fundraising revenue, significantly grew its grassroots donor base, established the organization’s first major donor program, institutionalized the participation of the Board of Directors in individual fundraising efforts, and shifted the culture and practice of fundraising from isolation to integration into the overall organization and its programs.

Maria is an active member of Eastlake United for Justice and the Hella Heart Oakland Giving Circle. She serves on the Advisory Board of BoomShake Music, a multicultural community program that uses music and drumming for creative expression, cultural survival and social change by supporting grassroots movements and building the leadership of people of color to be cultural creators for our liberation. In addition to supporting their organizational development, fundraising and communications, she is a member of the BoomShake drum corps for women, trans & gender non-conforming people of color.

Maria is a 2006 New Voices Fellow and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in maternal and child health. She loves reading food blogs but can’t find time to cook most of the recipes she wants to try. Instead, in her free time you’ll find her drumming at protests and hanging out at the playground with her two spunky girls.

As Program Director for Maestra – Justice Funders’ leadership development program for philanthropic executives – Jennifer’s role is to facilitate philanthropic organizations in adopting and accelerating their practice of the Just Transition. Jennifer joins the team with a diverse background in philanthropy and grant-making, donor and community organizing, strategic planning and facilitation, program and event management, and resource development. Her areas of expertise include developing strategies to shift power in the field of philanthropy; working with nonprofit partners to increase their organizational capacity; and working in the Just Transition framework to shift from the extractive, fossil-fuel-based economy to the local, living, and cooperative regenerative economy.

Jennifer previously served as the Program Director for The Libra Foundation, where she managed the Foundation’s social justice grantmaking and worked to align the organization’s investment strategy with its human rights mission and the Just Transition Framework. She also recently served as the Coordinator for the Building Equity and Alignment Initiative, where she supported the grassroots-led leadership body in their work to shift the culture and practice in philanthropy and drive more resources to frontline groups in the environmental justice movement. As a philanthropic and organizational consultant, she has worked with a range of social justice nonprofits, networks and foundations, including Transform Finance, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, and the Old Money New System network.

Jennifer is currently the Coordinator of the Shake the Foundations project, which is an emergent collaborative project of philanthropic and economic justice organizations working to effectively invest in a Just Transition and build regenerative economies in ways that increase economic and political power for frontline workers and communities. Jennifer serves on the Board of the Endowment for Health in New Hampshire, a statewide, private foundation dedicated to advancing racial equity and improving the health of vulnerable and underserved residents, and she hosts workshops on racial equity and collective liberation where she lives in southeast NH.

Jennifer holds a B.A. in International Development from Tulane University and a M.A. in A Human Rights-Based Approach to Development from the University of Sydney. She enjoys growing vegetables in her backyard and improving her salsa dancing. On the weekends, you will likely find her hiking in the White Mountains with her dog or taking a dip in one of the many local swimming holes.