OUR PEOPLE


BOARD

hanelin
Kirsty Burow is a content strategist who has produced engaging, cross-platform products for book publishers, global media organizations, cultural institutions, and nonprofits—storytelling is her jam. She currently works as a program consultant for The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program, working to advance gender equality throughout Asia and the Pacific. Prior to this she held positions at Women’s Funding Network and Global Fund for Women, along with having managed digital publishing and global communications projects for Penguin Random House. She holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries from Queensland University of Technology, a Master of Arts from the University of Queensland, and is completing a Master of International Relations at Harvard University. Kirsty is a passionate feminist and long-time advocate for social justice and gender equality. She joined the Board in 2017
Carlo DaVia
Carlo DaVia is currently a Lecturer in Philosophy at Fordham University. His research focuses on Aristotle’s ethics and its relevance for addressing modern ethical and political problems. Carlo graduated in 2006 from UCLA with a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Philosophy. He has been on the Board since 2013.
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    • Cara Hanelin

Board Member

Cara Hanelin is the Assistant Director of Global Chapters and Alumni Programs for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to the GSB, Cara worked in Alumni Relations for the Stanford Alumni Association and in Athletics Administration for the Stanford Athletics Department. She has been at Stanford for over 11 years. Cara has a B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University where she played on the Women’s Soccer Team. She later obtained an MBA from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) with an emphasis in Marketing. Outside of her involvement with Spark, Cara was most recently a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Cara has been a member of the Investment Committee since 2014 and was a participant in the 2015 Champions Program. She Co-Chaired the 2016 Champions Program and was elected to the Board in 2016. Cara loves travel, soccer, fitness, baking, and urban hiking around San Francisco.
    • Crystal Huber

Investment Committee Chair and Board Member

Crystal Huber is a Quality Improvement Coordinator at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate, where she manages improvement efforts across oncology, transfusion, and readmissions through data science and process optimization. Previously, she was a physical therapist with a focus on critical care patients. Crystal studied Health Science at the University of Florida and continued her education at Emory University, where she earned her MBA and Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She’s passionate about gender equality, collects kitchen magnets from travels, practices yoga, and tires out her energetic dog with weekly SF Bay Area hikes. She joined the Board in 2017.
hyett
Kendra Hyett is the San Francisco Network City Manager for It’s Time Network supporting the development and operation of a local network and advisory council of leaders working across issue silos to improve the lives of women and girls. She serves as Advisory Board Member for First Book SF; grant writer for Operation Rainbow; and a dedicated volunteer to About-Face and Girls, Inc. She’s also a member of Present Purpose Network and Alliance for Girls. Kendra has served as Chair of Spark’s Grantee Vetting Committee since 2015. She has a BA in English Writing with a minor in Gender and Women Studies from North Central College. She has been on the Board since 2016.
Sheena Jain works at Stripe, a technology company focused on building infrastructure to allow businesses around the globe to more easily access the capabilities of financial systems. Prior to Stripe, Sheena was a lawyer at a large US law firm. In addition to her service on the Board of Spark, she serves on the Board of Women’s eNews, an online media service focused on covering the news through the lens of women. Sheena is passionate about working to empower girls and women worldwide and addressing the socioeconomic barriers that limit access to higher education in the United States. Sheena spent seven years in Saudi Arabia and speaks fluent Hindi. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her law degree from Villanova University, and lives in San Francisco. She was elected to the Board in 2012.
Alexis Meredith is a project manager at Solution Set, an emerging provider of integrated digital marketing solutions. Alexis focuses in building leading-edge websites and applications that support business objectives and a positive user experience. Prior to Solution Set, Alexis worked at Brilliant Earth, a leading online provider of conflict free diamonds and eco-friendly gold. Alexis graduated from Stanford in 2010 with a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Organizational Theory. She loves opera and blogging. She has been on the board since 2012.
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Krista Perez started her career at Morgan Stanley, and has held a variety of roles throughout Business Analytics, Investment Products, Private Banking, and Cross-Divisional Strategy. She is currently a Vice President, working in International Wealth Management and serving as Head of Strategy and Business Analytics. Krista was an Economics major at Fordham University, and has spent time studying agricultural and economic development in Guatemala, emerging markets at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and Spanish at the Academia Latinoamericana de Español in Peru. Krista has co-chaired SparkNYC’s Investment Committee since 2012, and has been a Board Member since 2013.
Dawn Powell is an Investor Relations Officer at Capital Group Private Markets. As a member of the firm’s ESG Team, she supports the management of Environmental, Social, and Governance factors across a portfolio of emerging markets private equity investments. Prior to Capital Group, Dawn spent five years in Brazil, where she worked as a senior investor relations analyst at a Brazilian private equity firm and researched Chinese investments in Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship. Dawn graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in International Relations. She joined the Board in 2017.
Marina Rayman is currently a business analyst with Credit Suisse. Prior to her work in banking, she was a senior analyst in a principled investment management firm in Palo Alto. Having spent her early years in Moscow, Russia, Marina immigrated to the U.S. with her mom when she was 13 years of age and settled in the SF Bay Area. Marina was simultaneously learning the American way and the English language. After receiving her BA and MA in Financial Economics from University of San Francisco, she started her career working in a boutique fixed income consulting firm. She’s extremely excited about expending Spark’s philanthropic reach in improving the lives of women around the world. She loves winter sports, the SF Bay Area, and spy novels.
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Shreenath Regunathan is an Operations Lead at Google, focused on improving support operations through strategy, metrics design, and process improvement. He has been volunteering with Google.org including as the non-profit manager for AgeUK. He was previously the chapter chair for SF+Acumen, focusing on education, fundraising, and networking opportunities for impact-minded professionals in the Bay Area. Shreenath studied mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He loves creating and knocking through recommendation lists for places from locals (especially vegetarian food and cocktail bars) and playing racquet sports like tennis racquetball and squash. Shreenath has been on the Board since 2016.
Amrita Sankar serves the ImpactAssets Investment Team as a Senior Associate, supporting investment management, product development and field building. Amrita previously worked at New Heights Research (now “Sterling Associates”), a boutique business consulting firm based in Cleveland, OH that specializes in acquisition research. Amrita graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012 as a Government major and Public Policy minor. During college, Amrita held a range of internships, including with the District Attorney’s Office of Kings County in Brooklyn, NY and with the nonprofits FSW Service Agency and Learning Point Associates. Amrita is a lifelong Girl Scout and 2008 Coca-Cola National Scholar. She likes to sing and drink tea.
Sarah is currently the Director of Strategy at UrbanSitter. With experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors, Sarah is passionate about scaling mission-driven organizations. She has held responsibilities in Analytics, Strategy, Operations, Marketing, Financial Planning & Analysis, User Research, and HR. Prior to joining UrbanSitter, Sarah managed Recruiting and Admissions for City Year Los Angeles. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA from Yale.
 

STAFF

Since coming on board as our inaugural Program Director in 2013, Amanda has doubled the size of our network, worked with our global grantees to improve the lives of over 30,000 women and girls, and executed over 60 programs per year to educate our Spark community. Prior to Spark, Amanda worked in the advertising industry, bringing years of strategic communication, marketing expertise and client management to her role at Spark. Amanda has worked on the ground with FairServices Peru in Cuzco, Peru and has led a Spark Delegation to visit women-led grassroots organizations in Lima, Peru. Amanda has honed her entrepreneurial and social impact acumen by actively participating in exclusive leadership programs including: The Coaching Fellowship, WOMEN Unlimited, Inc., Hive Global Leaders Summit, Nexus Youth Summit, and Reboot. Amanda has a B.A. in Communication with Honors from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Marina Bulavsky is an Atlas Corps Fellow serving at Spark as the Communications and Marketing Director. She has four years of development experience and ten years of international volunteer experience. She graduated with a B.A. in Management from SPbSU and spent a semester at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Marina has contributed to several social development organizations around the world. In Morocco, Brazil and India, arina developed marketing and communications strategies to increase awareness of pressing local environmental issues. She was a Fellow of the UN Foundation and Fair Observer “Voices of the World” Program in Morocco. Before that, she worked as a Head of PR at the ISEDC under the auspices of UNESCO in Moscow, where she was in charge of preparing climate and energy conferences and monitoring international clean energy policies for government institutions. She promoted sustainable practices during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi and Rio. Marina is passionate about the sustainability agenda, climate change and environment, and gender equality.

ADVISORS


  • Nealan Afsari, Co-Founder of Spark and General Counsel at Quantros
  • Jamie Allison Hope, Senior Program Director, S.H. Cowell Foundation
  • Chad Bolick, Director of Impact and Innovation, Tides
  • Elizabeth Colton, Founding President, International Museum of Women
  • Shannon Farley, Executive Director of Fast Forward and Former Executive Director of Spark
  • Anne Firth Murray, Founder of the Global Fund for Women
  • Laurel Fletcher, Professor of International Human Rights Law, U.C. Berkeley School of Law
  • Fiona Hsu, Co-Founder of Spark and an expert in Community Development Finance at Silicon Valley Bank
  • Maya Garcia Lahham, Co-Founder of Spark and Regional Director of Gulf Partnerships for CARE International
  • Kirsten Green, Partner and Founder of Forerunner Ventures
  • Rohini Gupta, Co-Founder of Spark and Former Co-Chair of Spark’s Investment Committee
  • Pamela Hawley, Founder and CEO, Universal Giving
  • Karen Hennessy, Co-Founder of Spark and Director at Salesforce
  • Rita Henley-Jensen, Editor-in-Chief, Women’s eNews
  • Kathleen Kelly Janus, Co-Founder of Spark and Clinical Lecturer at Stanford Law School
  • Dana King, KPIX News Anchor
  • Angela Mason, Special Advocate for Women and Children, World Vision
  • Carole Migden, California State Senator
  • Mona Motwani, Co-Founder of Spark, Human Rights Attorney and Social Rights Entrepreneur
  • Sara Pasquinelli, Attorney at Fitzgerald, Abbott & Beardsley, LLP
  • Kavita Ramdas, Representative in New Delhi, Ford Foundation
  • Fairuz Taqi-Eddin, Sr. External Relations Officer, UNHCR

BOARD MEMBER EMERITUS ADVISORY BOARD


  • Shruti Challa, CEO/Founder, Stealth
  • Rebecca Lipon Weekly, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Synopsys
  • Mariya Pamnani, Manager, Marketing Analytics, Consumer Insight & Loyalty at Charles Schwab
  • Jenn Wilcox Thomas, Portfolio Manager at Hall Capital Partners
  • Ken Wun, Director of Real Estate Investments/Asset Manager at TLP
  • Gayle Karen Young, culture-builder and catalyst for human and organizational development, Advisory Board Member at The Ada Initiative