People on the Move at Seattle Foundation

 April 23, 2024 

Seattle Foundation envisions a joyful region of shared prosperity, belonging, and justice. Our recently approved strategic plan provides a roadmap for the next three years, laying the groundwork for how we will deepen our community impact, foster learning and engagement, and support our team to make this vision a reality. New team members have and will join us as we fill critical roles to help us execute on the work ahead. We are also celebrating team members who will go on to start new adventures outside of the foundation. Overall, each person holds an important role in key moments in time along our journey. It is why we are excited to share the following promotions, new hires, transitions, and open positions on our team. 

Congratulations to Katie, Ana, Marissa, and Leslie on their promotions! 

  • Katie Draude joined Seattle Foundation in 2020 as an Operations Manager. She brings a depth and breadth of understanding of our impact work to her new role as Director of Foundation Operations. She has a unique ability to work cross-functionally with efficiency and creativity. In this new position, she will play a leadership role in cross-team operations, implementation of the Foundation’s IT modernization effort, and collaborative knowledge sharing to better serve our wide range of stakeholders, clients, and partners. Katie assumed this new role on March 11. 
  • Ana Henderson joined Seattle Foundation in June 2022 as a Development Associate and has been a key player on the Philanthropic Services team. Ana will continue to flex and develop her organizational and project management skills in a new role as Project Manager, Funds & Advising. In this role, Ana will work with operations leaders, within the Philanthropic Services team and across the Foundation, to drive key projects and initiatives and support the organization’s IT Modernization effort. Ana started in this position on April 11.
  • Marissa Jackson, joined Seattle Foundation in 2022 as our Learning Manager, will take on an expanded leadership role as Director of Learning. Marissa will guide Seattle Foundation’s evolution to become a learning organization. In this new leadership capacity, she will lead the learning work at the Foundation – guiding how we listen to and share learnings from grantee partners, facilitate learning with our team and Board, and engage our broader community of support. Marissa will take on this new role beginning May 11. 
  • Leslie Wallace joined Seattle Foundation in September 2022 as a Data & Operations Specialist, has been promoted to Data & Strategies Manager. In this new critical role, Leslie will help Seattle Foundation take an important step forward in our development and fundraising work. She will oversee key processes across the Philanthropic Services team to ensure we are serving our investors through streamlined and efficient processes. Leslie started in this new role on April 11.

Welcoming three new leaders to Seattle Foundation – Aileen, Cat, and Ken  

  • Aileen Balahadia began a new role as Director of Grantmaking and Community Engagement on April 1. After seven years as the steadfast leader of Neighbor to Neighbor, Seattle Foundation is excited to support Aileen in expanding her leadership to also oversee our grantmaking through the Fund for Inclusive Recovery and our Nonprofit Effectiveness investments in BIPOC capacity building intermediaries and grantee organizations. These are critical pieces of our continuum of support for systems change and naturally align with areas of Aileen’s innate talents and leadership over the past 25 years in our community.  
  • Cat Cuevas began as Managing Director of People & Culture on March 18. In this role, Cat serves as the senior-most leader overseeing organizational culture, talent management strategies, performance management, and staff relations and well-being. She is a key thought partner to the senior leadership team and drives efforts to shape a people management and culture-building strategy that is responsible for stewarding the overall employee experience – one that recruits, develops, retains, and engages staff in meaningful and joyful ways. Prior to Seattle Foundation, Cat worked for Unify Consulting and held various leadership positions across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.  
  • Ken Takahashi will begin as the inaugural Director of Social Impact Investing on May 1, playing a pivotal role in shaping and scaling our impact investing initiatives. Ken will drive Seattle Foundation’s work to maintain, expand, and execute a robust impact investing strategy, leveraging our existing partnerships, assets, networks, and reputation. In this new role, Ken will collaborate with the leadership team to further develop a comprehensive impact investing strategy that focuses on addressing racialized inequities through community-driven development and collective community wealth creation. Prior to Seattle Foundation, Ken worked for JPMorgan Chase NW Corporate Responsibility and the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development.  

Celebrating Staff moving on to new adventures 

Cedric Davis joined Seattle Foundation in 2018 and has had a powerful impact on our community throughout his tenure. During his time at Seattle Foundation, Cedric built and nurtured lasting fundholder relationships; served as a critical member of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Council; co-launched the Black Staff Caucus and advocated for Black-women in leadership at Seattle Foundation; co-launched and co-stewarded The Black-Led Organizations Cohort (BLOC); and co-launched the Philanthropic Services Office Hours initiative. In 2023, Cedric’s family made the decision to relocate to the Greater Houston area. We are appreciative of the joy, thoughtfulness and leadership Cedric has brought and wish him all the best as he winds down his time with Seattle Foundation on May 31.    

Sophia Lopez joined Seattle Foundation in 2022 and has been passionate about centering user experience throughout her tenure. She cares deeply about improving user accessibility for grantee partners and worked to conduct an accessibility audit providing grantee partners a less stressful and more exciting experience with our system. Sophia will continue to support our IT Modernization effort through September on a part-time basis. She joined the Roots and Wings Foundation on April 15th and is looking forward to continuing her work in trust-based philanthropy in this new role.   

Thanking Sally Gillis and filling key roles on the Impact Team 

Sally Gillis has been with Seattle Foundation since 2016 and stepped into the role of Interim Chief Impact Officer (CIO) in February 2024. Serving in this new role is a culmination of Sally’s deep care for the community, our grantee partners, and systems change work. Her leadership has been critical to launching Seattle Foundation’s commitment to climate justice, pandemic response and recovery, and the stewardship of strategic partnerships with government and institutional funders. After eight incredible years, Sally will transition out of the organization in September 2024.  We are grateful for her leadership and commitment to a smooth transition, as we search for a permanent CIO.  

Sally is partnering closely with our President & CEO to reimagine the structure of our impact team in alignment with our new strategic direction. This team, led by the CIO, will include the Director of Grantmaking and Community Engagement, the Director of Policy and Civic Action, and two program officer roles alongside our operations and evaluation team members to help deepen how we show up for the community and advance policy change.   

  • Chief Impact Officer (CIO): Reporting to the President & CEO, the CIO will be Seattle Foundation’s principal strategist and steward for community-centered grantmaking and public policy advocacy. As a member of the senior leadership team, the CIO will guide the organization in effectively moving resources to and advancing systems change with Black, Indigenous and people of color communities who are leading the critical work to advance racial equity, justice, belonging, and shared prosperity in the region. Learn more.  
  • Director of Policy & Civic Action: Reporting to the Chief Impact Officer, the Director of Policy & Civic Action will drive Seattle Foundation’s policy-focused investments in support of systemic change and oversee the organization’s approach to leveraging our voice and resources in service of civic action and relationships with government partners. As a people leader and director, this leadership position includes strategic leadership, grants management, program planning and development, lobbying oversight, talent management, and supports budgeting, financial reporting, and fundraising. Learn more.  

Seattle Foundation is recruiting for several positions in addition to the roles above, that will help strengthen our services and fundholder experiences. If you are interested in an open position or recommending a candidate, you can find a list of job openings on our Careers page. More information about these roles, as well as other recruitment efforts, will be available in the coming weeks. If you would like more information, please reach out to Cat Cuevas, Managing Director of People & Culture, at [email protected]