Rini Chakraborty 
Senior Program Officer, Four Freedoms Fund
Rini was previously the Western Regional Director for Amnesty International USA. Prior to joining Amnesty International, Rini was the Executive Director of Sweatshop Watch, a US-based organization at the forefront of eliminating sweatshops in the global apparel industry. Previously, she served as the principal legislative advocate and director of the California Immigrant Welfare Collaborative (a former project of the National Immigration Law Center); senior policy analyst with the ACLU of Southern California; policy associate with the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights; and ballot initiatives coordinator with the ACLU of Northern California. An expert in policy advocacy, grassroots campaigning, media, and coalition building, Rini has spearheaded a number of highly visible, groundbreaking campaigns in California, from restoring health and welfare benefits for immigrants and gaining in-state tuition rates for students regardless of their immigration status (AB 540); to passing resolutions condemning the USA PATRIOT Act and vigorously enforcing “sweat-free” procurement laws. Throughout her career, she has worked on the panoply of immigration enforcement tactics – from worksite enforcement policies and immigrant verification screens in public benefits, to post-9.11 profiling and local law enforcement collaboration with ICE. She currently serves on the board of directors for Health Access, International Labor Rights Forum, and SweatFree Communities.

Nanci Champlin
Operations Coordinator, Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation
Nanci Champlin joined the FCCP team in September 2009. Throughout the last 15 years Nanci has provided outreach, administrative, development, communications and program support to some of Oregon’s most effective nonprofits. In her seven years at the Fund for the Public Interest/OSPIRG, Nanci participated in the successful Campaign Finance Reform and Bottle Bill ballot initiatives. She helped broaden the cultural dialogue about environmental issues through street-level arts programming at Orlo, and developed a sustainability plan for a local green design and architecture firm. In March 2009, Nanci celebrated passage of new Wilderness protections for some of Oregon’s iconic wild places – the culmination of her nearly eight years at Oregon Wild.

Henry Der
Senior Program Officer, Four Freedoms Fund
Henry Der is the son of immigrant parents, and has been associated with Four Freedoms Fund since 2006. For more than 22 years, he was the executive director of the San Francisco-based, membership-supported Chinese for Affirmative Action, working to promote the civil rights of Asian American and other racial minority groups in employment, education, voting and access to public services. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, Henry has also served as Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education, with oversight responsibilities for programs that address the needs of adult immigrant, at-risk and special needs students. He was appointed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to be the State Administrator to bring Emery Unified School District out of fiscal bankruptcy. Active in community and education affairs, Henry has led coalition efforts to promote equal educational opportunities and access for immigrant students at the City College of San Francisco, including the recently-completed construction of the Chinatown/North Beach campus facility serving more than 6,500 adult immigrant students, as well as raising private donations to support education programs at this campus facility. He also currently serves on the University of California President’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion, as well as the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Board of Directors.

Beatrice Hinton
Program Assistant, Four Freedoms Fund/SCIF/SIF

Prior to joining Public Interest Projects, Beatrice worked at Citizen Schools, serving as a second-shift middle school teacher in East Harlem. She has worked as a Community Development intern with Reto Juvenil Internacional, a Costa Rican based NGO that carries out community based volunteer projects across Central and South America. Beatrice has also held internships with Teach For America and the United States Senate. In 2008 she joined the Obama Administration’s first class of interns as part of the The White House Internship Program. In this capacity, Beatrice worked on broadening the women’s advocacy agenda through the Office of Public Engagement and the White House Council on Women and Girls.  Beatrice is a recent graduate of The University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where she received her B.A. in Urban Education Policy.

Angela Kahres
Program Associate, SIF & The Sunrise Initiative
Angela comes to Public Interest Projects by way of the Picower Foundation, where she served as a grants assistant. She graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors in English from Wagner College, where her activities included founding a club focused on encouraging interfaith dialogue on campus and collaboratively developing a course involving travel to Israel for students to gain hands-on understanding about the conflicts in the area. She has also traveled to Bangladesh, where she worked with classmates to collect water samples from rural villages affected by arsenic contamination of drinking wells.

Channapha Khamvongsa
Founder and Director, Legacies of War
Prior to joining Public Interest Projects, Channapha worked in the Peace and Social Justice Unit of the Ford Foundation, the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University, the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholars Program and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging in Seattle. In 2004 she founded Legacies of War, a special initiative of Public Interest Projects. She received her master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Channapha was six years old when her family fled Laos to the U.S. in 1980.

Edisson Marmolejo 

Finance Manager
Edisson has more than 22 years of experience handling accounting and finance matters for the not for profit sector. During the last three yeas prior to joining PIP, Edisson served as controller for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. For more than 14 years Edisson was Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ senior accountant, monitoring an Endowment Fund and a Pension Fund worth $80 million and $50 million respectively. Edisson earned a bachelor of business administration from Baruch College and a master of science in accounting from New Jersey City University.

Lisa Mendes 
Staff Accountant
Lisa has over six years of experience in nonprofit accounting and finance. Prior to joining Public Interest Projects in 2009, she worked for the Women’s Prison Association for five and a half years as an Accounting Specialist and Staff Accountant. Lisa graduated from Medgar Evers College and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

Ly Nguyen
Program Associate, Communities for Public Education Reform
Prior to joining Public Interest Projects in 2008, Ly completed a one-year internship with the William Penn Foundation’s Children, Youth, and Families program area. Ly is a member of the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, a development program of the Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU Wagner that brings together emerging leaders working in public service positions throughout New York City. Ly graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in sociology and Asian American studies.

Raven Pease
Communications Assistant/Receptionist                          

Raven made her debut in the nonprofit world with Public Interest Projects. Before that, she was an executive assistant in the aerospace and finance sectors, where she coordinated support for multiple directors. Her professional background includes experience in planning and executing corporate events and conferences. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.


Lori Rosenblatt
Director of Operations and Human Resources
Prior to joining Public Interest Projects in January 2008, Lori worked as a licensed fertility nurse for 20 years in New York, where she also served as executive assistant, managed the medical office staff, and provided patient assistance and training. Lori, a native New Yorker, graduated from Queens College and Mandel Medical School. She currently volunteers with children with cancer at an Uptown NYC hospital.

Jill Savitt
Director, Genocide Prevention Project
Jill advises NGOs on advocacy and communications initiatives and directs the Genocide Prevention Project, which seeks to build political will to address mass atrocity crimes. In 2007, when Jill joined Public Interest Projects, she founded and directed Dream for Darfur, a public advocacy initiative to urge the Chinese government to take specific actions regarding the Darfur crisis in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Games. The New York Times Magazine profiled Jill and the initiative in March 2008. From 2001 to 2007, Jill was the Director of Public Programs at Human Rights First, where she designed and supervised efforts to address the crisis in Darfur, global refugee and asylum policies, and US interrogation policy. Jill has taught a course on human rights advocacy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She began her career as a reporter for WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington, DC. She graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University.

Tashie Sloley
Program Assistant, Four Freedoms Fund
Tashie has over two years experience working in the non-profit sector in an administrative capacity, including her work as an Administrative Assistant with NYC Parks & Recreation, Urban Park Rangers where she assisted with organizing and facilitating events and activities for the public. She is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from St. John’s University.

Irene B. Schwoeffermann
Program Director, FCCP
Irene comes to the FCCP team from the Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF), a non-profit organization seeking to bring together community partners to address issues of livability, equity and sustainability in the Portland-Vancouver Region. Prior to working at CLF she spent nearly a decade in Washington, DC where she graduated from Howard University and began her career at the national level. Her professional experience includes serving as the Director of the Student of Color Campus Diversity Project for the U.S. Student Association, Program Associate for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and Coalitions Director for the Congressional Black Caucus under Chairwomen Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-MI) and Barbara Lee (D-CA). Irene is also active in a number of local community organizations and networks, including the Portland African American Leadership Forum, the Portland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Oregon Environmental Council’s Emerging Leaders Board. Irene will serve as lead coordinator of FCCP’s signature programs, including the National Convenings and First Monday Calls. 

Soumary Vongrassamy
Program Associate, Just and Fair Schools Fund
Soumary’s background lies in education policy, community development and grants management. She began her career at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, where she managed various technical assistance and Title I grant programs. Soumary later joined Southeast Asia Resource Action Center in Washington, DC, as an education advocate. Her primary responsibilities included empowering community leaders to engage in policy and leveraging community-based organizations to carry out education reform initiatives. Soumary earned her BBA and MPA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and had the honor to serve as an Education Pioneers Fellow at New York City.

Natalie Weng
Program Assistant, Fiscal Sponsorship

Natalie brings experience in both corporate and public service positions. She has held internships with law firms such as Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. As a Labor and Employment intern at Davis Polk, she assisted lawyers with a wide variety of projects. She has also worked for the City of New York Human Resources Administration Adult Protective Services, where she accompanied caseworkers to the homes of at-risk clients in Lower Manhattan and Mid-town, serving as an interpreter for Cantonese Chinese-speaking clients. Natalie is a recent graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociologyand Government.

Lindsey Yoo
Program Assistant, Communities for Public Education Reform
Prior to joining Public Interest Projects, Lindsey worked as a Legal Assistant for Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP, where she assisted lawyers with a wide variety of employment discrimination suits. While interning at the Brennan Center for Justice, she supported the Center’s efforts to develop a strong, nationwide network of community-oriented public defenders. Lindsey graduated magna cum laude from New York University, where she received departmental honors in East Asian Studies for her extensive research on gender and class issues in China and South Korea.