Meet the LeaderSpring Staff
Manager of Operations and Special Projects
For more than 10 years, Rachel has strengthened nonprofit organizations by creating people-centered systems and infrastructure. A native Bostonian, Rachel spent three years in Guatemala before making the move to California. She likes ice cream and studies Afro-Latino percussion and dance.
Cynthia a. chavez,
Cynthia brings over 25 years of experience in leadership development, public policy, philanthropy and community building. Previously a staff member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Cynthia led a national initiative to promote philanthropy by and among communities of color. Cynthia is a licensed executive coach and advisor on leadership to the Fund the People Project, a national initiative to increase philanthropic investments in community leadership. Her most recent publication is: A Bolder Form of Leadership. Cynthia earned her BA in Government from Pomona College and MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. As a Mexican American whose first home was public housing in East Los Angeles, Cynthia dedicates her career to promoting justice and equity for all regardless of the zip code from which they live.
Program Assistant for Fellowship and Alumni
Sarai graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Master’s degree in International Studies. Prior to pursuing a graduate degree, she attended Western Washington University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. Prior to joining LeaderSpring, Sarai worked as a Content Development Intern for the Foundation for Sustainable Development in San Francisco.
Director of Programs
Safi brings more than 25 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors as a leader, grantmaker, nonprofit consultant and certified integral coach. Her Oakland-based leadership positions have included: Executive Director of the Marcus Foster Ed Fund; Community Faculty Fellow with the Center for Art and Public Life at the California College of the Arts; and Grants and Nonprofit Management Analyst for the City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts Department. Safi is an alumna of the LeaderSpring Class of 2008!
Lauren has experience in non-profit management, social work, and youth development. She is driven by a desire to connect our unique strengths and motivations to build a more equitable society. Prior to joining LeaderSpring, she worked as a Program Director at Summer Search, a national youth mentoring non-profit. Lauren has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from CUNY Hunter, Silberman School of Social Work.
Development and Operations Assistant
Lea studied Philosophy at Portland State University and the University College London before moving to China to teach English. Prior to joining LeaderSpring, Lea became involved in politics, where she worked for two years at the Center for Women’s Leadership, and interned for a congressional office and a political campaign. Lea is interested in community development and in finding innovative, cross-sector solutions to social issues.