NYJJI Co-Chairs: Julie Peterson, Senior Program Officer, Pinkerton Foundation
Kaberi Banerjee Murthy, Vice President of Programs, Brooklyn Community Foundation
NYJJI Executive Committee Members:
Penny Fujiko Willgerodt, Executive Director, Prospect Hill Foundation
Emily Tow Jackson, Executive Director & Trustee, Tow Foundation
Roderick Jenkins, Program Officer, The New York Community Trust
Dr. Cavin Leeman, President, Stephen and May Cavin Leeman Foundation
Jacqueline Mann, President, The Elias Foundation
Maria Mottola, Executive Director, The New York Foundation
NYJJI Executive Committee Bios:
It’s a long, long way from a high school job at “Poor Little Rich Girl,” a dress shop in Beverly Hills, to representing displaced Navajo people at the Big Mountain Legal Office in Flagstaff, Arizona, but Julie Peterson’s eclectic career spans those worlds and more. A graduate of Cornell and Harvard Law, Julie’s first exposure to nonprofit work was with the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project where she served as an advocate for the incarcerated. After practicing law for six years, she became a legal analyst working on behalf of the Federal District Court to improve conditions in New York City jails. She later served as a program officer for the Edna McConnell Clark and JEHT foundations. Julie has written on juvenile justice and other youth-related issues and served as a consultant for funders ranging from the Langeloth Foundation to the Youth Transition Funders Group. She has helped with recruiting and strategic planning for nonprofits and government agencies, including the Center for Economic Opportunity and the Vera Institute of Justice. Julie joined Pinkerton in September of 2013 upon completion of three years as Director of Public Private Partnerships for the New York City Department of Probation. Her primary focus is on Youth and Family Justice. She works with programs for young people entangled in the justice system and also with youth in or aging out of foster care, teen mothers and children of the incarcerated.
Penny Fujiko Willgerodt – Executive Director, Prospect Hill Foundation
Ms. Willgerodt is the executive director of the Prospect Hill Foundation, a family foundation established in 1959 by the late Elizabeth G. Beinecke and William S. Beinecke, then president and now retired chairman of the Sperry and Hutchinson Company. The Prospect Hill Foundation’s mission is to advance the human experience while ensuring the well-being of the earth. Ms. Willgerodt started in philanthropy at the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1987, joined the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation as a program officer in 1990 and the Rockefeller Family Office in the fall of 1999. As a philanthropy advisor she became part of the start-up team to create Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors where she was vice president until the fall of 2008. Throughout her career, Ms. Willgerodt has worked with individual donors, family foundations, charitable trusts, donor advised funds, and funder collaboratives on a wide range of issues. Ms. Willgerodt continues to actively serve as a fund advisor to two special projects at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors – the Legacy Fund of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health. Among many other boards, she is the former president and trustee of the Weeksville Heritage Center, a New York City cultural institution based in Brooklyn and currently an advisory board member of Prison Watch Sierra Leone. Ms. Willgerodt graduated cum laude from Yale College with a B.A. in East Asian Studies, and holds an M.A. in secondary school education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Emily Tow Jackson, Executive Director, Tow Foundation
Emily has been involved in philanthropy since joining the Board of Trustees of her family foundation, The Tow Foundation, in 1988. She has been The Foundation’s Executive Director since 1994. She served on the Board of Directors of Philanthropy New York from 1997 to 2004 and served as Chair from 2002 to 2004. She is the recipient of the Filer Award for Creative Leadership in Philanthropy from the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Barnard College. Emily regularly speaks about The Tow Foundation’s work, its commitment to advocacy as a key to achieving social change, and the value and practice of family philanthropy. The Tow Foundation received the 2008 Critical Impact Award from the Council on Foundations for its Juvenile Justice Initiative. In April 2014, Emily was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the Commission for Youth, Public Safety and Justice, which will provide concrete, actionable recommendations regarding youth in New York’s criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Roderick Jenkins, Senior Program Officer, Children, Youth & Families, New York Community Trust
Mr. Jenkins manages grantmaking in the areas of Youth Development and Substance Abuse. Roderick is chair of the New York City Youth Funders Network, a board member of Advocates for Children, and represents The Trust on numerous citywide committees. He has an Masters of Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work, and he has program development and management experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors.
Maria Mottola, Executive Director, New York Foundation
Maria Mottola has been the Executive Director of the New York Foundation since 2003. She served as a Program Officer from 1994 to 2002. Prior to joining the Foundation, from 1989 to 1994 she was Executive Director of the City Wide Task Force on Housing Court, a housing advocacy organization that promotes the reform of New York City’s Housing Court. As the Task Force’s founding director, Ms. Mottola managed the group’s transition from a volunteer activist campaign to a fully staffed and funded organization. From 1984 to 1989, Ms. Mottola was the Director of Neighborhood Programs and a community organizer at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a settlement house on the Eastside of Manhattan. Ms. Mottola has taught community organizing at New York University School of Social Work and has been an adjunct instructor at the Hunter College Graduate School of Urban Affairs and Planning since 1996. Ms. Mottola was a Co-Chair of the Neighborhood Funders Group, a national affinity group from 2003 to 2006.
From March 2010 through May 2011, Ms. Mottola acted as an executive-on-loan to Gladys Carrión, the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Children and Families. Working closely with the Commissioner and her senior staff on a variety of projects, she was deeply involved in the planning of the Brooklyn for Brooklyn Initiative, a pilot program that ensured court involved youth placed in OCFS’s care could be treated in nurturing environments located in their home communities rather than in upstate facilities.
Ms. Mottola is also a freelance illustrator and studies at the Art Students League. She has illustrated publications for the many non-profits and her work appeared in Travel and Leisure, City Limits, The Guardian and the Village Voice. She received her undergraduate degree in liberal arts at the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University.
Ms. Mann is the co-founder and President of the Elias Foundation — dedicated to promoting community leadership networks for progressive social change in Westchester County. Following a 30year stint as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Practice at Fordham Graduate School of Social Services, Jackie’s work at the Foundation affords her the opportunity to support place-based community development across silos. Elias’ grantees collaborate to enhance their effectiveness as advocates, leaders and change-makers.
For the past 14 years, Jackie has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Youth Justice Funding Collaborative – a unique partnership between philanthropists and activists who, with limited resources, work to eliminate inequities in the juvenile justice system. YJFC is dedicated to giving general support to grassroots organizations in New Orleans that are led by community members directly affected by youth incarceration.
Dr. Leeman has been the President of the Stephen and May Cavin Leeman Foundation since 1995. Since that time, the central focus of the Foundation has been on programs serving needy children and youths in New York City, emphasizing relatively small agencies, with grants for projects where the Foundation’s limited resources can make a tangible, demonstrable difference.
Dr. Leeman is a Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. Prior to his retirement in 2006 from a lengthy career in clinical practice, psychiatric administration, and teaching, he had served as Chief of Psychiatry at Framingham Union Hospital (Massachusetts), Chief of Psychiatry at the Brooklyn Veterans Administration Hospital, and then, for more than ten years, as Clinical Director of Psychiatric Services at University Hospital of Brooklyn, where he also was actively involved in biomedical ethics. He currently teaches in the bioethics program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and performs psychiatric evaluations of applicants for asylum in the United States.
After receiving A.B. and M.D. degrees from Harvard University, he served as an intern in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and as a resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center and at Beth Israel Hospital (Boston). He received postgraduate education in biomedical ethics at Georgetown University and at the University of Virginia.