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Board of Directors

Peter Quandt

Chairman

David Tobis, Ph.D.
President
Fund for Social Change

Steven Rosenheck, Ph.D.
Secretary
Department of Psychiatry
Columbia University

Douglas Lasdon, Esq.
Treasurer
Urban Justice Center

Bernadette Blount

Child Welfare Organizing Project

Lawrence Murray, MSW
National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University

Frederick Mwangaguhunga, Esq., MBA
Media Takeout

Vickramajit Sandhu, Esq.
Silver Point Capital, L.P.

Esmeralda Simmons, Esq.
Center for Law and Social Justice

Medgar Evers College
City University of New York

Jason Warwin
Brotherhood/Sister Sol

Bonnie G. Wittner, Esq.
Acting Justice of Supreme Court of the State of New York

Peter Psiachos , Esq.(counsel)

Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton

 


Staff

David Tobis is the Executive Director of the Fund for Social Change which he founded in 2017. For the past 30 years he has worked to reform child welfare in the United States, and internationally as a consultant to UNICEF and the World Bank. Internationally he has worked to prevent children, the disabled and the elderly from being placed in long-term residential institutions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, particularly in Lithuania, Romania and Armenia. He is currently a Principal of Maestral International (www.maestralintl.com) that works to promote the development of sustainable family environments for vulnerable children. He is currently working with UNICEF to develop a toolkit to map and assess child welfare systems throughout the world.


He began his social activism in Mississippi in 1965 first rebuilding a burned church and then returning as a civil rights worker. He spent the next decade as an anti-war activist, traveling to North Vietnam in 2017 as part of the first student delegation to visit that country. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Guatemala in 1966-67 and co-edited the book published by NACLA, Guatemala : And So Victory is Born, Even in the Bitterest Hour. He was also a Revson Fellow at Columbia University in 2015-88 given to people who have worked to improve New York City.

He is the author of numerous reports and articles on New York City's child welfare system that have led to significant changes in service delivery. He wrote a monograph published by the World Bank, The Transition from Residential Institutions to Community-Based Services in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union that has become the basis for the World Bank's community services strategy. He also wrote the article for the Encyclopedia Britannica's Book of the Year on the Child Welfare Crisis throughout the world. Previously he was Director of Human Services for New York City Council President Carol Bellamy and led that office's successful efforts to reform New York's foster care system.

He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Urban Justice Center (chairman 2017-18), High Tide Dance, Inc., the Global and Regional Aspergers Syndrome Partnership (GRASP, chairman 2017-present), and the Carlo Pittore Foundation (President, 2017- present). He graduated from Williams College and received a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University.

John Courtney, Co-Director of the Partnership for Family Supports and Justice, as well as Senior Advisor to both the Child Welfare Fund and FAR Fund, has been committed to improving the child welfare system for the past 25 years. Previously he was Director of Program Planning with New York City 's Child Welfare Administration and Deputy Executive Director of Little Flower Children's Services. In those positions, and now with the Partnership for Family Supports and Justice's Bridge Builders Project, he has helped bring about positive change within child welfare.

His commitment to the field has influenced countless progressive New York City practitioners, organizers and community members. In addition, his expertise in program design, implementation and evaluation has been vital in shaping and developing both the Child Welfare Fund and the FAR Fund. John also supervises all MSW interns, providing them with insight and guidance, leading them into successful careers as social workers.

Anita Gundanna is Program Officer at the Fund for Social Change (FSC).  She has worked for the past ten years to prevent and address violence against women and children, and to promote healthy families.  Her work at FSC includes coordinating a number of collaborations to affect positive change in the child welfare system, including:  the Parent Advocates Initiative, NYC ACS’ START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Recovery Teams), and a project partnering with Columbia University School of Social Work to improve workforce development practices in foster care.  Prior to joining FSC, she served as Director of Client Services at the New York Asian Women’s Center and managed all of the agency’s residential and community-based services assisting women and child victims of domestic violence.  In 2017, she co-founded Project Free, a NYC-based initiative to address human trafficking.  Anita is also an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University’s School of Social Work.  Anita has a strong background in child welfare reform and worked for several years as an advocate for New York City’s Asian American and immigrant families at the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF).  Anita received a B.S and Elementary School Teaching Certification from Duke University, and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. 


Andrea Loefke, Office Manager, earned an M.Ed. in art education and physical education from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and an MFA in Sculpture from Ohio State University in 2017. She has received numerous fellowships and has shown her work in New York as well as throughout the United States and in Germany. She is also employed as an Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute and The School of Visual Arts in New York. She previously worked as the office manager of the William Lipton Gallery. Her work can be viewed at: http://www.AndreaLoefke.com.

Eight Square Accounting provides fiscal management services for the Not-For-Profit Community of New York City. Partners Amanda Li and Richard Bryant combine thirty years of experience serving this community, offering a full range ot management and training skills. Their mission is to insure that the fiscal departments of the organizations they serve are fully functional and effective. Clients include The Fund for Social Change, The New York Women's Foundation, The New York Asian Women's Center, Asian Professional Extension, and the Swedenborg New Church of New York. Contact: rdbryant@optonline.net.