Getting to where you want to be in (non)profit

Navigating a career through the nonprofit sector may not be as easy as most people imagine. Once you decide to forgo the monetary bottom line to work for a specific cause or organization, you would think that doors would immediately open for you, and opportunities allowing you to work on behalf of the ‘greater good’ would be plentiful. Wrong. The nonprofit sector is just as competitive as the for-profit sector, with many individuals transitioning between for-profit and nonprofit work.

What are some of the pathways through and into the nonprofit sector and how can they be successfully navigated?

On Thursday, June 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the Emerging Leaders Network of the National Council for Research on Women, along with Girl Scouts of the USA, will attempt to answer these questions and more at Pathways to (Non) Profit, a panel event featuring five non-profit leaders. Panelists will share how they came to their current leadership positions and offer advice on how to navigate through the nonprofit sector.

Panelists include:

Tiffany Dufu, President, The White House Project. Dufu served as Associate Director of Development at the Seattle Girls’ School, a nonprofit educational institution committed to giving all girls the power to be confident, innovative, critical thinkers. Here she raised $2 million for the school in just under one year. She also served as Major Gifts Officer at Simmons College, where she managed a portfolio of over 150 donors. While working in Boston, Dufu became a fellow in LeadBoston at the Common Wealth Compact Project, working to make Greater Boston a desired destination for people of color and women. As Vice President of The White House Project, Dufu has forged new partnerships, strengthened their Corporate Council, and refined the organization’s strategy. She became President of The White House Project in January of 2011.

Elizabeth Grayer, President, Legal Momentum. Grayer is an example of a successful career transition from the for-profit to the nonprofit sector. Before joining the staff at Legal Momentum in February 2011, Grayer was a partner in the Litigation Department of Cravath, Swaine & Moor LLP. Throughout her for-profit career Grayer has maintained a constant connection with the nonprofit sector through her Board service. From 2005 to 2008 she worked with the Legal Aid Society, leading a team of lawyers and paralegals in securing an enforceable right to shelter for homeless families in New York City. As a result of this work, Cravath won the Legal Aid Pro Bono Publico and Public Service Award in 2008.

Jaclyn Libowitz, Chief of Staff, Girl Scouts of the USA. Moving upwards through the organization, Libowitz has previously held the position of CEO of a Girl Scout Council and as Senior Director of Girl Scouts of the USA. Libowitz has also worked as a management consultant, executive coach, and speaker, serving clients such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Greater Cleveland Roundtable, Memphis Diversity Institute, University of New Mexico, and Charter One Bank. She has facilitated group sessions focused on personal development with Fortune 100 executives for Schachat and Associates.

Sr. Theresa Rickard, President and Executive Director of RENEW International. Sr. Rickard is a Dominican Sister of Blauvelt, New York. Her early ministry work in multicultural parishes in the South Bronx helped her develop a strong commitment to serving the particular needs of an ethnically diverse church. Sr. Rickard has personally championed RENEW Africa, a program designed to meet the local needs expressed by pastoral leaders in the Synod of Bishops for Africa.

Shyama Venkateswar, Director of Research and Programs, National Council for Research on Women. In her position at NCRW, Venkateswar provides vision and strategic direction, as well as helps to develop research and policy agendas. Before joining the Council in 2008, Venkateswar was the founding Executive Director of Mercy Corps’s Action Center to End Global Hunger. Previously she has served as the director of the Asian Social Issue Program at the Asia Society, and was a Program Officer at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. She was also an Adjunct Professor at Brooklyn College where she taught courses on South Asia and Middle Eastern History and Politics.

The panel will be moderated by Michael Watson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Girl Scouts of the USA. Watson directs the development and implementation of strategies, policies, and programs in the areas of executive compensation, employee engagement and retention, compensation and benefits, diversity, employee relations and executive search for Girl Scouts of the USA. Prior to joining Girl Scouts in 1999, Watson was a human resources partner for IBM Global Services, where he served as senior human resources strategist for two businesses with combined revenues of more than $2 billion

This event will also feature three dynamic emerging leaders who will share their own career paths and goals: Mirna Hernandez, Girl Scouts of the USA and Tri Latina; Jelena Prosevski, Avala Associates, LLC; and Rebekah Spicuglia, Applied Research Center,

This exciting and informative evening kicks off at 6:30pm at 420 5th Ave (entrance on 37th Street). To RSVP, email

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