News and analysis
February 10, 2017

North Star Fund and Global Dignity Get New Leaders

North Star Fund
Jennifer Ching, a lawyer active on social-justice and immigration issues, will join the North Star Fund in March as executive director.

North Star Fund

Jennifer Ching, a lawyer who has worked on social-justice issues and immigrant rights, has been named executive director of the North Star Fund. She will join the grant maker in March from Legal Services NYC, where she is project director of Queens Legal Services.

Ms. Ching was previously director of New York Appleseed, where she advocated for financial literacy, investment, and health support in immigrant communities. As an associate at law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, she worked with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Guantánamo detainees.

Arab American Family Support Center

Rawaa Nancy Albilal was named CEO. She has served since 2010 as vice president for development at Foundation Center.

Global Dignity

Cynthia Guyer, former director of external affairs at the Rubin Museum of Art, will be executive director.

Metta Fund

Janet Spears, chief operating officer at the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland, Calif., was appointed executive director.

Miracle Foundation

Elizabeth Davis, chief operating officer, was promoted to president.

Project Hope

Rabih Torbay was named president. He previously served as senior vice president for international operations at International Medical Corps,

Siragusa Family Foundation

John Hicks Jr., a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch, was appointed executive director of the foundation.

Spencer Foundation

Na’ilah Suad Nasir, vice chancellor for equity and inclusion at the University of California at Berkeley, was named the foundation’s president.

Other notable appointments

Jennifer Joyce, former senior director of major gifts and individual giving at the Food Bank for New York City, has been appointed director of development at the Fresh Air Fund.

Eric Jones, chief investment officer at Loyola University of Chicago, will hold a similar position at the Rotary Foundation. Eric Schmelling, Rotary’s director of fund development, campaigns, and planned and major gifts, was promoted to general manager and chief philanthropy officer.

Lee Ann Smith, former donor-relations manager at Indiana Landmarks, has been appointed director of development for the American Pianists Association.


Mary Jalonick plans to step down as chief executive of the Dallas Foundation this year. Ms. Jalonick was hired in 1987 as the foundation’s first full-time employee. Under her leadership, its assets grew from $15 million to more than $340 million.

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