2012 American Express NGen Fellows
Over the course of nine months, these accomplished and innovative leaders collaborated with other talented under-40 leaders, interacted with established mentors, and contributed to Independent Sector's work on nonprofit impact and leadership.

Through their collaborative project, the 2012 Cohort examined the void of leadership development for young nonprofit professionals and proposed opportunities for scaling the NGen Fellowship. Learn more.

The 2012 American Express NGen Fellows are:

  • Ellie Buteau, Vice President of Research, The Center for Effective Philanthropy
  • Tammy Gregory, Vice President of Quality and Health IT, American Heart Association
  • Michael Hill, Senior Vice President of External Affairs, United Cerebral Palsy
  • David Lee, Policy Advocate, Feeding America
  • Katherine Michonski, Director, Business Council on Climate Change
  • Dara Munson, President & CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit
  • Alejandro Reyes, Counsel, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • David Ringer, Media Relations Director, National Audubon Society
  • Jennifer Sigler, Chief Financial Officer / Chief Operating Officer, GlobalGiving Foundation
  • Eric Stowe, Founder & Executive Director, Splash
  • Lindsay Torrico, Manager, Public Policy, United Way Worldwide
  • Vivian Vasallo, Vice President, Housing, AARP Foundation

Ellie Buteau is the Vice President of Research at The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP). Ellie leads the design, execution, and writing of CEP’s research and oversees analysis of data related to foundation performance and effectiveness. She has authored a number of reports, articles, opinion pieces, and blog posts on issues related to foundation effectiveness. Ellie frequently speaks about CEP’s research at regional associations of grantmakers as well as at national and international conferences. Before joining CEP in 2004, Ellie led the design and analysis for education and health-related research projects at Cornell University, Tufts University, and a variety of nonprofit organizations. She taught courses on statistics at Tufts University and published research in a number of journals. She received a PhD in Social-Personality Psychology from City University of New York Graduate Center and a BA in Psychology, awarded with Great Distinction, from McGill University in Montreal. Ellie is an active volunteer in her local community and serves as a volunteer for Boston Cares.

Tammy Gregory is the national Vice President of Quality and Health Information Technology for the American Heart Association (AHA). In this role, she oversees the AHA’s portfolio of quality improvement programs, Get With the Guidelines, as well as Mission: Lifeline, a national initiative to implement STEMI Systems of Care across the country, and The Guideline Advantage, a collaboration with the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association for the outpatient setting.  Tammy has been with AHA for 13 years. During this time she has been directly involved with the creation of the American Stroke Association, the piloting and launch of the Get With The Guidelines – Stroke program and the launch of Mission: Lifeline. In this tenure, she has also led AHA’s consumer and patient product development, been responsible for strategic alliance development for the organization, and directed the exploration of AHA opportunities in health IT.  Tammy has published on the topics of quality improvement, systems of care, and hospital accreditation in the peer reviewed publications Circulation and Stroke.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Texas A&M University.  She is also the recipient of both the AHA CEO Team Award and the AHA Rome Betts Award of Excellence, the highest staff level award of the Association.


Michael Hill is Senior Vice President of External Affairs for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), where he leads national public education, fund-raising, communications, marketing and branding efforts. Prior to joining UCP, he served as Executive Director for External Relations at Washington National Cathedral, where he oversaw the national development, communications and volunteer efforts for the nation's church.  He directed a $125 million effort to expand the historic Arena Stage, securing the largest single gift ever made to a theater in the United States. Michael has also served as Executive Director of St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, where he oversaw the construction of a new museum complex, the renovation of a historic theater, the addition of an artist residency center and quadrupled the programming of the multi-venue arts complex.  He has served as a Dow Jones Fellow and as a Staff Correspondent for the Courier-Observer. He holds a B.A. from St. Bonaventure University and an M.A. from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.  He is a founding faculty member of the Master of Arts Management program at George Mason University; in 2011, he was named faculty member of the year.

David Lee is the SNAP Policy Advocate at Feeding America, the nation’s largest anti-hunger charity.  David develops and provides strategic legislative policy direction to improve local administration of the Food Stamps program across all fifty states.  Before moving to the Midwest, David was the Special Projects Coordinator at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles where he led the organization’s anti-hunger initiative.  David served as the principal co-author of “Hungry No More: A Blueprint to End Hunger in Los Angeles,” the Federation’s highly regarded anti-hunger policy paper.  The paper was adopted by the City, County, and School District as the framework for coordinating their anti-hunger efforts.   In addition to his background in non-profit sector community affairs and government relations, David was once a professional chef and an award winning screenwriter.  He attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Katherine Michonski is director of the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3), a public-private partnership between local government and the business community that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in San Francisco through dialogue, collaboration, and direct action. Prior to joining BC3, Katherine worked on international climate and energy policy as a research associate in the program on energy security and climate change at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. She also volunteers support for EarthSpark International, a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate energy poverty in Haiti. Katherine graduated from the University of Chicago where she founded the school's first sustainability council. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and participates in the San Francisco hub.

Dara Munson is President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, which serves Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in Michigan. With 15 years of public sector experience, Dara has built a career focused on the needs of at-risk youth. Since 2007 she has lead the organization in raising over $5 million dollars and in serving over five thousand youth in the Metro Detroit area. Serving as Chair of the BBBS America Advocacy and Engagement Steering committee, Dara also cares for two of her own mentees. Having received multiple awards and recognitions, Dara is actively engaged in the metropolitan Detroit community. Recently appointed to the Eastern Michigan University Foundation Board of Trustees, she is a member of the Mentor Michigan Provider’s Council, serves on the SE Regional Board of Hospice of Michigan, and has served with the Michigan Women’s Foundation and on the Board of Directors for Alternatives For Girls.

Alejandro T. Reyes is counsel with the Legal Mobilization Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He works on pressing civil rights issues related to fair housing, voting and immigrant rights. He developed and now leads the Immigrant Rights Initiative, which increases the Lawyers’ Committee’s work on behalf of immigrant populations via impact litigation, public education, and policy advocacy. Previously he was an Equal Justice Works Fellow with Gulfcoast Legal Services, where he advocated on behalf of farmworkers in the Tampa Bay area. He later continued this work with the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project in Lake Worth, Florida. In October of 2011 he was selected as one of twelve inaugural Leadership Institute Fellows, a program created by the Center for American Progress. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.

David J. Ringer is the National Audubon Society’s media relations director. He leads the organization's PR and social media efforts and directs the marketing and communications aspects of TogetherGreen, Audubon's alliance with Toyota. He was previously Audubon's communications director for the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Flyway and Audubon's front-line PR manager in Louisiana during the 2010 BP oil disaster. He also served as communications lead for the multi-organization Mississippi River Delta Restoration Campaign. Before joining Audubon, David did PR and a wide variety of other communications and media work for several NGOs that work on sociolinguistic issues around the world, an experience which took him to more than 25 countries on six continents. He has also worked as a web developer and a biological field technician, and he authors articles on bird taxonomy and systematics and other natural history topics.

Jennifer Sigler is the COO & CFO at the GlobalGiving Foundation, a non-profit that provides more than $20 million in grant support to over 1,700 organizations across 110 countries.  As COO & CFO, Jennifer has assumed leadership of the organization's general operational health, including its financial soundness, business intelligence, and human capital.  She has also partnered with the President to lead the organization's strategic planning process and growth to financial sustainability.  In less than three years, GlobalGiving has tripled its grant-making throughput (to distribute worldwide charitable support equivalent to that of a $400M endowed foundation), reduced expenses 15%, and covered 100% of its operating costs through earned revenue, eliminating the need for fundraising.  Prior to joining GlobalGiving, Jennifer was the COO & CFO of BUILD, an education and financial literacy focused nonprofit, where she worked with the CEO and Board of Directors to expand the organization nationally.  Jennifer's other professional experience includes work in the private sector as a management consultant and marketing analyst. She also holds an MBA and MA of Education from Stanford.

Eric Stowe believes that every child has a right to clean water—and he has built an innovative, scalable approach to act on that belief. Since founding Splash, formerly A Child's Right, in 2006, Stowe has developed a highly effective model to ensure safe water for urban children living at the intersection of these two streets: 'greatest degrees of poverty' and 'worst water quality conditions.' Leveraging world-class water purification technology, sustainable monitoring and maintenance, excellent people, and a rigorous commitment to transparency, Splash will soon announce that every orphanage in China has safe drinking water. Stowe's team will then demonstrate how they are customizing their approach for 15 more countries in South and Southeast Asia and East Africa.

Lindsay Torrico is Manager of Public Policy at United Way Worldwide where she is responsible for the organization’s federal advocacy on education. Before joining the United Way system, she served as a Legislative Correspondent and Aide in the office of Senator John Kerry (D-MA), where she worked primarily on education and welfare policy. Prior to that, Torrico worked as a Special Assistant to Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), where she convened an education policy forum for the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. Additionally, she has worked as an Education Pioneers Fellow for City Year-LA helping the organization produce a government relations strategy for the next three to five years. In 2008, Torrico was featured in The Crisis Magazine's Young African American "People to Watch.” She currently serves as Co-Chair of the National Collaboration for Youth and volunteers as a tutor and mentor at her local elementary school. She received her BA in Government from the University of Virginia and a MPP in Urban and Social Policy from UCLA.

Vivian Vasallo is Vice President of Housing at AARP Foundation.  She leads a multi-faceted effort to develop and implement high impact solutions to housing problems facing the low income 50+ population. Previously she led the Foundation’s national place-based strategy and developed innovative, asset-building initiatives. Vivian has almost 20 years of leadership experience in management and business development in private, public and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining the AARP Foundation, she served as Vice President of Strategic Markets at First American, a Fortune 500 company, spearheading business development and strategic direction within new customer segments.  Vivian began her career at National Council of La Raza and has held various positions at Mortgage Bankers Association, International Trade Administration and Fannie Mae Foundation. She has also provided leadership as a volunteer or Board member with Hispanics in Philanthropy, Leadership Greater Washington, Latino Economic Development Corporation and Consumer Federation of America. Vivian holds a Bachelor’s degree from American University and a Master’s in International Business from University of Miami.

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