Philanthropy

Debrah Giles

Debrah Giles is a philanthropic and non-profit management professional who serves as a Senior Program Officer for the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland, CA. She specializes in supporting initiatives within EBCF that foster education and youth development. In her role, she serves as the Senior Program Officer for the Clorox Company Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking Program and continues to lead the work that focuses on boys and men of color. Prior to joining the East Bay Community Foundation, for nearly 15 years Debrah worked for Sun Microsystems in their Global Community Development Group (Foundation).

At Sun Microsystems, she managed all aspects of their national and regional grant-making programs and developed strategies to improve their grant-making procedures. During her tenure with Sun Microsystems, she also developed and guided major funding programs, including their international disaster relief program, multi-year educational grants, and global gift matching programs. Additionally, she was responsible for regional and field management for both community relations and volunteer projects. Debrah received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from St. Mary’s College. She is a native of Oakland.

Location: Oakland, CA

Industry: Philanthropy

Alicia Meeks Hunter

Alicia is the Executive Administrative Assistant on the Jewish grant making team for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Based in the Washington, DC office, Alicia supports Vice President, Lisa Eisen; Director, David Rittberg; and Abby Saloma, Director, Leadership and Talent. Prior to joining Schusterman, Alicia served as the Director of the Executive Office at Color Of Change where she provided high-level executive support to the president and managed the day-to-day operations for the office, serving as the primary contact for all internal and external requests. Prior to joining Color Of Change in 2015, Alicia served as Senior Administrative Coordinator to the national CEO at Girl Scouts of the USA and supported President Lee Bollinger as part of his executive support team in the Office of the President at Columbia University. There she provided executive level assistance and helped manage the information flow from all levels of the organization, working directly with a large network of internal and external stakeholders.

With over fifteen years of experience working in non-profit, higher education and the financial sector, she has also held extensive roles at the YMCA of San Francisco, investment consulting firm Callan Associates, Bank of America and Meals on Wheels of San Francisco. Highly driven and a dynamic team player, Alicia holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from Walden University.

Location: Washington, D.C.

Industry: Philanthropy, Nonprofit Executive Management

Charmaine Mercer

Charmaine Mercer is a Program Officer in Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, focused on advancing educational experiences and outcomes, especially for those furthest from opportunity. Charmaine was previously a director and senior researcher for the Learning Policy Institute; has served as vice president for standards, assessment, and deeper learning at the Alliance for Excellent Education; and has held various positions on Capitol Hill, including senior staffer for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; senior staffer for the Education and Labor Committee; and researcher for the Congressional Research Service. She holds a Ph.D. in politics and education policy and master’s degree in political science from Claremont Graduate University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University. Charmaine is a native Californian, home after being on the East coast since 2002, and the shamelessly proud mom of adorable twin boys.

Prior to joining the foundation, Charmaine was a director and senior researcher for the Learning Policy Institute, where she led a small team of dedicated researchers, policy advocates, and communication specialists. In a previous role, she served as the vice president for standards, assessment, and deeper learning at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization that focuses on secondary schools. Charmaine has also held various positions on Capitol Hill, including as a senior staffer for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, a senior staffer for the Education and Labor Committee, and a researcher for the Congressional Research Service.

Charmaine received her Ph.D. in politics and education policy from Claremont Graduate University, as well as her master’s degree in political science. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University. Charmaine is a native Californian, finally returning home after being on the East coast since 2002, and the shamelessly proud mom of adorable twin boys. She also enjoys running.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Industry: Education Policy, Philanthropy