John leads SeaChange Capital Partners with overall responsibility for grant-making, credit, and advisory services. He also explores new ways that SeaChange might help nonprofits explore or complete sensible transactions while at the same time offering attractive, leveraged opportunities for funders.
Prior to joining SeaChange in 2008, John was a partner at Warburg Pincus in that global private equity firm’s New York, Tokyo, and London offices. At Warburg Pincus, he was responsible for overseeing the firm’s expansion into several new international markets and industry segments, designed the firm’s investment performance and measurement system, was co-head of professional development, and served as a director of 16 portfolio companies. John remains involved with Warburg Pincus as a limited partner. Earlier in his career John worked as a software engineer in Tokyo and a management consultant at Oliver Wyman.
John did a mid-life masters in philosophy at the London School of Economics. At the same time, and in conjunction with Lord Richard Layard of the Centre for Economic Performance (at the London School of Economics) and Dr Martin E.P. Seligman of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, he coordinated a three-year program in resilience-building and depression prevention for more than 3,000 children across 25 middle schools in the United Kingdom.
John has a BSE from Princeton University and a MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. In conjunction with his role at SeaChange, he serves as an observer on a number of nonprofit boards (or finance committees) and is also an equity investment advisor to MicroVest Capital Management. John lives in Brooklyn with his wife and four daughters.
Jessica L. Cavagnero
Jess leads SeaChange’s grant-making and advisory services activities. She is responsible for managing two funds, The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration and The New York Merger, Acquisition, and Collaboration Fund, which each make grants to support nonprofits that are exploring or planning collaborations (mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, administrative and programmatic partnerships, etc.). In addition, Jess assists nonprofits in analyzing and developing financial strategies to refine their business models, including scenario planning for growth, risk assessment, and restructuring.
Prior to joining SeaChange, Jess was an Associate Director at CCS Fundraising, where she created and executed fundraising strategies for some of the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. Before her transition to the nonprofit sector, Jess spent six years at Credit Suisse, the first two years working in Leveraged Finance sales & trading and the last four years in investment banking as Vice President in the Client Strategy Group, where she was responsible for developing global coverage strategy for a portfolio of 50 of the firm’s most important clients across all lines of business and geographies.
Jess is a proud native New Yorker (Let’s Go Mets!) and graduate of Cornell University.
Nadya K. Shmavonian
Nadya K. Shmavonian is Director of the Nonprofit Repositioning Fund, and a partner at SeaChange Capital Partners. The Repositioning Fund is a pooled fund of nine philanthropic partners that encourages and supports mergers and other types of formal, long-term strategic alliances and restructuring opportunities among nonprofit organizations. These efforts can range from voluntary back-office consolidations, to programmatic joint ventures, to mergers and acquisitions. The Fund seeks to have catalytic impact on the capacity, effectiveness, and financial health of the Greater Philadelphia nonprofit sector.
Nadya served as president of Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) from January 2010 – July 2012, where she presided over the closure of the organization. Nadya has extensive foundation management experience, having served as vice president for strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation, and executive vice president at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she also worked as director of administration and as a program officer in health and human services. Before joining the foundation community, she worked in the health sector, as well as overseas in humanitarian relief, both of which she has continued to address during the almost three decades she has spent in and around philanthropy.
Nadya serves on the Boards of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Philadelphia Youth Basketball, and recently retired from the board of the Center for Effective Philanthropy and stepped down from the Lenfest Foundation board. She helped found and served on the board of The Alliance for A Green Revolution in Africa (a joint partnership of the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates foundations), as well as the Partners for Seed in Africa Fund, an initiative for South Sudan supported by Howard Buffet. She has served on the Advisory Boards of the National Philanthropic Trust and the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was one of the first two non-family members of the Surdna Foundation Board, where she served for six years. She is an instructor at the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches graduate seminars to SP2 and Wharton students on nonprofit governance, as well an international on-line governance course for the Center for Social Impact Strategy.
Nadya holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in health care management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was awarded the Kathleen McDonald Distinguished Alumna Award from Wharton Women in Business in 2011.
Taj works primarily on SeaChange’s credit portfolio, helping to manage Contact Fund and The New York Pooled PRI Fund. She also works on select advisory services projects and collaboration-related grants. Before joining SeaChange, Taj worked in JPMorgan Chase’s credit risk and emerging markets groups. Previously, as a Tamer Social Enterprise Fellow, Taj worked on building the business strategy and financial model of a fintech startup. She has also completed consultancies for nonprofits, most recently with Women’s World Banking, where she advised the organization on the launching of micropension products for low income women in India. Taj began her career working at the fund of funds, Basel Asset Management. She holds a Master of International Affairs in Economic Development from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Baruch College.
Diana joined SeaChange in 2017 as an Associate, splitting her time between managing SeaChange’s day-to-day operations, coordinating workflow among the various lines of business, and special program projects. She previously spent almost six years at WP Theater, starting as a general management intern and advancing to Business Manager, fulfilling various administrative roles on a total of seventeen productions. Diana has also worked in post-production and interned at such institutions as the Paley Center for Media, AMC, and Sundance Channel. She is proud to hold a BA in Film Studies and English from Mount Holyoke College and recently completed an MA in Cinema Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Douglas K. Smith
Doug is a management consultant as well as a writer, teacher, lawyer and inventor. He has authored or co-authored influential works on performance-oriented management, including The Wisdom of Teams written with Jon Katzenbach. His most recent book is On Value and Values: Thinking Differently About We In An Age Of Me. He was a Partner at McKinsey & Company and Co-leader of its global organization practice and has an active independent consulting practice. He has counseled leaders in dozens of industries across the private, government and non-profit sectors and used his consulting, writing and executive experience to drive effective strategy, capability, innovation, and change.
Doug serves as the Executive Director of The Sulzberger Leadership Program, an initiative at Columbia School of Journalism for leaders of news organizations seeking to use Doug’s approach toward performance to navigate changes affecting their industry. He is also the architect and co-leader of Achieving Excellence In Community Development, another performance-driven leadership program that has caused shifts in affordable housing organizations across the United States, as a collaboration of NeighborWorks® America and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also serves as Chairman of The Rapid Results Institute, which uses performance-and-results methods to dramatically increase the effectiveness of social and economic development efforts in Africa and elsewhere. He received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Mark Reed is founder and manager of Contact Fund, a private investment fund focused on high-impact community development in New York City. Founded in 2005 and working on behalf of over 60 investors, the fund makes short and medium term loans of $100,000 to $600,000 in housing, food, social services, charter schools, micro-finance, and financial services and credit unions.
Since 2008, Mark has been a Principal at Alembic Community Development, a mission-driven real estate developer operating in New York City and New Orleans.
Mark is a former Vice President of Portfolio Management at Bank of New York, where he concentrated on North American corporate credit risk management. While at the bank, he co-managed a $500 million bond portfolio and a $300 million credit derivative portfolio.
Since 1997, Mark has served on the Board of Directors of Simpson Investment Company and its sister company, Green Diamond Resource Company. Green Diamond is a fourth generation family-owned forest products company selling FSC-certified wood products in Washington and California. Early in his career, Mark managed an after-school program for public housing residents in San Francisco’s Mission District and managed a youth community center. He holds a BA in Anthropology from Stanford University and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU. He lives with his wife and three children in Manhattan.
W. Bowman Cutter
W. Bowman Cutter is Senior Fellow and Director of the Economic Policy Initiative at the Roosevelt Institute. He was a managing director of Warburg Pincus between 1996 and 2009, where he served both as the firm’s economist and as a leader in its international business, with particular reference to Asia. Mr. Cutter has served during two Democratic presidencies: at the National Economic Council, from 1992-1996, during the Clinton Presidency – as director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President; and at the Office of Management and Budget from 1976-1981, during the Carter Presidency, as Executive Director for Budget. Mr. Cutter also served as leader of the OMB transition team after the election of President Obama.
From 1981-1993, he was vice chairman and managing partner at Coopers & Lybrand, the global accounting and consulting firm that subsequently merged with Price Waterhouse, where he managed a major consulting practice and was also responsible for overall strategy.
Mr. Cutter is the current-past Chairman of the Board of CARE, the global development organization; a member of the executive committee and immediate past co-chairman of the Committee for Economic Development; and a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Cutter holds degrees from Harvard University, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Georgia Levenson Keohane
Georgia is the Executive Director of The Pershing Square Foundation, where she partners with the President to oversee the Foundation’s strategy and programs. She is responsible for the social entrepreneurship portfolio and the creation of new initiatives. Georgia joined The Pershing Square Foundation from New America, where she directed the program on Profits and Purpose. She is also a professor in the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School and author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century (2013) and Capital and the Common Good: How Innovative Finance is Tackling the World’s Most Urgent Problems (Fall 2016).
Georgia’s career has bridged the private and nonprofit sectors. A former McKinsey consultant, she has advised companies, philanthropies, community development and educational organizations, and think tanks. From 2011-2014, Georgia was a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where she worked on poverty and inequality, employment and job growth, and social entrepreneurship. She has taught at Yale, and serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.
Georgia holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.Sc from London School of Economics, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Margaret Crotty is the Executive Director of Partnership with Children, which works at the nexus of mental health and education, providing trauma-informed counseling services and community school leadership in high-poverty schools in New York City and serving over 11,000 students.
In 2008, Margaret launched and ran Save the Children’s $2 billion initiative to reduce child mortality in the developing world. Previously, she was the President and CEO of AFS-USA, formerly the American Field Service, which has provided intercultural exchanges for over 300,000 high school students since 1947. Margaret was also the Executive Director of a workforce development agency serving NYC and Washington, DC. In the private sector, Margaret spent seven years at the global corporation EF Education, living in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Paris, first on the management team of EF’s online education business, and later as President of EF’s higher education business. Margaret has lived in Indonesia twice, working for Save the Children and for McKinsey.
She has a BA from Princeton, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She serves on the boards of Northwell Health, Lenox Hill Hospital, Crutches 4 Kids, the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, Third Street Music School Settlement. She is a YPO member, and chairs Emerging Leaders, a management development program for social sector leaders.
David Kuhns is a former communications lawyer and entrepreneur. He began his career in Washington, DC in 1973 as a cable TV and appellate litigation lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission. He moved to New York in 1977 to join Home Box Office, Inc. as assistant general counsel. He left HBO in 1980 to start his own business. In the 25 years following, he founded or co-founded, built and successfully exited three companies: Citicom Radio Corporation, a broadcast station owner/operator with properties located in Massachusetts, New York and Ohio; Urban Logic, Inc., advisor to New York City on its first multi-agency digital infrastructure map, now known as “NYCityMap”; and Banyan Group E.S.C., Ltd., an HR consulting and executive search firm.
Since 2006 David has devoted his energy to not-for-profit endeavors. He sits on the boards of several civic, nonprofit and grant-making organizations. He has served for over 19 years on the board of The Armory Foundation, including as chairman of its education committee. A main focus of David’s philanthropic giving is education, and he has participated extensively, as benefactor, board member and volunteer, in programs that advance the college readiness and academic persistence of underserved youth.
David is a graduate of Denison University; he holds a J.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law.
Taylor Kushner is a Managing Director at HPS Investment Partners, LLC. Previously Taylor held positions at TPG Special Situations Partners, the credit and special situations investing platform of TPG Capital, and at Goldman Sachs in its Special Situations and Investment Banking Divisions. Since 2009, Taylor has served as a director of Urban Arts Partnership, a New York based non-profit that advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public-school students through arts-integrated education programs. From 2012 – 2015, he served as the organization’s co-chairman. Taylor is a graduate of Georgetown University.
Gary Syman was a founding board member of SeaChange and the Board Chair from 2007-2014. In 2016, he left the Board to relocate to Sweden. Although Gary has stepped down from the board, he remains actively connected with SeaChange in formal and informal ways.
Gary is a retired partner of Goldman Sachs & Co., having spent over 30 years with the firm. Gary spent substantial time since his retirement in the nonprofit sector, helping education- and reform-focused organizations achieve greater scale and impact. A nationally recognized and sought-after strategic advisor and board member, Gary has served on numerous boards, including Jumpstart (early childhood education), the New Teacher Center (professional development focused on teacher induction), Peer Health Exchange (provides health curriculum to low income high school students) and the Pearson Charitable Foundation. He’s currently the Co-founder and Board Chair of TeachingPartners, a double bottom line education company. Gary received his BS and MBA from the University of Southern California.
He lives in Northern California with his wife, Azita Raji, and has five daughters.
Charles T. Harris III
Chuck was the co-founder of SeaChange, the first Executive Partner (2007-2011), and a member of the Board (2007-2016). Chuck’s energy, passion, and values have had a profound effect on SeaChange. Although Chuck stepped down from the board in 2016, he remains actively connected with SeaChange in formal and informal ways.
In 2011, Chuck joined the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation as Portfolio Manager and Director of Capital Aggregation. In this role, he oversees the Foundation’s capital aggregation activities and manages relationships with various grantees.
Chuck spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs before retiring in 2002, where he served as co-head of the East Coast High Technology Group and as co-head of Corporate Finance in the Americas. He sits on the boards of several nonprofit and philanthropic organization, has served extensively on the boards of both private and public for-profit corporations, and is passionate about the important role of capital formation in advancing social change. He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a master’s degree in finance from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.