Who
We Are


Mission

Nonprofits are critical, yet the deck is stacked against them—they’re under-resourced and have inadequate outside support. We use our experience, financial resources and connections to help nonprofits navigate complex challenges. We create new ways for funders to support them. Together with our nonprofit and funder partners, we relentlessly fight for a healthier and more just society.

History

SeaChange was founded as a nonprofit in 2007 in the belief that some of the skills developed in finance, technology, and real estate could, if combined with empathy and humility, help nonprofits facing complex challenges while meeting the needs of funders.

After an initial focus on education and youth development, we gradually expanded our activities into grant-making in support of mergers and sustained collaboration, high-impact lending, and consulting. We also share the insights yielded from our on-the-ground engagements with nonprofits. SeaChange’s work continues to evolve in response to the challenges faced by nonprofits and unmet needs of funders.

  • We are guided by the facts.
  • We are professional and level-headed even in challenging and delicate situations.
  • We are entrepreneurial in seeking new ways to fight for nonprofits.
  • We are creative in drawing upon the best practices of the nonprofit, for-profit, and public sectors.
  • We value our independence and financial stability.
  • We respect our partners—nonprofit and funder—and one another.
  • We strive to do no harm.

Guiding
Principles

Meet
the team


Staff

Diana Bilbao

Diana Bilbao

Associate

Diana Bilbao

Diana Bilbao

Associate

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, assisting with credit transactions, 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 management 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 an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She recently completed the Developing Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals at Columbia Business School.

Jessica L. Cavagnero

Jessica L. Cavagnero

Partner

Jessica L. Cavagnero

Jessica L. Cavagnero

Partner

Jess leads SeaChange’s activity in nonprofit mergers and sustained collaboration as well as its work in helping nonprofits analyze and develop financial strategies to refine their business models, including scenario planning, risk assessment, and restructuring. She is responsible for two grantmaking funds, The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration and The New York Merger, Acquisition, and Collaboration Fund, which each support nonprofits that are exploring or planning mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, administrative and programmatic partnerships, etc. Since 2012, Jess has partnered with over 800 nonprofit leaders and board members, representing organizations of all sectors, geographies, and sizes, in their pursuit of sustained collaborations. She helped launch the Greater Philadelphia Nonprofit Repositioning Fund and the National Sustained Collaboration Network, where she serves as a member of the Advisory Board. Prior to her transition to the nonprofit sector, Jess was a Vice President in the Client Strategy Group at Credit Suisse, where she developed global coverage strategies for 50 of the firm’s most important clients. Jess was among the firm’s seven finalists for the 2010 Women’s Bond Club Rising Star Award. She is a proud native New Yorker and graduate of Cornell University. She spends her "free” time encouraging her sons to be Mets fans, much to her husband’s dismay.

Lindsay Kijewski

Lindsay Kijewski

Associate

Lindsay Kijewski

Lindsay Kijewski

Associate

Lindsay joined SeaChange in 2018 and manages the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration, as well as supporting the Nonprofit Repositioning Fund and SeaChange’s field-building initiatives. Before joining SeaChange, she held positions as a Social Impact Fellow with the University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy and Penn’s M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership program. In her time at Penn, Lindsay focused on strategic planning, design and delivery of leadership development curriculum, and program expansion. Lindsay began her career at the University of Virginia Alumni Association, managing a portfolio of alumni affinity groups and their volunteer boards. She is a part-time instructor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, where she helps to design and teach graduate-level seminars in nonprofit governance and social impact assessment. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia.

John MacIntosh

John MacIntosh

Managing Partner

John MacIntosh

John MacIntosh

Managing Partner

John spends much of his time exploring new ways that SeaChange might help nonprofits facing complex challenges. 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), is a trustee of the John Jay Foundation and the Putney School, and is an equity investment advisor to MicroVest Capital Management. John lives in Brooklyn with his wife and four daughters.

Nadya K. Shmavonian

Nadya K. Shmavonian

Partner

Nadya K. Shmavonian

Nadya K. Shmavonian

Partner

Nadya K. Shmavonian is a partner at SeaChange Capital Partners and Director of the Greater Philadelphia Nonprofit Repositioning Fund. The Repositioning Fund is a pooled fund contributed by philanthropic partners that encourages and supports mergers and other types of formal, sustained collaborations among nonprofit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region. Nadya served as president of Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) from 2010–2012, where she presided over the responsible dissolution of the organization. Nadya also 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. Ms. Shmavonian has served on many foundation and nonprofit boards, including the Center for Effective Philanthropy, The Lenfest Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation. She serves as Board President for Social Impact Commons, the nation’s first incubator and shared services platform for the fiscal sponsorship field. She is a Senior Fellow at the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management, and teaches graduate seminars on nonprofit governance at the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the 2018 Excellence in Teaching award. 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.

Tajreena Tabassoom

Tajreena Tabassoom

Vice President

Tajreena Tabassoom

Tajreena Tabassoom

Vice President

Taj manages SeaChange’s credit portfolio, overseeing Contact Fund and The New York Pooled PRI Fund, both of which lend to nonprofits working with and on behalf on low-income New Yorkers. Taj also works on select advisory services projects. Before joining SeaChange, she 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.

Board

Frank Liu

Board Member

Frank Liu

Board Member

Frank is the Chief Creative Officer at Siegelvision, a brand consulting firm specializing in working with purpose driven organizations.

After four years at the Robin Hood Foundation, Frank was recruited by branding pioneer Alan Siegel to build a world-class creative team. The bold branding programs they developed has re-energized organizations and attracted record-breaking new supporters and fund-raising numbers, all translating into the one essential goal of lifting more people's lives.

Frank is the founder of the Dinner Guys Giving Circle, which makes grants to LGBT Asian American organizations fighting for equity. In 2017 he was named one of the top 25 leaders by Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. He is also a board member of the Stonewall Community Foundation.

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Cornell University. Participating in New York’s rich cultural life is a continuous inspiration for Frank’s work.

Tata Traoré-Rogers

Board Member

Tata Traoré-Rogers

Board Member

Tata is a seasoned nonprofit executive and a passionate advocate for women’s rights, in the US and abroad. Up to September 2018, Tata was the Executive Director of Manifesta, an independent digital campaigning platform grounded in human rights and feminist principles. Manifesta seeks to advance, change, and take collective action for gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights, connecting individuals around the world to the work of feminist organizations and networks. Prior to Manifesta, Tata was Executive Director of Turning Point Brooklyn a community-based organization that provides “at-potential” residents of Greater Brooklyn with integrated housing, education, health, and social services. All services are strength-based, aimed at helping clients improve their self-efficacy and self-sufficiency. Tata also served as Deputy Executive Director at the Astraea Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting groups working to secure human rights for the LGBTI people, and advancing gender, racial, economic and social justice worldwide.

Tata is an adjunct professor at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College where she teaches courses on Urban Public Health and Community Health. Tata is fluent in several languages and a former resident of France, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Senegal and as such, brings a unique intercultural perspective to her work. She is currently training to become a psychoanalyst at Reik Institute of Psychoanalysis. She is a graduate of Metropolitan College and lives in Brooklyn with her two daughters.

Douglas K. Smith

Board Chair

Douglas K. Smith

Board Chair

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.

W. Bowman Cutter

Board Treasurer

W. Bowman Cutter

Board Treasurer

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.

Margaret Crotty

Board Member

Margaret Crotty

Board Member

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.

Georgia Levenson Keohane

Board Member

Georgia Levenson Keohane

Board Member

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.

Taylor Kushner

Board Member

Taylor Kushner

Board Member

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.

Mark Reed

Board Member

Mark Reed

Board Member

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.

Gary Syman

Board Member

Gary Syman

Board Member

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

Founder Emeritus

Charles T. Harris III

Founder Emeritus

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.

John MacIntosh

Board Member

John MacIntosh

Board Member

John spends much of his time exploring new ways that SeaChange might help nonprofits facing complex challenges. 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), is a trustee of John Jay Foundation, and is an equity investment advisor to MicroVest Capital Management. John lives in Brooklyn with his wife and four daughters.

Jessica L. Cavagnero

Board Member

Jessica L. Cavagnero

Board Member

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.

Making
an impact


We partner with nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, pursuing a diverse range of missions, and facing a myriad of complex challenges. In each engagement, we ask questions, challenge assumptions, and analyze data to support nonprofits in making informed, mission-driven decisions.

We apply the same process to ourselves. We regularly assess our approach to ensure that we are using resources in the most efficient way. We are in an open and ongoing dialogue with our funding partners about impact. We constantly ask ourselves: Did we help our nonprofit partners address their specific challenges? What we might have been able to do better?

see our impact

What
we do


SeaChange uses a variety of tools to help nonprofits address complex challenges. These include grants, loans, consulting, referrals, and the insights we’ve gained doing the work.

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