Lever Fund staff, advisors, and Board members work together to fight poverty in the National Capital Region through the power of nonprofit innovation and collective philanthropy.


Jill L. Barrett

is Interim Executive Director at The Lever Fund where she leads the creation and implementation of strategic initiatives that help the organization build on its assets and activate all stakeholders in the fight to end poverty. A life and professional coach with a background in social innovation, Jill brings a holistic approach to her work. She is founder of Evolve, a coaching and organizational development firm and former Director at Ashoka, a global NGO and the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs. Jill is the eighth generation in her family born and raised in the Washington, D.C. region. 

Strategic Advisors

Hannfried von Hindenburg

is a communications executive with leadership experience across three continents in both the commercial and non-profit sectors. He drives strategic business results via brand positioning, internal culture change and reputation management. Hannfried has also held positions in journalism and academia, has published on global issues and appeared as an on-air TV anchor. He met his wife in Washington, D.C. and their two sons are District natives.

Board of Directors

Connie K. N. Chang (Chair)

is an advisor, consultant, and public speaker for clients in government, academia, and the private sector, and the co-owner of a creative analytic design firm, Graphicacy, located in Washington, D.C. She brings twenty years of program evaluation and leadership experience to the Board.

Chike Aguh (Vice Chair)

is Head of Economic Mobility Pathways at the Education Design Lab. There he leads the Community College Growth Engine Fund, an innovative, tri-sector and $2.5M dollar effort turning community colleges into bridges to careers in high growth fields. Chike is also a Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy where he is writing a book on the future of work and racial equity, and Venture Partner at Maryland-based New Markets Venture Partners where he focuses on workforce technologies. He is a faculty member at Columbia University and advisor on social impact to Baltimore-based upskilling technology startup Catalyte.

Matt Clyne

is the CEO and President of PayTech Trust.  Headquartered in the Dulles Corridor of Northern Virginia, PayTech Trust is an emerging leader in the financial technology industry. A Blue Diamond-award winning company, PayTech Trust has been providing customized electronic payment processing to over 15,000 businesses across the United States since 1994.

Tim Lee

is an accomplished founder, investor, and finance executive. His deep background in financial planning and modeling, business development, fundraising, investment selection and management has been honed over more than 18 years' experience with large firms and start-ups alike. Tim enjoys spending time with his family and working on projects that make a difference.


Ann Marie Habershaw

(1962-2018) was a cofounder and board member of the Lever Fund. In this November 2017 blog post, Ann Marie wrote, "I have had the opportunity to work throughout my career with people who focus each and every day on creating equality of opportunity for all. It is why I was inspired by a group of like-minded people to help start the Lever Fund." She was Chief Operating Officer of Bully Pulpit Technologies and had previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Obama for America and as Chief of Staff and Director of External Affairs at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. A formidable leader, Ann Marie was the heart of Lever Fund. We carry her spirit with us as we continue to expand opportunity in the region.

Gary Jonas

(1945-2014) was a cofounder and board member of the Lever Fund. Gary believed that together we could be a force for good in our community. He was CEO of Strategic Planning Advisors, and was the first Managing Partner of Venture Philanthropy Partners in Washington, D.C., where he hired the leadership team and executed an analysis of potential investments. He touched each of us, sharing with us his passion and commitment, and making us think boldly about how we could have the greatest impact. We miss him greatly and we will not forget him as we carry on the fight.

Jeannette O’Connor

is President of Woodside Park Strategies, a communications and advocacy consultancy that specializes in strategic communications and campaign planning for nonprofits and foundations. Jeannette has held leadership positions at GMMB and the Children’s Defense Fund.

Nathaniel Pearlman

is an entrepreneur who founds, runs, advises, and invests in businesses and nonprofits. Nathaniel's first company, NGP Software, Inc. (now NGP VAN, Inc.) which he started in 1997, dominates the Democratic political technology space. He was chief technology officer for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. He interviews progressive political entrepreneurs and other leaders and thinkers at his Great Battlefield podcast. He currently produces information technology products through Timeplots, LLC and helps other enterprises tell their stories visually through Graphicacy.

Mark Swartz

is a writer and communicator who helps nonprofit organizations tell their stories. Previously, he served as Lever Fund's Managing Director, bringing his warm, collegial spirit and many innovation best practices to the organization. Mark has held senior communications positions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. and the Robin Hood Foundation and MoMA in New York City.

Past Board Members

Patrice King Brickman

is Executive Director of the Scott and Patrice Brickman Family Foundation, and has served on several nonprofit boards both locally and nationally. While her primary passion has been centered on poverty and homelessness, Patrice is also involved with nonprofits focused on education and the arts. She currently serves on the boards of CharityWorks, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Peer Health Exchange, and Wolf Trap. Previously, Patrice served on the board of the National Center for Children and Families and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Andre Collins

is Executive Director of the NFLPA Professional Athletes Foundation. After 10 seasons in the NFL and prior to joining the NFLPA, Andre served as Head of the Emergency Registration Department at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Charlotte Fallon

has over 20 years of marketing and communications experience in the professional services sector, most recently as a National Director of Marketing for Deloitte. Prior to that, Charlotte was the Marketing Director for Powell Goldstein, a law firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of The Children’s School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rosalyn Levy Jonas

is a past president of the JCC of Greater Washington and was National Board Chair of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Maura O. Kahn

is Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, of Noxilizer, Inc. Previously, Maura was Senior Director of Marketing at MedImmune. She spent nine years at Eli Lilly in U.S. Diabetes Marketing, Sales Management, Business Development and Global New Product Planning.

Peter Kirsch

is Managing Partner, Blue Marlin Partners. He served as Managing Director of the Lever Fund during the organization’s start-up phase.

John T. Monahan

is the Senior Advisor for Global Health and Engagement to Georgetown University’s President John J. DeGioia. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at Georgetown’s School of Public Policy and a Senior Scholar with its O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Over the course of his professional career, John has played senior leadership roles at the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation; served as Counsel to U.S. Senator David Pryor; and held senior positions in multiple political campaigns, including President Clinton’s 1992 race.

Yanev Suissa

is the Founder of SineWave Ventures, a new fund focused on connecting Silicon Valley to the public sector. Prior to founding SineWave, Yanev was an investor at New Enterprise Associates in their Washington, D.C. office. Yanev serves on the Technology Advisory Board for NJIT and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, as well as on the boards of NYCVC, a group dedicated to building relationships among the next generation of New York venture capitalists, and Generation Citizen, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young people to become engaged and effective citizens.