Our Staff

Ann Alpers, President

Ann joined the Foundation board in 2004 and was elected president of the Foundation in 2005. Prior to joining the Foundation, she held public office as Deputy City Attorney for Health and Human Services for the City and County of San Francisco.

Ann graduated from Stanford Law School. Following law school, she clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. She joined the faculty of the Program in Medical Ethics at the University of California, San Francisco in 1992. Ann co-directed the required medical ethics course and sat on the ethics committee. She also taught health law and bioethics as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, St. Louis University School of Law, and the University of California, Berkeley. Ann was a Mayday Faculty Scholar through the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics and the Mayday Foundation in New York, New York.

She currently serves on the boards of the Greenwall Foundation and the Marin County Day School and chairs the board of Legal Services for Children.

Jamie Allison

Jamie Allison-Hope, Vice President Grants
Program Officer, Families and Communities

Jamie currently oversees the Foundation’s Families and Communities program area and manages the Program Related Investment and Recoverable Grant portfolio. Between 2006 and 2016, she managed the Foundation’s grantmaking in Youth Development and Affordable Housing.

Before joining Cowell, Jamie conducted research for universities and corporations and worked at the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco and the Lyndhurst Foundation in Chattanooga, TN, her hometown.

Jamie’s civic involvement includes serving on the boards of The Whitman Institute, a philanthropy focused on promoting equity; U.S. Friends of CUSO International, a development organization that works to reduce global poverty; and REMAKE, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of apparel factory workers.

Jamie graduated from the University of Tennessee, where she earned a B.S. in Political Science and B.A.s in Economics, Spanish and Humanities. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.

Lorraine Cawaili

Lorraine Cawili, Program Assistant

Lorraine joined the Foundation staff in 2016. As a Program Assistant, she serves as a first point of contact for grantees, and assists in all aspects of grant processing, with a particular focus on Education and Youth Development. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was involved in several non-profit organizations and leadership development programs within the Bay Area, including the BASIC Fund and AMIGOS de las Americas. Lorraine received her B.A. in English Literature and Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Redlands.

Amy Chou

Amy Chou, Program Officer, Youth Development

Amy joined the Foundation in 2016. She manages the Foundation’s grantmaking in Youth Development.

She is a native of San Francisco’s Excelsior and Bayview neighborhoods and worked in the fields of education, youth development, leadership and community building for more than eight years. Her professional experience includes working as a college advisor, afterschool program coordinator, community school coordinator and college and career pathways director in Los Angeles and The Bronx, New York City.  Also, she served on the board of Kids Enjoy Exercise Now Los Angeles, a special needs youth organization.

Amy holds a master’s in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s in Fine Art from University of California, Los Angeles.

Ken Doane

Ken Doane, Executive Vice President
Program Officer, Education

Ken shepherds the grants program in Education and guides the Foundation’s processes for knowledge management and evaluation of the place-based, complementary grants strategy.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Ken has served as a middle and high school teacher, as a field investigator and writer for a university education research center, as senior manager of a nonprofit school improvement organization, and as an executive consultant to school districts, foundations and nonprofits with interests in outdoor and contemplative education, teacher professional development and educational equity.

Ken holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and he earned a secondary teaching certificate at the University of California, Berkeley. He serves on the governing boards of Mindful Schools and Center for the Collaborative Classroom.


Cynthia Farley

Cynthia Farley, Administrative Assistant

Cynthia joined the Foundation staff in 2004. As Administrative Assistant, she supports the President, Vice President Administration, and General Counsel. She is responsible for the front desk and also serves as general office manager. Prior to joining the Foundation, Cynthia worked as executive assistant and office manager for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. She holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Sonoma State University, and is certified to teach elementary education.

Samuel Israel

Samuel Israel, Database Manager

Samuel joined the Foundation staff in 2008. As the Database Manager, he maintains the integrity of the Cowell grants database. In addition, Samuel is responsible for updating the content of the Cowell website. Before coming to the Foundation Samuel worked as a Technical Support Analyst in the corporate world. With over 20 years experience in IT, he holds degrees in electronics and computer networking.

Anna Luna, Program Associate

Luna joined the Foundation staff in 2011.  As a Program Associate, she serves as a first point of contact for grantees, and assists in all aspects of grant processing, with a particular focus on Families and Communities.  Luna also supports the grants executive team and is responsible for event logistics and coordination of the Foundation’s bi-annual Grantee Leadership Retreat.

Luna is a member of the Latino Community Foundation’s Latina Giving Circle (San Francisco Chapter) and United Way of the Bay Area’s Women United.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the office manager and scholarship coordinator at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.  Luna received her B.A. in Chicano/a Studies with a public policy concentration from the University of California, Davis.

Lise Maisano

Lise Maisano, Senior Advisor

Lise joined the Foundation in 1990 and served as Vice President Grants for a decade beginning in 2006. As Senior Advisor, she continues to counsel and collaborate with the grants program staff and with grantee organizations.

During her years as a program officer with the Foundation, Lise was responsible for grantmaking in multiple areas, and she ultimately defined and shaped the Families and Communities program area. Under her stewardship, Cowell grants helped to grow and sustain Family Resource Centers in more than 30 communities across northern and central California and to foster development of essential resources in the family support field.

Lise served on the board and executive committees of Northern California Grantmakers and the Foundation Consortium, and was founding chair of LeaderSpring’s advisory council.

Raised in San Francisco, Lise attended City public schools, received a B.A. in Social Relations from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Donald Roberts

Donald D. Roberts, General Counsel

Don has provided general counsel to the Foundation since 2004. He has also served on the Foundation’s board. He is a retired partner of the international law firm Thelen, LLP (now dissolved). His primary area of legal and practice includes probate and estate planning, real estate and related business and tax matters.

Don has been admitted to the State Bar of California, the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Don holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and received his law degree from University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law.

Nina Washburne

Nina Washburne, Vice President Administration

Nina joined the Foundation staff in 2013 and manages the administrative operations of the Foundation. Prior to joining Cowell, Nina was Administrator for the Goldman Environmental Foundation and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund where she managed the finance, human resources and operations of both foundations.  She began her nonprofit career at the San Francisco Adult Day Services Network, a consortium of eldercare agencies serving frail and disabled adults in the City.

Nina studied at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan and the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.  She received a B.A. in Anthropology from San Francisco State University.

error: Content is protected !!