NEO Philanthropy Appoints Three New Board Members

NEO Philanthropy is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors: Sean Thomas-Breitfield, Darren Sandow and Ben Wyskida.

“As NEO continues its work to build strong social justice movements, I’m thrilled to welcome our new Board members,” said Michele Lord, NEO Philanthropy President. “Together the three leaders bring decades of philanthropy and nonprofit experience, as well as a deep commitment to furthering NEO’s mission.”

Sean Thomas-Breitfield co-directs the Building Movement Project (BMP), with a special focus on BMP’s work on service and social change. Prior to joining the BMP, Sean spent a decade working in various roles at the Center for Community Change (CCC). At CCC, he developed training programs for grassroots leaders, worked in CCC’s communications and policy departments where he coordinated online and grassroots advocacy efforts, and lobbied on a range of issues, including immigration reform, transportation equity and anti-poverty programs. Sean holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Multicultural Studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

Darren Sandow serves as the Executive Director of the Hagedorn Foundation, now in the process of sunsetting after 13 years of effective grantmaking. The Foundation uses Long Island as its lens to support and promote social equity in local communities.  He is a graduate of the Master’s Program for Nonprofit Management at New School for Social Research. His background is diverse, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, later working at the Health and Welfare Council of Nassau County and as the CFO for the People’s Firehouse in Brooklyn. Until 2005, Darren served as the Program Director for the Long Island Community Foundation and the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund (LIUUF).  He came to the Hagedorn Foundation in August of 2005. On average, the Hagedorn Foundation has provided more than $5 million in grant support to more than 40 nonprofit organizations.

Ben Wyskida is an accomplished political strategist and communications expert, with nearly 20 years of experience working for progressive social change. He has served as the CEO of Fenton Communications since 2017. He was previously an Executive Vice President at BerlinRosen Public Affairs, where he built the firm’s Philanthropy and Cultural Activism practice. Prior to BerlinRosen, Ben was with The Atlantic Philanthropies, where he developed capacity-building programs and provided crisis communications support for a portfolio of grantees working on health care reform, immigration and social security. He has been a leader in “media for media” communications for investigative journalism non-profits, and in developing impact campaigns for filmmakers and authors working for social change.

They join John Gilroy, Christopher Meyer, Patricia Bauman and Christina Schatz on NEO Philanthropy’s Board of Directors.

Learn more about NEO Philanthropy and our social justice mission at


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