NEO Philanthropy Welcomes New Board Chair

NEO Philanthropy, a leading social justice philanthropic intermediary, recently welcomed Sean Thomas-Breitfeld as chair of its board of directors. As the organization embarks on a new strategic plan in 2023, the board of directors—with Thomas-Breitfeld at the helm—will play an integral role in guiding and supporting NEO Philanthropy and its partners. 

NEO’s former board chair, John Gilroy will continue his service as a board member while longtime member Sean Thomas-Breitfeld assumes the chair post. Kerrien Suarez and Kristen Ruff will serve as first and second vice chairperson, respectively. Christina Schatz will continue her role as secretary-treasurer.

Michele Lord, NEO Philanthropy President, celebrated the announcement:

“As we start a new year, I’m thrilled to continue working with Sean Thomas-Breitfeld in his new role as NEO’s board chair. With his deep experience in social justice work and proven commitment to NEO’s shared values, he will be an important advisor and partner in 2023 and beyond. We are grateful for the leadership that John Gilroy, NEO’s former board chair, has provided over the years. Sean’s term promises to continue the strong relationship between NEO’s board of directors, staff, and community stakeholders.”

NEO Philanthropy’s Board of Directors is:

  • Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, Chair
  • Kerrien Suarez, First Vice Chairperson
  • Kristen Ruff, Second Vice Chairperson
  • Christina Schatz, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Cathy Albisa, Member
  • John Gilroy, Member
  • Glenn Harris, Member
  • Darren Sandow, Member

“NEO Philanthropy plays a distinct and important role at the intersection of philanthropy and the social justice community facilitating communications, the development of strategy, and the deployment of vital resources needed by a variety of movements and organizations,” said Gilroy. “I am deeply inspired by the work that NEO does with all its partners and thankful for the opportunity to have played a role for so long. I look forward to continuing to support Sean and Michele, and the rest of the board and staff as we develop and implement a new strategic plan.”

Thomas-Breitfeld commented, “I am honored to follow John as NEO’s Board Chair, and I am excited to work with Michele, the staff, and my fellow board members to support organizations and funders on the frontlines of the fights for social justice and human rights,”  The fiscally sponsored projects and funder collaboratives housed at NEO are leading on a wide range of issues, and I look forward to learning with and from the deep expertise of NEO’s team as we engineer the interconnected infrastructure needed to build durable movements.

About Sean Thomas-Breitfeld

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld co-directs the Building Movement Project (BMP), a national organization that develops research, tools, and supports for nonprofits, networks, and movements. Prior to joining BMP, Sean spent a decade working in various roles at Community Change and started his career as a policy analyst at UnidosUS. 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.

Learn more about NEO Philanthropy’s Board of Directors by visiting our team page.


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