NEO Philanthropy Welcomes New Program Directors

NEO Philanthropy, a leading social justice philanthropic intermediary, welcomes two new directors to its program teams. Aileen Rosa Sánchez serves as NEO’s Director, Donor Services and Special Projects while Chhandasi Pandya Patel is the Director of Inclusive Democracy at the Four Freedoms Fund, a collaborative fund dedicated to strengthening the immigrant justice movement, housed at NEO Philanthropy. Both directors joined NEO this month.

“In both Chhandasi and Aileen, NEO is fortunate to welcome expert collaborators with a deep connection and commitment to movements for social and racial justice. Our growing team represents NEO’s continued focus on change-making philanthropy that centers community leadership and supports movements long-term,” said Michele Lord, President of NEO Philanthropy.

About Chhandasi Pandya Patel

Chhandasi Pandya Patel joins NEO after serving as a Program Officer of the Human Rights team at the Heising-Simons Foundation and Heising-Simons Action Fund. There, she directed a portfolio at the intersections of immigrant justice and criminal justice reform and immigrant justice and democracy.

A long-time immigrants’ rights advocate and grantmaker, Chhandasi has helped stand up grantmaking programs at a variety of intersections that touch the lives of immigrant communities, including around education, legal services, and movement infrastructure. Prior to her work as a grantmaker, Chhandasi served as a policy analyst with the Migration Policy Institute where she led research, analysis, and technical assistance provision on language access to ensure linguistic and cultural equity in public programs and services, and as a journalist, most recently at The Wall Street Journal Online. She holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park. Chhandasi is a proud bilingual Indian immigrant, mother of two, wife, daughter, and sister.

About Aileen Rosa Sánchez

Aileen Rosa Sánchez is an entrepreneurial strategist with a successful career increasing revenue, building community, and furthering organizational missions.

Aileen received her BA from Oberlin College and MBA from Augsburg University. She received the Oberlin College Community Action Fellowship, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Community Development Careership, Hispanics in Philanthropy Next Generation Philanthropy Fellowship, and other recognitions.

Aileen’s previous experience includes work with the Mayo Clinic, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and various Twin Cities nonprofits, as well as political and foundation engagement. She has helped build diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at various institutions and is a certified Racially Conscious Collaborator. Aileen served as a founding board member of the Latino Economic Development Center and the New World School of the Arts Alumni Foundation. Aileen lives with her family in north Minneapolis.


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