Margot Fahnestock – Population Program Officer
Margot Fahnestock, a policy expert in family planning and reproductive health, has joined the Foundation as an officer in the Population Program. She is responsible for grantmaking to reduce unintended pregnancies and ensure reproductive rights in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Fahnestock replaces Nicole Gray, whose term ended in July. Before joining the Foundation, Fahnestock managed West African field operations for a health policy initiative at the Futures Group, funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Since 2005, she held a variety of positions with the Futures Group and gained extensive experience working in Africa. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in public policy from The University of Chicago.
Brett Johnson – Associate Director for Public Investments
Brett Johnson, a portfolio manager in public real estate and equity investments, has joined the Foundation as associate director for public investments. At the Foundation, he will work closely with other senior members of the investment team to evaluate and select external fund managers, monitor their performance, and develop investment strategies. Johnson was the chief investment officer and portfolio manager for Grubb & Ellis AGA, a San Mateo-based mutual fund and investment firm, where he designed and managed its process for investing in real estate securities and fixed-income investments. He replaces Christie Zarkovich, who left the Foundation to help manage the endowment at the University of California, Berkeley. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations from Stanford University and a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Chloe O’Gara – Global Development Program Officer
Chloe O’Gara, an expert in children’s education and development, has joined the Foundation as an officer in the Global Development Program, where she helps direct grants to improve the quality of education that children receive in the developing world. O’Gara replaces Ward Heneveld, who continues to work part time for the Foundation during the transition. Before joining the Foundation, she was associate vice president for education and child development at the Washington, D.C.-based Save the Children Federation, where she was responsible for programs, advocacy, and investments to improve basic education and human development of marginalized children. O’Gara has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Swarthmore College, a master’s of education degree in early childhood education from the University of Rochester, and a doctorate of education in development, learning, and instruction, also from the University of Rochester.
Margarita Parra – Environmental Program Officer
Margarita María Parra, a chemical and environmental engineer and expert on international environmental policy, has joined the Foundation as an officer in the Environment Program. At the Hewlett Foundation, she will direct grants to support sustainable transportation, a critical component of the Foundation’s work to reduce transportation-related air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. She replaces Joseph Ryan, whose eight-year term of service had ended, according to the limits for program officers and directors at the Hewlett Foundation. Before coming to the Foundation, Parra was a program associate at the ClimateWorks Foundation in San Francisco, where she helped develop strategies to reduce carbon emissions in Latin America. Earlier, she served as a consultant on policy and research for a variety of environmental organizations. Parra has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National University of Colombia in Bogotá and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. She also has a diploma in population and sustainable development from the Centre for Development Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Trivandrum, India.
Elizabeth Peters – Associate General Counsel
Elizabeth Peters, an attorney who is an expert in tax laws affecting foundations and charities, has joined Hewlett General Counsel Lawrence Mendenhall as associate general counsel. At the Foundation, she will have a wide range of duties, including advising its staff on legal issues at the state, federal, and international level and refining the Foundation’s systems for complying with applicable laws. Peters comes to the Foundation from the firm of Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., where her practice focused on tax-exempt organizations, international tax law, and corporate law. Peters has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and a law degree from Yale Law School, where she was a senior editor of The Yale Law Journal.
Christopher Shearer – Education Program Officer
Christopher Shearer, a former associate executive director of the National Geographic Society’s Education Foundation, has joined the Foundation as an officer in the Education Program. He will help manage grants to reform education through policy change in selected states across the country and help implement the Education Program’s “deeper learning” strategy. Before joining the Foundation, Shearer held a variety of positions with the National Geographic Society, most recently as the manager of grantmaking for its $140 million Education Foundation. Shearer has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and biology and a master’s degree in English literature, both from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.