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2023 Rising Leaders Cohort Information Session

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 -
11:30am to 12:45pm PST
Zoom Meeting
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Join us for an information session about the 2023 Rising Leaders Cohort!

Are you a rising leader in philanthropy, someone looking for ways to expand your impact within the sector and advance your career? Are you feeling like the skills that got you to this point in your career are not the same skills required to succeed at the next level? Are you looking for ways to connect with foundation peers and create long-lasting professional relationships? Would the support and mentoring from those peers boost your professional development? If you answered yes to these questions, the 2021 Rising Leaders Cohort offers you a unique opportunity to focus on your leadership journey within the field and build the skills that will take you to your next level.

The future of philanthropy lies in the hands of emerging leaders. In the Rising Leaders Cohort, our intention is to support the individuals who have a deep-seated passion for their own effectiveness in their work, and the effectiveness of the field as well.

The curriculum follows four main threads:
  • Emotional intelligence and leadership development
  • “Hard” skills development
  • Equity, inclusion, identity, and power
  • Career development

The Rising Leaders Cohort is designed for individuals who are newer in their careers, ideally with under 8 years of working experience in the social change fields. The information session will feature four alumni from the inaugural 2020 cohort.

This Session Will Feature:

  • The goals and outcomes of the Rising Leaders Cohort
  • An overview of the program structure, curriculum, timeline, and application process
  • Testimonials and experiences from alumni
  • A Q&A session with RLC faculty, staff, and alumni


Nilofar Gardezi, Program Officer and Grants Manager
Headshot and bio coming soon
Melissa Nop, Manager of Equity and Practice, Northern California Grantmakers

Melissa Nop (she/her/hers) has been working in philanthropy since 2017 and currently serves at NCG’s Manager of Equity and Practice supporting work around culture and community, racial equity, social justice, and public policy – helping to develop networks, training cohorts, and programming.  

Based in the North Bay, she most recently worked at Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees as a Program Associate. As the proud daughter of Khmer refugees, she is passionate about addressing the challenges that immigrants and refugees face. Her interest in healing intergenerational trauma became central after taking a powerful trip home to Cambodia with her mom and brother, which led her to sit on the board of the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants. Melissa is also the Education Chair for the Asian and Pacific Islander Giving Practice which works on empowering API communities to take on challenges locally and beyond. 

Melissa hopes to bring this lens into her work with the NCG community. 

Kate Seely, Leadership, Culture, and Community Senior Director, Northern California Grantmakers (moderator)
Kate is the Director of Leadership, Culture, and Community. In this role, she directs NCG’s professional and leadership development work, and guides our focus on organizational culture as a leverage point for impact. Before working in philanthropy, Kate co-founded the nonprofit Puente a la Salud Comunitaria in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community development organization focused on public health, economic development, and sustainable agriculture. She proudly chairs the board there and serves on the board of her amazing summer camp, the Bar 717 Ranch, and the nonprofit NewStories. She spent a transformative year completing a Master's in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, where she deepened her own understanding of the type of leadership and organizational culture that is needed to achieve both environmental and social sustainability. In her life beyond work, she loves farms, farmers, cooking, eating, canning, community, nature, hiking, and backpacking, and her two-year old niece, who consistently reminds her to be present in the current moment.

Target Audience 

This program is open to NCG members and nonmember funders.

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