About Us
Sommer Alex
MIE Impact Fellow
As a MIE Impact Fellow, Sommer  supports the Member Experience team to foster meaningful connections and drive collaborative efforts among members in the MIE network, along with supporting overall strategy for addressing member needs.
Before joining the MIE team, Sommer had experience in both nonprofit and agency work. This background informs her perspective on how capital deployment in philanthropy can create impactful solutions.
Sommer is a recent Stanford graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Science, Technology, and Society and a passion for leveraging technology and innovation to drive positive social change. Sommer joined MIE as part of Stanford’s Community Impact Fellowship.
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Nicholas Almeida Headshot
Nicholas Almeida
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Nicholas oversees the development and implementation of strategy, systems, and processes to support Mission Investor Exchange’s growing leadership role in the impact investing field.
Nicholas’ previous experience includes leadership roles in philanthropy, impacting investing, and government. Most recently, Nicholas served as a senior advisor to the Mayor of San Jose where he led strategic partnerships and social finance efforts with corporations and foundations; developed and advanced service initiatives as the City’s first-ever Chief Service Officer; and lead the development and implementation of the Mayor’s priorities for the City’s $4.5 billion annual budget. Nicholas is also the co-founder of an impact investing firm where he facilitated individual and institutional investments in startups and community development projects. At Tides, Nicholas led strategy and developed new impacting investing products for individuals, family offices, and foundations.
Earlier in his career, Nicholas served as an auditor for the State of California and also held roles in public finance, management consulting, and program evaluation. Nicholas is an active advisor for social impact startups and currently teaches social entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, School of Management.
Nicholas graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and a Master’s degree in Sociology. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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Obi Asiama
Director, Member Experience
As Director of Member Experience, Obi is a key partner in shaping the strategic direction of member services at Mission Investors Exchange, leading the day-to-day management of membership processes.
Obi brings eleven years of experience in the philanthropic, corporate, non-profit, and hospitality sectors. Most recently, Obi served as the Director of Member Services at Philanthropy Southwest where he led strategic organizational direction and membership development for a network of 210+ community, corporate, private, independent, and family foundations. Over the years Obi has worked with a myriad of stakeholders in both the public and nonprofit sector on growth strategy, member benefits, member services, program development, organizational transformation, systems integrations, and event management.
Obi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, Resource Management from Cornell University, and is a graduate of the 2023 Dana Juett Residency Program with Social Venture Partners. He is based in Dallas.
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Melanie Audette
Senior Vice President, Member Experience and Partnerships
As Senior Vice President, Member Experience and Partnerships, Melanie plays a strategic leadership role at Mission Investors Exchange, helping to set organizational direction. She works with our members to identify and drive additional resources towards innovative impact investing opportunities, facilitates partnerships across the sector, and represents our network in an increasingly expanding field.
Melanie began her career as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service and subsequently managed family offices and a private foundation. She has deep experience in the nonprofit sector, having been in leadership roles in four membership associations and nine nonprofit organizations. Melanie is a board member of the Energy Foundation and a founding member of the Impact Investing Committee for the Council of Michigan Foundations and Invest for Better. She is a graduate of Indiana University and is based in Seattle.
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Lizzie Avila
MIE Impact Fellow
As a MIE Impact Fellow, Elizabeth works with the Programs team to develop resource libraries for MIE's focus areas and supports the development of webinars and other types of programming.
Prior to MIE, Elizabeth interned at the San Francisco Department of the Environment where she led a project to make hazardous waste disposal programs more equitable and accessible. She also collaborated with community partners on programs at the Department of the Environment, such as the Green Business program. Before that, Elizabeth interned at the NRDC, advocating for utility shut off protections and eviction protections to advance environmental justice and researching Public Utility Commissions across 13 states to find areas to increase procedural and structural equity.
Elizabeth is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she holds a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems and Minor in Urban Studies, focused on sustainable development. She is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Elizabeth joined MIE as part of Stanford’s Community Impact Fellowship.
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Sophia Brown Headshot
Sophia Brown
Senior Associate, Programs
As Senior Associate, Sophia (they/them) collaborates with the program team to help create and execute education opportunities for MIE members, including the MIE National Conference. 

Sophia brings over a decade of experience working in the private sector, philanthropy, and direct service work. After serving as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte, Sophia recently started a consulting practice to support clients seeking to approach data analysis, survey design and grants management from an equity lens. Sophia has worked with a variety of clients in both the public and nonprofit sector on growth strategy, project management, workforce transformation, and DEI data analytics. Prior to this work, Sophia worked in the grants management department at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Sophia holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Ohio State University and a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University. They have a deep interest in local food systems, BIPOC farmers, land stewardship practices and is currently based in Savannah, GA. 

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Mark Bernstiel
Coordinator, Programs
As Coordinator, Mark provides project execution and operational support for the Programs team, including field research, speaker coordination, and program execution
Mark’s previous experience includes three years with the Alabama Power Foundation, where he managed charitable giving initiatives. Mark was responsible for cultivating cross-sector partnerships to foster a more inclusive economy through providing education, resources, and capital for social enterprises. While in this position, Mark completed his fellowship with Venture for America and engaged in a variety of roles to serve nonprofits, corporations, start-ups, and academic institutions.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability from Saint Joseph’s University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He can often be found supporting a local small business or reading a good book, and he currently resides in Philadelphia.
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Emily Elliott
MIE Impact Fellow
As a MIE Impact Fellow, Emily supports the development of social media, newsletter, and website materials as well as supporting general communications projects.
Emily’s previous experience includes managing social media and newsletter releases for organizations ranging from the non-profit Crowdsourcing Sustainability to technology analytics company BlueZoo Inc. She has also worked on research regarding renewable energy in agriculture at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy. Emily is passionate about her work as a leader in various roles in the Stanford Native community and has committed herself to continue being an advocate and facilitator for Native voices.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems and a Master of Art in Sustainability from Stanford University. She is currently based in San Francisco, California. Emily joined MIE as a part of Stanford’s Community Impact Fellowship.
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Daniel Goldberg
Director, Programs
As Director, Programs, Dan also serves as Project Manager for MIE’s National Conference.
Dan’s previous experience includes two years leading events at Women’s World Banking, a global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to financial tools and resources. In this capacity, Dan planned and organized WWB’s flagship, Making Finance Work for Women Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Previously he spent ten years with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an annual event founded by President Bill Clinton that convened global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. Dan served in several roles during his time at CGI, including program development, member recruitment, advising members on philanthropic projects, and creating and leading the Small Business and Entrepreneurship tracks at the domestic-focused CGI America program.
Dan holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Peace Studies from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as a minor in International Relations. He is based in New York City.
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Sydney Greene
Associate, Communications and Marketing
As Associate, Sydney supports the development and execution of strategic communication materials across the Communication and Marketing team’s activities and initiatives with a focus on editorial planning and content marketing.
Over the course of nearly a decade, Sydney has brought her creative expertise and deep knowledge of communications, social media, and digital strategy to local and statewide political campaigns, national news organizations, progressive issue-based campaigns, and more. Sydney is a former journalist, where she reported for publications like The Arizona Republic, Teen Vogue, USA Today, and The Texas Tribune, covering everything from crime and court trials to local and national politics. After college, Sydney moved into political communications and advocacy, first working on political campaigns in Texas before finding a home in reproductive rights advocacy for young people. Throughout her time in advocacy and politics, Sydney has helped progressive candidates win local campaigns and has led the creative development and communications strategy for several large scale advocacy campaigns centered around sex education, contraceptive access, and more.
Sydney joins MIE from Advocates for Youth, where she led the expansion of the organization’s brand through influencer and brand partnerships, experiential online & offline campaigns and activations, and more. At Advocates for Youth, Sydney spearheaded compelling partnerships with brands like The Body Shop North America and has reached millions of online users through campaigns like #FreethePill. Sydney graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
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Elizabeth Katzenbach
Director, Finance & Operations

As Director, Finance & Operations, Elizabeth is responsible for ensuring effective organizational and financial operations for Mission Investors Exchange. 

Elizabeth’s previous experience includes approximately six years with financial services organizations, most recently as a member of the Finance and Operations team at Corsair Capital, a private equity investor in the global financial services sector. Prior to that, she was a member of the Infrastructure Advisory team at KPMG, where she assisted in providing strategic advice to public sector clients on the financial structuring and delivery of large, complex infrastructure projects.

Elizabeth is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a bachelor’s degree in both finance and accountancy from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

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Madeline Kraft
Coordinator, Member Experience
As Coordinator, Madeline provides project execution and operational support for the Member Experience team, including member connections , and encourages innovative thinking across the impact investing field.
Madeline’s previous experience includes a year and a half delivering impact investing education, hosting marketplace events, and managing client programs at Impact Finance Center, a nonprofit that identifies, educates, and activates impact investors. Prior to that, she lived in Kenya using communications to fundraise for Daraja Academy, a secondary school that uses education to empower girls from poverty.
Madeline earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and Media and Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she competed as a NCAA DI Track and Field athlete.
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Matt Onek
Matt Onek
President and Chief Executive Officer

Matt is the Chief Executive Officer of Mission Investors Exchange. He brings unique perspective to the organization’s work to grow the impact investing field, having championed mission investing within foundations, federal and local government, and in the private sector.

Matt has developed mission investing strategies for foundations and intermediaries, including the Walton Family Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Aspen Institute. As Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Matt coordinated a range of policy priorities in the Obama administration. Among them, he helped establish the White House Office of Social Innovation & Civic Participation and advanced policies supporting the impact investing movement. At Citigroup, Matt advised the Citi Foundation and designed investment partnerships between the private sector and philanthropy.

Earlier in his career, Matt served as Senior Counselor to the New York City Schools Chancellor under Mayor Bloomberg and as the first Director of the San Francisco Youth Commission.

Matt received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Stanford University. He lives in New York City with his wife, Kristen Kane, and their two children.

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Zineb Touzani
Senior Associate, Member Experience
As Senior Associate, Member Experience, Zineb is responsible for member and partner engagement and membership strategy and operations.
Zineb’s previous experience includes four and a half years at the Permanent Mission of Bahrain to the United Nations where she supported diplomats. Zineb was responsible for communications, external engagement, and leading event planning during high-level meetings such as the United Nations General Assembly. Prior to that, Zineb spent her time at non-profits working on issues such as access to maternal health and sex trafficking.
Zineb has been a member of Rotaract for 10 years and has held various leadership roles, including Rotary Youth Representative to the United Nations and Director of Programs of the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – North America Conference where she developed a 6-day annual conference program for leadership education and development.
Zineb holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science from the City College of New York and a Master of Science in Global Affairs / Global Economy from New York University.
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Jennifer L. Trivelli
Senior Director, Communications and Marketing
Jennifer joined Mission Investors Exchange in 2023 as Senior Director of Communications and Marketing. In this role, Jennifer will lead the management and growth of MIE’s communications and marketing processes, playing an active role in increasing the organization’s visibility, helping to evolve MIE’s outreach, member engagement, and overall organizational strategy.
Jennifer brings 16 years of experience to MIE, most recently as Senior Director of Integrated Marketing with the Cleveland Foundation, where she held successive marketing and communications roles for a decade, including as Director of Content Marketing and as Senior Marketing & Communications Officer. During this time, she supported ongoing marketing and communications strategies for the foundation’s $385 million impact investing program. She also played a leading role in the development and launch of the ImpactCleveland platform and helped convene a city-wide consortium of partners representing $375 million in impact capital. In addition, Jennifer provided comprehensive marketing and communications strategies supporting a decade of fundraising growth, including three top fundraising years, was instrumental in the award-winning Cleveland Foundation centennial year, and led signature events, including the organization’s annual meeting and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony.
Jennifer previously served as a Public Relations Associate with Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio, where she was responsible for enhancing the image and national reputation of several medical specialties, including cardiology, oncology, surgery, women’s health and ED/trauma. In this role, she earned Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certification and completed training at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness, earning certification in Hospital Incident Command. She previously held successive marketing and public relations roles at Robinson Memorial Hospital.
Jennifer graduated from Kent State University with a Master of Business Administration in finance and a Bachelor of Science in public relations with a minor in political science. She serves as a volunteer mentor with College Now Greater Cleveland.
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James Wahls
Senior Vice President, Programs and Initiatives
As Senior Vice President, Programs and Initiatives, James will ensure the development and execution of best-in-class, peer-to-peer educational opportunities and investment-specific initiatives that leverage the experience, expertise, and innovation of MIE’s vibrant network.
James brings over 15 years of experience in the philanthropic, impact investing, and legal sectors. Most recently as portfolio manager of social investments for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland, he co-managed a $140+ million impact investing portfolio allocation comprised of equity, debt, and direct investments. Impact areas included financial inclusion, affordable housing, quality job creation, and community development. While there he also spearheaded Casey’s small business strategy in Baltimore, including the Baltimore Small Business Support Fund, a multi-funder collaborative designed to address gaps within the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This work led to a partnership with the city’s Baltimore Development Corporation as part of its COVID-19 response efforts to support entrepreneurs of color.
Previously, James was an impact investing manager at W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he co-managed a $100 million market-rate, mission-aligned portfolio and helped to double the program-related investments portfolio. He is also credited with architecting the Detroit Entrepreneurs of Color Fund that became a model for similar programs around the country.
James has an extensive record of expanding racial equity in social finance and supporting entrepreneurs of color. He has supported CDFIs in the U.S. South, led affordable housing investments nationally, and deployed private equity capital via managers of color. As managing director of the Revolve Fund, he directs catalytic capital to businesses, financial intermediaries, and nonprofits led by people of color. James holds a J.D. from University of Michigan Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Michigan. He serves on the board of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative and on the impact investing subcommittee for the Baltimore Community Foundation. Originally from Detroit, Michigan, James resides in Baltimore with his wife and daughter.
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Katheryn Witt
Director, Program Content
As Director of Program Content, Katheryn plays a key role in leading the strategy and development of relevant, accessible, and effective program offerings to best support MIE’s network. 
Katheryn brings a decade of experience in the philanthropic sector. Most recently, she served as the Director of Funder Learning at Common Future, where she led the incubation of emerging trends in philanthropy to catalyze more equitable philanthropic practices. In this role she designed and led the organization’s portfolio of foundation-focused initiatives including consulting, facilitating, and content and curriculum development with an emphasis on economic justice and racial equity. This portfolio of initiatives supported the shift of over $300 million into investments that build community wealth and power. She also developed the Action Lab: Participatory Investing – an initiative in which institutions learned about, experimented with, and applied participatory strategies and principles through institutional projects and a collaborative fund. The Action Lab culminated in the development of a Participatory Investing Toolkit to support the field. 
Katheryn holds duel Bachelor of Arts degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Masters of Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. She is based in Denver.
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