Cassandra’s work is grounded in the belief that philanthropic work is most effective in partnership with, rather than merely on behalf of, community.
csb philanthropic solutions partners with communities and organizations, helping leaders work across boundaries to create lasting change.
In service of this, Cassandra works with groups to:
Translate between sectors, issue areas, and roles to promote shared understanding
Develop common goals and aligned actions
Create space for difficult conversations that help to make assumptions explicit and address adaptive challenges
Identify methods for increasing community voice, leadership, and decision-making to ensure that people with lived experience are helping to influence and create the necessary longer-term system changes
Cassandra’s experience spans cities and issues areas
Before founding csb philanthropic solutions, Cassandra worked as a Senior Program Officer for the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, where she designed and directed a multimillion-dollar strategic grantmaking program and managed a diverse portfolio of direct service, capacity building, and system change investments.
Prior to that role, she served as Executive Director of LifeMoves (formerly InnVision Shelter Network), a county-wide provider of homeless services, and as Development Director of Larkin Street Youth Services.
She has served on numerous community boards and task forces, including as an appointee to the San Francisco Mayor’s Ten Year Plan Commission and as the Board Chair of First Place for Youth, a statewide nonprofit serving former foster youth. In recognition of her commitment and leadership, Cassandra received the Private Business Leader Award from the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California.
Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco
Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan
Graduate of Harvard Business School’s Executive Nonprofit Management Program
Recently completed the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Results Count™ Advanced Practitioners Learning Cohort with an emphasis on Results-Based Facilitation and Adaptive Leadership
"Cassandra has a strong commitment to improving lives and brings a sense of passion and urgency to her work. She has an ability to think both strategically and operationally and to translate her experience as a provider into being an effective and empathic grantmaker."
- Rick Williams, CEO, Sobrato Family Foundation (& former National Programs Director, Charles & Helen Schwab Foundation)
Cassandra is proud to collaborate with the following organizations
She partners with a range of subject matter experts and firms to best meet the needs of particular projects.
When she’s not working, Cassandra loves to be active and outside
Cassandra can be found hiking in the East Bay Hills and along the Point Reyes National Seashore or exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Whitney, trekked to Machu Picchu, and completed the Torres del Paine circuit in Patagonia. Each year, she participates in Ride for a Reason, a 110-mile bike ride that raises money for Oakland public schools.
In addition to hiking, she also enjoys traveling abroad and learning about different places and cultures. She spent 4 months backpacking through New Zealand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos; 3 months in Guatemala, Ecuador, and Peru; and 3 months living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her favorite travel companion is her daughter, a soon-to-be University of Chicago freshman who co-founded a youth social justice organization called BASTA. Cassandra's daughter is also fluent in Spanish, which comes in handy on their trips abroad.
Photo: Backpacking on the Kepler Trek, New Zealand
Banner Image: Living Cities Integration Initiative; Headshot photo: Sam Deaner Photography