Arca Foundation Staff
Anna Lefer Kuhn, Executive Director
Anna Lefer Kuhn is the Executive Director of the Arca Foundation, which works to advance social justice and human rights in the US and abroad. During Anna’ s tenure, Arca has turned its attention toward economic inequality and promoting greater financial reform as a means to advance a more equitable economy and just democracy. Prior to Arca, Anna was a Program Officer at the Open Society Foundation, where she conceived of and led initiatives to support youth media, organizing and leadership development.
Anna previously served on the boards of the White House Project, the Center for Working Families, the Urban Justice Center, the League of Young Voters Education Fund, and the advisory board of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation. Anna is a graduate of the Wesleyan University, and was a member of the 2004-2005 class of Coro Leadership New York.
Stacie Posey, Program & Grants Manager
Stacie Posey is the Program and Grants Manager at the Arca Foundation. In her role, Stacie oversees grants management for the foundation and supports the programmatic activities of the Executive Director. Prior to joining Arca, Stacie was a Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Capital Access at the US Small Business Administration. She worked on strategic communications and operations for the department.
Stacie previously served in the Obama Administration’s White House Office of Presidential Correspondence and is an alumni of the 2008 Obama for America campaign. Stacie is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Arca Foundation Board of Trustees
Margery Tabankin, President
Margery Tabankin has led a life dedicated to progressive public policy, philanthropy and politics. During her 45 year career in philanthropy, non-profit management, public policy and politics, Margery has directed over $500 million in support of key issues such as: civil rights, income inequality, environmental protection, women’s equality, democratic values, human rights and the search for peace and co-existence in regions of conflict. Margery began her activist career at the age of 17 when she was deeply involved in social justice activities. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Margery became one of the first women trainees at Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago. In Washington, DC, she worked on the Youth Citizenship Fund’s successful campaign to pass a Constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18. She then became the first woman President of the National Student Association. She has also served as the Executive Director of The Youth Project, the Director of the Federal Anti Poverty Program: Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), the Executive Director of the Arca Foundation, the Executive Director of the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee (HWPC). The Executive Director of the Streisand Foundation and the Executive Director of Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation. She then formed her own company that provided these same services to high net worth individuals.
She currently is the Chief Strategist to the Women’s Heart Alliance, a project that advocates for the awareness, advocacy and funding of Women’s Heart Health and Female Pattern Heart Disease. Marge has served on numerous non-profit Boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors of People for the American Way, The Streisand Foundation, The Institute for America’s Future, and Type Media Center. She was a Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Fairleigh Dickenson University.
Nicole Bagley, Vice President
Nicole Bagley focuses on positive social change and female empowerment in her work as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor. She leads the Brenn Foundation, which hosts thought-provoking, action-oriented gatherings regarding the world’s most complex issues; she is the Vice President of the Arca Foundation, which advances equity, justice, and human rights; and, she is a board member of the Sapelo Foundation, which promotes progressive social change and works to enhance and preserve the natural environment in Georgia. She is active in the Colorado impact community through her direct investments in early-stage companies and her membership in Investors’ Circle, Beyond our Borders, and CO Impact Days.
Mary E. King, Secretary
Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University for Peace
At age 22, Mary Elizabeth King went to work for the U.S. civil rights movement, first in Atlanta and then Mississippi, serving on the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Uniquely among SNCC staff she has built her academic specialty on the study of nonviolent civil resistance and has a worldwide reputation on the subject. Now a professor of peace and conflict studies at the UN-affiliated University for Peace (main campus Costa Rica), she is also a Distinguished Rothermere American Institute Fellow at the University of Oxford, Britain. Her first book Freedom Song: A Personal story of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement won her a 1988 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award. Her latest book is Gandhian Nonviolent Struggle and Untouchability in South India: The 1924–25 Vykom Satyagraha and the Mechanisms of Change (Oxford University Press). King served in the Carter Administration with worldwide oversight for the Peace Corps and responsibility for the domestic VISTA program and other national volunteer service programs. For her work on nonviolent action, King was awarded the Jamnalal Bajaj International Prize in Mumbai, the El-Hibri Peace Education Prize, and the James Lawson Award for Nonviolent Achievement. In 2011, her alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University bestowed on her the honorary doctor of laws degree and she was elected a Fellow by Aberystwyth University, in Wales, United Kingdom — their equivalent of an honorary degree — where she did her doctoral work in international politics.
Nancy R. Bagley, Treasurer
Ms. Bagley is a granddaughter of Arca Foundation founder, Nancy Susan Reynolds, and serves as Treasurer of the Arca Foundation. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Washington Life Magazine. She previously served as Coordinator of Corporate Communications for B.M.G. Entertainment in New York City. At the height of the Clinton Administration’s efforts to address health issues, Ms. Bagley worked on health care reform, first in the Public Liaison Office of the White House and then at the Democratic National Committee. Nancy also serves as Vice President of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in North Carolina.
Mike Lux is the co-founder of Democracy Partners, a consulting firm whose mission is building the progressive movement. Mike is a frequent blogger on Huffpo, DailyKos, and Crooks and Liars. He is the author of the book, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be.
Mike currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Arca Foundation, Netroots Nation, Americans United for Change, Progressive Congress, and USAction. He is the chair and founder of American Family Voices (AFV). He also was a co-founder and a former board member of Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Progressive Majority, Women’s Voices/Women Vote, and the Center for Progressive Leadership. He played a role in the early days of launching the Center for American Progress, Air America, and MoveOn.org. From January 1993 to mid-1995, Mike served as a Special Assistant to the President in the Clinton White House, and has played a leadership role on five Presidential campaigns.
The Rev. Joseph Eldridge
Joseph Eldridge is University Chaplain and Adjunct Faculty in the School of International Service at American University.
Joe Eldridge has spent more than twenty five years working in the public policy arena as both advocate and analyst on international human rights and humanitarian issues. In 1991 he established the Washington office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First); during the mid-1980s he worked in Honduras consulting on human rights and development issues; and after a three year sojourn in Chile in the early 1970s he co-founded the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and served as its first director. He serves on several boards, including the United States Institute for Peace (USIP). He has a MA in International Relations from American University, a MDiv from Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and a DMin from Wesley Theological Seminary. He is married to Maria Otero and they have three children and a granddaughter.
Amaha Kassa is African Community Together’s (ACT) founder and Executive Director. Amaha is an Ethiopian immigrant with 20 years of professional experience as a labor and community organizer, nonprofit director, and social entrepreneur. For nine years, Amaha directed a successful workers’ rights nonprofit in Oakland, California, growing it from a startup to one of the leading organizations in its field. Prior to launching ACT, Amaha earned his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. In 2012, Amaha received a Black Male Achievement Fellowship from Echoing Green and Open Society Foundations to support the launch of ACT.
Janet’s first encounter with the Arca Foundation was as a human rights activist, leading delegations to El Salvador to witness the impact of U.S. support for brutal regimes. The Arca board of directors was one of those delegations. In 1989, Janet became Executive Director of the Foundation, focusing on non-intervention in Central America, normalization of relations with Cuba, and campaign finance reform at home. In 1999, Janet left to serve as a Special Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, and later as deputy director of Wal-Mart Watch, a campaign to challenge the business practices of big-box stores. Janet returned to philanthropy as senior program officer at the Panta Rhea Foundation, overseeing its portfolio on corporate accountability. She has lived and travelled extensively in Latin America, and written numerous articles on U.S. policy in the hemisphere. Janet was co-director of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), an editor at Mother Jones magazine, and field producer for several PBS documentaries on Central America. She currently serves on the boards of Demos and The American Prospect magazine.
Austin Belali Thompson
Austin Belali Thompson is a leader and public speaker in the social sector who has helped hundreds of managers and organizations engage people more effectively using data, technology, and agile management practices. He is currently supporting innovative efforts that leverage the speed and scaling potential of technology and digital media to advance immigrant and refugee rights. When he was the Executive Director of the Youth Engagement Fund at NEO Philanthropy, he was one of the largest and most vocal funders of digital skills training for multi-cultural leaders across the US. Before that he led a multi-year organizational change effort at one of the largest US labor unions in the country utilizing design-thinking and digital innovation to make unions a more welcoming place for younger members. A global thinker and doer, Austin has trained and mentored emerging leaders in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. He serves on multiple nonprofit Boards committed to multi-cultural diversity and social inclusion. Austin is an MBA candidate at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C. He lives in Washington, D.C. but plans to move someplace warmer in the near future.
Smith Bagley, In Memoriam
Learn about the Smith Bagley Memorial Grant Award.