Board & Staff

Top Row, Left to Right: Janet Shenk, Jennifer Pae, Austin Belali Thompson, Karen Mosley, Nancy Bagley, Mike Lux, Marge Tabankin
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Mary King, Amaha Kassa, Nicole Bagley, Joe Eldridge
Photo Credit: Les Talusan @lestalusan

Arca Foundation Staff

Jennifer S. Pae, Executive Director

Jennifer S. Pae was born in the Bay Area, raised in California’s Central Valley, and calls home Duluth, GA. Jennifer’s values are shaped by her mother, an immigrant and single parent. As a first-generation college student, she led campaigns to improve campus safety policies for women, access to higher education, and served as UC San Diego’s first Asian American woman student body president. She has served as a nonprofit leader and consultant at the national, state, and local level with the US Student Association, PowerPAC,, League of Women Voters of California, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Common Cause, CA Donor Table, East Bay Asian Voter Education Consortium, and FairVote, on issues of capacity building, issue campaigns, civic engagement, and electoral reform. In 2010, she ran for Oakland City Council and although she didn’t secure the seat, the campaign made a significant impact in the community by engaging new and infrequent voters. For nearly 20 years, she has served as a trainer and facilitator for APIAVote, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Emerge CA, Emily’s List, New American Leaders, and re:power (formerly Wellstone Action) and has trained thousands of candidates, elected officials, campaign managers, and community organizers. Most recently, Jennifer was the Political Director at Way to Win.


Karen Mosley, MSW, Program & Grants Manager

Karen Mosley is the Program and Grants Manager at the Arca Foundation. In her role, Karen oversees grants management for the foundation and supports the programmatic activities of the Executive Director. Prior to joining Arca, Karen served as a Resource Organizer and Grants Manager for Southerners on New Ground, where she helped to support the organization’s development strategies including grassroots fundraising and major donor cultivation, membership base building and maintaining ongoing philanthropic partnerships.

Karen holds a master’s degree in Social Work from The University of South Carolina. Before transitioning to movement organizing and development, Karen worked over a decade in direct services as a social worker and case manager in Georgia’s Department of Children and Family Services.

Arca Foundation Board of Trustees

Nicole Bagley, President

Nicole Bagley is a highly experienced nonprofit board leader, entrepreneur, and advisor with a career spanning over 30 years. Her efforts have been focused on driving innovative initiatives for social change at local, national, and international levels. Nicole is a dedicated advocate of asset activism, encouraging organizations to strategically leverage their assets for philanthropic causes.

Currently, Nicole serves as the President on the Board of the Arca Foundation, an organization established in 1952 to support economic and racial justice, human rights, and environmental justice initiatives. In addition to her role at Arca Foundation, she is actively involved in leadership positions at two Georgia-based organizations. One of them is the Sapelo Foundation, which supports social justice and environmental protection efforts across the state. The other is the Brenn Foundation, known for hosting action-oriented conferences and writers’ retreats on a property located on St Simons Island, Georgia coastland—protected by a conservation easement that Nicole played a key role in securing.

Nicole is also an integral part of the Colorado impact investing community, where she focuses on supporting women-led small businesses and volunteers with the Impact Finance Center. Her career began in direct services and international development, involving work with domestic non-profits and NGOs in various locations, including South Africa, Angola, and Washington D.C. Throughout her career, Nicole’s work has significantly contributed to advancing social justice agendas, supporting vulnerable populations, empowering underrepresented communities, and working towards a more sustainable and just world.


Margery Tabankin, Vice President

Margery Tabankin’s career spans philanthropy, non-profit management, government service and politics.  Soon after college, she became one of the first women trainees at Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation in Chicago. She later became the first woman President of the National Student Association, and Executive Director of The Youth Project in Washington, D.C.  Marge led Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) under President Jimmy Carter, served as Executive Director of the Arca Foundation, the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, the Streisand Foundation and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation. 

Marge currently is Chief Strategist to the Women’s Heart Alliance and serves on several non-profit boards.


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.


Janet Shenk, Treasurer

Janet’s first encounter with the Arca Foundation was as a human rights activist, leading delegations to El Salvador during that country’s civil war. 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), a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine, and field producer for several PBS documentaries on Central America. She currently serves on the boards of The American Prospect magazine and Majority Action, which educates and engages investors on the critical role of corporate governance in addressing climate change.


Nancy R. Bagley

Ms. Bagley is a granddaughter of Arca Foundation founder, Nancy Susan Reynolds. 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

Mike Lux is the co-founder of Democracy Partners, a consulting firm whose mission is building the progressive movement. He is the author of two books, The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be; and How To Democrat In The Age Of Trump.

Mike currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Arca Foundation and Netroots Nation.. He is the Board Chair and founder of American Family Voices (AFV).. He played a role in the early days of launching the Center for American Progress, Air America, and From January 1993 to mid-1995, Mike served as a Special Assistant to the President in the Clinton White House, served on the Obama/Biden Transition Team and has played a leadership role on seven Presidential campaigns.


The Rev. Joseph Eldridge

Joe Eldridge served as University Chaplain at American University for almost 20 years until his retirement in 2017 and continues as adjunct lecturer in the School of International Service. While at AU he created the Alternative Break program in Campus Life and helped to establish the Social Enterprise Certificate in SIS. Before joining the American University staff, he served as the founding director of the Washington Office of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First). During the mid-1980s he worked for three years in Honduras consulting on human rights and development issues. In 1974 Eldridge cofounded the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), an organization dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice in the Americas and served as its director for 12 years. Prior to that he lived for three years in Chile working for an agency of the United Methodist Church doing community development in a marginalized barrio in Santiago. Eldridge 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 serves on several boards including the Center for International Policy (CIP), the Advocacy Project and is a Trustee of Santiago College in Chile. Eldridge is married to Maria Otero and they have three children and a granddaughter.


Amaha Kassa

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.


Austin Belali Thompson

Austin Thompson, a renowned philanthropic advisor and technology educator, excels in fostering inclusive innovation and equity, bridging racial, economic, and geographic divides. His international strategy and fundraising efforts, shaped by experiences in Senegal and India, have been highlighted in publications like El Heraldo and the Washington Post. As the former Executive Director of the Youth Engagement Fund, Austin significantly advanced civic engagement and youth leadership, aligning philanthropic efforts with fundamental values. His dedication to technology for social betterment is evident through his work with the Technology and Media Innovation Initiative, focusing on digital solutions for immigrants and refugees. A proactive leader, Austin has contributed immensely to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), nurturing a new generation of leaders. His global impact extends beyond the U.S., having trained and mentored emerging leaders in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Currently an MBA candidate at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Howard University alumnus, Austin is deeply involved in multiple nonprofit boards and his commitment to multicultural diversity and social inclusion is a hallmark of his career.  Austin balances his professional endeavors with personal interests in somatic practices and meditation.


Smith Bagley, In Memoriam

Learn about the Smith Bagley Memorial Grant Award.


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