Lee Wasserman has served as Director of the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) since 1999. Lee’s work has led creation and implementation of initiatives to address climate change; advance women’s economic interests; and expand citizens’ ability to influence their democratic institutions.
Prior to joining RFF, Lee was Advisor to The Pew Charitable Trusts where he designed and implemented major program initiatives. From 1988 to 1995, he served as executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, a statewide organization, where he developed and helped pass several landmark environmental and health measures.
Earlier in his career, Lee served as Assistant Counsel to then-Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Stanley Fink. He also served on Governor George Pataki’s Transition Team. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Environmental Advocates of New York and is a past president of the Environmental Federation of New York.
Lee is a graduate of Union College and Albany Law School. He received the 1993 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Albany Law School and in 2012 was admitted into Schenectady High School’s Hall of Fame in recognition of his professional achievement.
Sarah Brennan works on the Funder Collaborative on Oil & Gas, a project of the Rockefeller Family Fund. From 2019-2022, she ran Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Beyond Carbon campaign. Previously, Sarah spent seven years leading the Robertson Foundation’s environmental grantmaking, expanding the portfolio to include long-term support for a number of new areas, including methane leakage from gas infrastructure and restrictions on fossil fuel leasing on public lands. Earlier in her career, Sarah worked at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. She has also served as an economic consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was a case-writer at the Harvard Business School and is on the board of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Sarah holds a A.B. magna cum laude in History and Public Policy from Brown University, an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an MBA from Columbia University.
Prior to joining the Rockefeller Family Fund, Julie served as Advocacy Director for Voting Rights and Democracy at the Open Society Foundations, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in the Obama administration, and as Special Assistant for Domestic Policy to President Bill Clinton. From 2002 to 2008, Julie was Senior Counsel at the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights where, among other things, she led the coalition’s successful campaign to reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Julie currently serves on the Advisory Board of Analyst Institute, the Ad Council, the Media Democracy Action Fund, and the New American Majority Fund at the Democracy Alliance. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Georgetown Day School. Julie received both her J.D. and A.B. degrees from the University of Chicago and clerked for the Honorable Diane P. Wood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Lisa joined RFF in 2002. Prior, she was founder and executive director of a nonprofit strategic communications firm, but most of her career has been spent in government and politics. Lisa was in federal service for all eight years of President Clinton's administration, serving in a variety of positions at the Interior Department and the White House. These included acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs. Lisa also served two years at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She spent eight years working in politics and government in New Jersey, as state communications director of the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign and communications director for the N.J. State Attorney General. In 2015, Lisa worked with a group of individual donors, foundations and public charities to establish a new collaborative fund dedicated to an intersectional approach towards achieving true equality for women in our lifetimes - the Women Effect Fund (WEF). Lisa also serves as a foundation representative on the Board of Trustees of the Democracy Alliance.
Larry joined RFF in 2000. Prior to RFF, he directed the New York Public Interest Research Group’s (NYPIRG) environmental programs from 1988 through 1999. Among his successes in that capacity were campaigns to prevent construction of the Brooklyn Navy Yard incinerator; force the shut-down of Fresh Kills, the largest landfill in the world; and urge New York Governor George Pataki to order promulgation of what at the time were the toughest power plant emission standards in the country. Larry co-founded the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and serves as president of the board of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Roxanne joined RFF in 2011 as a Program Associate for the Economic Justice for Women program area. In her current role, she continues to manage core elements of the EJW program area, while also working across the foundation to further institutional goals and priorities. She served previously as global policy associate for the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), where she led efforts to ensure that U.S. foreign policies and programs improve the health, rights and well-being of girls and women in developing countries. Prior to joining ICRW, Roxanne worked with the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) and the Women’s Information Network (WIN), organizations that focus on professional and leadership development for girls and women in the United States.
Carolyn leads the Fund’s grants management processes and supports day-to-day operations for the Fund and program staff. Prior to joining the Fund, Carolyn served as the Program Associate at the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF) where she managed the Foundation’s grantmaking activities and provided support to the program department. Carolyn is a member of the Grant Managers Network - a national affinity group dedicated to promoting best practices in grants management; serves on the Grants Advisory Committee of the New York Women’s Foundation; and volunteers with Amani Global Works - a nonprofit that provides medical and nutrition services to residents on Idjwi, an island in Lake Kivu of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kat joined RFF in 2017. Prior to joining, she worked in the non-profit sector in West Virginia with several organizations committed to creating a positive future for Appalachia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bioethics from Cedarville University and a certificate in Biological Sciences from Marshall University. In her spare time, Kat enjoys travelling and section-hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Helen currently supports the Environment program as a Program Manager for the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas. Prior to joining RFF in 2018, she worked for NYC Parks and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, building their public-private partnership, organizational capacities, public programs, and outreach efforts to members of the public and partner organizations. She is an alumna of City Year New York and Williams College where she majored in Environmental Policy and American Studies.
Irum currently supports the Democracy program as a Program Assistant. Prior to joining RFF in 2022, she worked for Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, developing an effective rehousing system, coordinating collective impact, building public-private partnerships, and leading strategic communication efforts. She is an alumna of The University of Texas at Dallas where she studied International Political Economy and Political Science.
Prior to joining RFF, Andy worked at the Fund for the City of New York as an Associate Portfolio Manager, where he coordinated fiscal sponsorship and financial management services for more than a dozen non-profit organizations in the city. Andy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Colgate University.
Mohammed Memfis will serve as a fellow executing special assignments within the Rockefeller Family Fund’s Environment Program and its Democracy Program.