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Michael Gillespie and Hilary Jager Announced as New Board Co-Chair and Vice Chair of Brooklyn Org

A collage of five people with the text "Brooklyn Org" in the center. The individuals are shown in formal attire, smiling at the camera.
Brooklyn Org welcomes new Board Co-Chair Michael Gillespie, new Vice Chair Hilary Jager, and new members Peter Furci, Tanya Friedman, and Lorena Kourousias

Tanya Friedman, Peter Furci, and Lorena Kourousias Join as New Members

Today, Brooklyn Org (BKO) announced the appointment of Michael Gillespie as the new Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, serving alongside Nicole Gueron, who has held the Co-Chair position since 2020. Gillespie will be replacing Harsha Marti, who served as Co-Chair from 2020 to 2024, and will remain on the Board. In addition, Hilary Jager is replacing Sarah Williams as the organization’s new Vice Chair. Ms. Williams, who served as Vice Chair since 2017 also will remain on BKO’s Board. Tanya Friedman, Peter Furci, and Lorena Kourousias join BKO as new Board members.

Brooklyn Org’s 27-member Board of Directors oversees the organization’s $100+ million in assets under management, and approves over $5 million in strategic grant investments to nonprofits throughout Brooklyn each year.

Gillespie has served on the Brooklyn Org Board since 2017.  He recently retired as a partner of Debevoise & Plimpton, where he advised leading companies and investors, boards, and family-controlled groups globally for nearly 40 years.  Jager joined Brooklyn Org’s Board of Directors in October 2021. She is a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and co-founder of A Better Way, a nonprofit promoting sustainable transportation infrastructure.

“Our CEO Jocelynne Rainey and her incredible team are building new ways every day to bring community capital together with high impact nonprofit leaders in service of a more equitable and just Brooklyn, and I am deeply honored to join in this work,” said Michael Gillespie.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to further collaborate with the dedicated staff, fellow board members, generous donors, and impactful grantees of Brooklyn Org. Together, we are committed to advancing racial justice and equity across our vibrant borough,” said Hilary Jager.

“Tanya, Peter and Lorena are dynamic leaders in their respective fields who bring diverse perspectives to Brooklyn Org, ” said Board Co-Chair Nicole Gueron. “Additionally, we are so fortunate to welcome Lorena as our very first grantee partner to become a Board member. We look forward to these three joining the team and helping us execute our bold, new vision of Brooklyn Org as a philanthropic innovator and change-maker.”

“I am so excited to welcome Tanya, Peter, and Lorena to the Brooklyn Org family and I look forward to benefiting from their experience and insight as we transform what community philanthropy looks like in our borough. As an organization that prioritizes our community voices, I am especially proud that Lorena will be the first Brooklyn Org grantee to claim a space on our board,” said Jocelynne Rainey, President and CEO of Brooklyn Org.

About the New Board Members

Tanya Friedman is Vice President of Literacy, Leadership and Equity at ATAPE Group. Tanya has worked in public education for over twenty-five years as a teacher, a school leader, a Literacy Specialist, Instructional Coach, and an Equity Facilitator. At ATAPE Group, LLC, Tanya creates professional learning opportunities to foster an equity consciousness and integrate rigorous culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogy into classroom practice and culture.

Peter Furci is the Presiding Partner of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and a partner in the global tax practice, advising clients on a range of complex tax matters involving M&A, investment fund formation, and general corporate transactions. A frequent writer and speaker on tax and private equity, Peter is an adjunct professor of tax law at New York University Law School and serves on the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and New York University Law School.

Lorena Kourousias is the Executive Director of Mixteca, an immigrant-women led organization and Brooklyn Org partner. She has devoted her work to building a social movement that moves away from mainstream systems and methods. Before joining Mixteca, Lorena navigated the complexities of re-establishing her professional credentials after relocating from Mexico to New York City and working as a housekeeper. Lorena earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico and holds a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College, CUNY.