LAURA ARRILLAGA-ANDREESSEN, FOUNDER

Laura committed to living a life of service at age 25—just prior to her late mother’s passing. Blessed to be the daughter of two extraordinary philanthropists, John Arrillaga Sr. and the late Frances Arrillaga, Laura strives to continue her family’s philanthropic legacy in all that she does. Laura is the visionary and leader of LAAF.org, and she drives its core innovations and decision-making around how to best leverage her knowledge and expertise to positively impact the giving of others. Laura believes that the strongest leaders surround themselves with individuals who have talents, skills and expertise that far surpasses her own. Her team is made up of a spectacular array of former star students from her Stanford University courses—each of whom brings immense wisdom, incomparable value and radiant joy to her every day. 

 
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Founder and President of LAAF.org
 
 

LAAF.org Staff

MANDARA MEYERS | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MANDARA MEYERS | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Mandara believes deeply in the potential of all people to lead, and has spent her career ensuring that people who are closest to the problems can shape impactful, system-changing solutions. Mandara is a master facilitator, coach and content designer. She served for nine years as the Vice President of Leadership Development and Design at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), where she built LEE’s leadership development model, launched over twenty programs, oversaw all of LEE's programming for a distributed network of 40,000 members and increased the number of women, people of color and members of other historically underrepresented groups across leadership roles. Mandara previously spent four years as the National Director of Programs at the Center for Progressive Leadership, a nonpartisan political training institute. Mandara started her career as an attorney, and has advocated on issues including immigration, gender equity, health care and access to higher education. Mandara is a proud graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A self-proclaimed leadership development nerd, she has participated in countless trainings and fellowships, starting with the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. A Bay Area native, Mandara happily lives in Oakland with her partner.

CELINA ARTUSI | CHIEF OF STAFF TO FOUNDER  Celina’s passion for justice and underrepresented communities was ignited during her work as a college, career and financial aid advisor with the College Advising Corps in her hometown of Austin, Texas. She further cemented her passion for education in Washington, D.C., where she worked for a major higher education institutional system. Celina completed her Masters in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies at Stanford University, after which, she became a Fellow at The Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative at The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). At PACS, Celina expanded her views on philanthropy and its role in and impact on society.  As a first-generation American, Celina is passionate about the role of identity in society and the workplace, and wants to encourage greater dialogue about power, privilege and inequity. She is committed to exploring how to better serve populations that have traditionally lacked access to opportunity.

CELINA ARTUSI | CHIEF OF STAFF TO FOUNDER

Celina’s passion for justice and underrepresented communities was ignited during her work as a college, career and financial aid advisor with the College Advising Corps in her hometown of Austin, Texas. She further cemented her passion for education in Washington, D.C., where she worked for a major higher education institutional system. Celina completed her Masters in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies at Stanford University, after which, she became a Fellow at The Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative at The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). At PACS, Celina expanded her views on philanthropy and its role in and impact on society.

As a first-generation American, Celina is passionate about the role of identity in society and the workplace, and wants to encourage greater dialogue about power, privilege and inequity. She is committed to exploring how to better serve populations that have traditionally lacked access to opportunity.

SEVDE KALDIROGLU | DIGITAL MARKETING ASSOCIATE  Growing up in Istanbul, Turkey, Sevde cultivated a passion for creative writing, Turkish coffee and standing up for what she believes in. From creating handmade canvases out of recycled materials to selling her homemade jewelry at age nine, Sevde has always thought about how to make great things happen with little capital but tremendous creativity, optimism and hard work. A quirky storyteller from early on, Sevde pursued English and Creative Writing with a minor in Psychology at Stanford, where she led the Avicenna Journal on Muslim Affairs for three years. Sevde began her professional career by launching the Turkish wikiHow site to make free educational information accessible to all, regardless of location or language. At LAAF.org, she manages all digital media and marketing work. She creates and executes digital campaigns to reach diverse communities and achieve the greatest impact in giving, women’s leadership and inclusive leadership.  Sevde advocates for embracing one’s unique experiences as the most beautiful opportunity in life to learn and grow. She believes that how you tell your story—first to yourself, then to the world—is what makes the difference. Out of the office, you can find Sevde running early in the mornings, exploring local coffee shops and using playground swings when no families are around.

SEVDE KALDIROGLU | DIGITAL MARKETING ASSOCIATE

Growing up in Istanbul, Turkey, Sevde cultivated a passion for creative writing, Turkish coffee and standing up for what she believes in. From creating handmade canvases out of recycled materials to selling her homemade jewelry at age nine, Sevde has always thought about how to make great things happen with little capital but tremendous creativity, optimism and hard work. A quirky storyteller from early on, Sevde pursued English and Creative Writing with a minor in Psychology at Stanford, where she led the Avicenna Journal on Muslim Affairs for three years. Sevde began her professional career by launching the Turkish wikiHow site to make free educational information accessible to all, regardless of location or language. At LAAF.org, she manages all digital media and marketing work. She creates and executes digital campaigns to reach diverse communities and achieve the greatest impact in giving, women’s leadership and inclusive leadership.

Sevde advocates for embracing one’s unique experiences as the most beautiful opportunity in life to learn and grow. She believes that how you tell your story—first to yourself, then to the world—is what makes the difference. Out of the office, you can find Sevde running early in the mornings, exploring local coffee shops and using playground swings when no families are around.

MARLY CARLISLE | PROGRAM ASSOCIATE | GIVING 2.0 EDUCATION  From an early age, Marly recognized the value of community-based philanthropy, and sought out different opportunities to engage in philanthropic activities in California’s Central Valley. Her early passion for education and service followed her to Stanford through her involvement with Stanford PACS Digital Civil Society Lab, the Haas Center for Public Service, Graduate School of Education and several homeless service organizations in the Bay Area. Marly graduated Stanford in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and honors from the Graduate School of Education. Marly currently oversees Laura’s Stanford Graduate School of Business course— Philanthropy: Strategy, Innovation and Social Change—and conducts research for Giving 2.0 Resources and Andreessen Philanthropies.  Marly believes it is possible to end homelessness in the Bay Area during her lifetime. She wrote her award-winning honors thesis on the education of homeless youth, and serves on the Board of two homeless service organizations in California.

MARLY CARLISLE | PROGRAM ASSOCIATE | GIVING 2.0 EDUCATION

From an early age, Marly recognized the value of community-based philanthropy, and sought out different opportunities to engage in philanthropic activities in California’s Central Valley. Her early passion for education and service followed her to Stanford through her involvement with Stanford PACS Digital Civil Society Lab, the Haas Center for Public Service, Graduate School of Education and several homeless service organizations in the Bay Area. Marly graduated Stanford in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and honors from the Graduate School of Education. Marly currently oversees Laura’s Stanford Graduate School of Business course— Philanthropy: Strategy, Innovation and Social Change—and conducts research for Giving 2.0 Resources and Andreessen Philanthropies.

Marly believes it is possible to end homelessness in the Bay Area during her lifetime. She wrote her award-winning honors thesis on the education of homeless youth, and serves on the Board of two homeless service organizations in California.

YISROEL QUINT | PROGRAM ANALYST | GIVING 2.0 EDUCATION  Yisroel became interested in the challenge of identifying and evaluating opportunities to affect positive social change during his time at Stanford University. After graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts. in Slavic Languages and Literatures and honors from the Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law, Yisroel worked in the democracy and development sector in the Republic of Georgia and Washington, D.C. In those roles, he developed a passion for ensuring the effective allocation and use of human and financial resources in the social sector. Yisroel believes that it is critical that everyone has the tools, knowledge, and opportunity to actively participate in the democratic process.  At LAAF.org, Yisroel is responsible for creating and managing some of the organization’s key initiatives and providing critical research, strategic, technological and project management support for the  Giving 2.0 Education  portfolio.  Outside of work, Yisroel can be found hiking, walking dogs, and reading on the beach.

YISROEL QUINT | PROGRAM ANALYST | GIVING 2.0 EDUCATION

Yisroel became interested in the challenge of identifying and evaluating opportunities to affect positive social change during his time at Stanford University. After graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts. in Slavic Languages and Literatures and honors from the Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law, Yisroel worked in the democracy and development sector in the Republic of Georgia and Washington, D.C. In those roles, he developed a passion for ensuring the effective allocation and use of human and financial resources in the social sector. Yisroel believes that it is critical that everyone has the tools, knowledge, and opportunity to actively participate in the democratic process.

At LAAF.org, Yisroel is responsible for creating and managing some of the organization’s key initiatives and providing critical research, strategic, technological and project management support for the Giving 2.0 Education portfolio.

Outside of work, Yisroel can be found hiking, walking dogs, and reading on the beach.

ABBY FEDER | PROGRAM ANALYST | WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP  Abby has always been driven to find work that creates meaningful social impact. As a student at Stanford University, she interned at the Women’s Community Center, where she helped organize the Women’s Leadership Conference. Along with her passion for helping to empower underrepresented groups, she is also interested in the roles that education and access to resources play in creating cultural and social change. Abby holds a B.A. from Stanford in Science, Technology, and Society. At LAAF.org, she oversees Laura’s Stanford Graduate School of Business course—Power of You: Women in Leadership—and other aspects of the  Women in Leadership  portfolio, including content and curriculum development, research and programming.   Abby believes that having more women and members of other underrepresented groups in positions of power is a crucial part of creating positive change and ensuring a more equitable future.

ABBY FEDER | PROGRAM ANALYST | WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

Abby has always been driven to find work that creates meaningful social impact. As a student at Stanford University, she interned at the Women’s Community Center, where she helped organize the Women’s Leadership Conference. Along with her passion for helping to empower underrepresented groups, she is also interested in the roles that education and access to resources play in creating cultural and social change. Abby holds a B.A. from Stanford in Science, Technology, and Society. At LAAF.org, she oversees Laura’s Stanford Graduate School of Business course—Power of You: Women in Leadership—and other aspects of the Women in Leadership portfolio, including content and curriculum development, research and programming.


Abby believes that having more women and members of other underrepresented groups in positions of power is a crucial part of creating positive change and ensuring a more equitable future.

KATHERINE DU | RESEARCH ASSISTANT  Katherine is studying Economics and Computer Science at Stanford University, while also taking significant coursework at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2018, Katherine interned at BlackRock, and she will be interning at Bank of America Merrill Lynch this summer. Prior to Stanford, she took a gap year and interned at the New York State Office of the Attorney General and Meredith Corporation. Katherine is also an avid creative writer and journalist; her work has been published by The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Huffington Post.  Katherine is passionate about expanding women’s opportunities, equity and representation in the workforce.

KATHERINE DU | RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Katherine is studying Economics and Computer Science at Stanford University, while also taking significant coursework at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 2018, Katherine interned at BlackRock, and she will be interning at Bank of America Merrill Lynch this summer. Prior to Stanford, she took a gap year and interned at the New York State Office of the Attorney General and Meredith Corporation. Katherine is also an avid creative writer and journalist; her work has been published by The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Huffington Post.

Katherine is passionate about expanding women’s opportunities, equity and representation in the workforce.

Consultants

 
 
 

Teaching and Course Assistants

Strategic Philanthropy

Power of You: Women in Leadership

Former LAAFers

Former Full-Time Employees

Former Summer analysts

       Former Stanford Women in Business            Spring Interns

former consultants

 

WORKING AT LAAF.org

Collaborative - At LAAF.org, we believe that the whole is greater than the some of its parts. Each LAAFer is selected for the unique perspectives and contributions they bring to our work and the resources we create. LAAF.org embraces a collaboration-first approach to produce the highest quality of accurate, relevant resources for a diverse array of givers and leaders.

Empowering - LAAFers are empowered to develop new skills and deploy existing capabilities to create the greatest value for givers and leaders. All members of LAAF.org are encouraged (and expected!) to recommend new processes and approaches as well as opportunities for impact beyond our current portfolio of work.

Embracing - LAAF.org’s success depends on all LAAFers bringing their best selves and ideas to our work each and every day. Therefore, we aim to create a safe and brave space where individuals are their authentic selves and provide honest feedback on all dimensions of our work together.

Accountability - At LAAF.org, we are accountable to delivering on our mission in service to others. To do so, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of performance toward achieving our collective and individual goals and results. As each LAAFer was selected because of their demonstrated capabilities and potential for growth, employees are expected to be able to work with considerable autonomy, take initiative to ensure timely delivery of work and support one another’s success by freely exchanging insights and information including playbooks for success, growth opportunities and learnings from mistakes.

Purpose-Aligned - At LAAF.org, we believe every individual has a unique purpose that honors their passions, skills, backgrounds and opportunities for impact. When hiring new LAAFers, we ensure that each teammate’s purpose is well-aligned with LAAF.org’s mission as well as our priorities of content, education and inclusivity.