Maya Winkelstein, Executive Director, Open Road Alliance

Open Road Alliance has named Maya Winkelstein as its first Executive Director. The appointment of Winkelstein to the role of Executive Director is part of a multi-year growth strategy for Open Road designed to expand its recoverable grant program and pilot new services to help NGOs address the impact of unexpected, disruptive events.

Washington, DC March 24, 2015–Open Road Alliance has named Maya Winkelstein as its first Executive Director. Founded in 2012, Open Road Alliance is a private philanthropic initiative that provides grant capital to non-profits for mid-implementation projects facing an unanticipated roadblock or a sudden catalytic opportunity.

Winkelstein has been affiliated with Open Road Alliance since 2012, under the auspices of williamsworks, a specialty philanthropic consulting firm based in Seattle, WA. In her role there as Associate Director, she worked with Open Road Alliance founder Laurie Michaels to create the organization’s funding strategy, grantmaking procedures, and operational infrastructure. In 2014, Winkelstein designed Open Road’s recoverable grant program and led the expansion of Open Road’s pilot grantmaking portfolio.

“After three years of designing and testing Open Road’s approach to philanthropic investment, Maya’s appointment is the next step in scaling up the initiative to meet the pressing market need for contingency funding,” said Michaels. “Maya brings focus, creativity, and a deep understanding of the challenges facing non-profits to our work. Her entrepreneurial energy will be instrumental in leading Open Road’s continued growth.”

The appointment of Winkelstein to the role of Executive Director is part of a multi-year growth strategy for Open Road designed to expand its recoverable grant program and pilot new services to help NGOs address the impact of unexpected, disruptive events.

“I am excited to partner with Laurie on deepening Open Road’s impact in the philanthropic space,” Winkelstein said. “Open Road is not only pioneering new ways of meeting previously unaddressed needs in the philanthropic marketplace but advocating for a new way of thinking in which our strategies and investments must be as innovative and adaptable as the organizations we support. Finding new ways to provide needed capital is essential to achieving the social impact and results we seek.”

Prior to this appointment, Winkelstein worked for williamsworks since 2011, where she developed and implemented new philanthropic initiatives for clients including Eastern Congo Initiative, Nike Foundation, PATH, Tostan, and TOMS Shoes. Previously, she served the NGO and government sectors with a focus on program development, fundraising strategy, U.S. foreign policy and corporate partnerships. Past affiliations include Corporate Council on Africa, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Exclusive Analysis Ltd., and LIFT.

Winkelstein holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. She also earned a Diplôme Internationale from the Political Sciences Institute, Sciences-Po, in Paris, France.

Founded in 2012, Open Road Alliance is a private philanthropic initiative that provides grant capital to non-profits for mid-implementation projects facing an unexpected roadblock or a sudden catalytic opportunity. Open Road makes discrete, one-time charitable and recoverable investments across all sectors and geographies, in amounts ranging from $16,000 to $100,000. The strategy was designed to fill a market demand for fast, flexible contingency funding in the philanthropic sector.


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