Paragon’s Best-In-Class Services
We believe international grantmaking should be accessible. Our goal is to help break down the barriers to cross-border grantmaking by empowering your private foundation, donor advised fund, or grantmaking public charity to make direct, informed, and effective cross-border grants to the organizations of your choice. We look forward to supporting your grantmaking.
Paragon's expertise spans a broad range of compliance and substantive disciplines in international grantmaking and philanthropy. In addition to Equivalency Determination, Expenditure Responsibility, and watch list screening/OFAC compliance, our team has specialized knowledge in fields ranging from sustainable development to humanitarian assistance, and from conservation to civil society engagement. Paragon advisors have worked extensively with foundations, non-profits, intergovernmental organizations and governments in virtually all corners of the world.
Andrzej Kozlowski, Principal
Andrzej Kozlowski oversees the services Paragon provides to U.S. foundations and donor advised funds in international grantmaking compliance, grantee vetting and selection, and philanthropic strategy.
With 20 years of international and domestic experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, Andrzej has held positions at The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund (Switzerland), Rare, the Humphrey Institute's Center for Nations in Transition, and the Desdel Chaco Foundation (Paraguay).
Andrzej's expertise is in international grantmaking compliance (covering both U.S. regulations and foreign country restrictions), vetting of foreign grantees, program management and evaluation, grants management, organizational capacity building, and environmental conservation. Andrzej holds a masters degree in Public Affairs from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from Carleton College.
Andrzej's writing appears in Alliance Magazine, PEAK Insight Journal, GuideStar, and Exponent Philanthropy. Andrzej served as Guest Editor for the summer 2018 issue of PEAK Insight Journal on international grantmaking.
Anthony J. Kozlowski, Principal
Anthony J. (Tony) Kozlowski's career spans nearly four decades of international service with foundations, non-profits, intergovernmental organizations, and multinational corporations. He has lived and worked in five African countries as a representative for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and as a training officer with the Ford Foundation; in the United States as President and CEO of the American Refugee Committee and Executive Director of the Seva Foundation; and in Switzerland as Executive Director of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies and Executive Director of the FXB Association.
Tony has extensive, first-hand knowledge of humanitarian and socioeconomic development issues and organizations, and understands the complexities of philanthropy from both donor and grantee perspectives. He is very familiar with administrative, management, and governance concerns for non-profits of all sizes. He has experience in representation at the highest levels in institutional and program development. Tony holds a masters degree in International Relations from the University of Maryland, and a bachelors degree in Sociology from King's College. He also studied International Relations at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of the Université de Paris, and French language at Université Laval in Quebec.
John Harvey, Senior Advisor
John Harvey has over two decades of professional experience in global philanthropy and is an acknowledged and respected leader in its advancement.
As Managing Director for Global Philanthropy at the Council on Foundations, John introduced an unprecedented level of training programs related to global philanthropy, including multiple trainings on cross-border grantmaking practice. Additionally, John helped to launch the Global Philanthropy Working Group (GPWG) at the US State Department. GPWG plays a leading role in bringing about regulatory reform to US-based cross-border grantmaking and expenditure responsibility.
Working closely with colleagues in South Africa, John developed an online toolkit on accountability and transparency in philanthropy and social investment for WINGS (Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support). John conducted a benchmarking study for Spain’s largest foundation, the “la Caixa” Foundation, and supported the McKnight Foundation on a strategic review of their South East Asia program. In 2013, John worked with the Rockefeller Foundation to convene “Talent Management for Innovative and Impactful Philanthropy in the 21st Century,” a symposium that brought together colleagues from 20 foundations and 16 countries. John currently serves on the editorial board of Alliance magazine, a publication focusing on talent within global philanthropy.
During John’s decade-long tenure as founding Executive Director of Grantmakers Without Borders (now EDGE Funders Alliance), a funder affinity group whose members fund social change programs globally, he coordinated the convening of 10 conferences, led donor delegations to Haiti and Central America, and coordinated research on disaster response grantmaking and microfinance. John is also co-founder of New England International Donors, whose aim is to increase the quantity and quality of global giving originating from New England. John holds a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Nigel Sizer, Senior Advisor
An expert in climate change, forests, and biodiversity conservation, Dr. Nigel Sizer is Director of World Resource Institute's (WRI) Global Forest Initiative. Nigel previously served as Vice President for Asia at Rare, an international conservation organization. While at Rare, he expanded operations into China, and conceived and developed Community Carbon, a grassroots effort to link impoverished communities in Indonesia to global carbon markets. In 2008, he served as lead advisor on climate change and energy issues in Asia to former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. Nigel has also worked with UNEP in Nairobi, and established The Nature Conservancy’s Asia-Pacific Forest Program.
Nigel holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in natural sciences and tropical forest ecology from King’s College and the University of Cambridge. He has served on numerous boards, including the boards of The Rainforest Foundation, the Amazon Alliance, the Global Forest Foundation, and the Andean Center for Sustainable Development. He also founded and co-chaired The Forests Dialogue, and helped establish and lead the Asia Forest Partnership.
Lourdes Inga, Senior Advisor
Lourdes Inga has served foundations and nonprofit organizations with social change missions for almost two decades. Her expertise is in international grantmaking, due diligence and compliance, capacity building, program data analysis and learning processes.
Lourdes was most recently with The Christensen Fund, a private foundation focused on biocultural diversity, and before that with The Global Fund for Women, a public foundation working on women's rights. Lourdes is a board member of International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), a global donor affinity group dedicated to indigenous peoples worldwide, and also of Saphichay, a nonprofit focused on indigenous rights and biocultural diversity. She serves on the learning advisory committee at Grants Managers Network, an association working to promote effective grantmaking practices. Lourdes was founding Board Member of EDGE Funders Alliance, an affinity group addressing global social change philanthropy. She is a former advisory council member at NGOsource.
Lourdes is committed to using her expertise to facilitate and promote thoughtful and responsible international philanthropy. She is an advocate for social change philanthropy and advancing gender equity, indigenous rights, and biocultural diversity. Lourdes holds a master's degree in International Relations with a public service emphasis from Golden Gate University and a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies from California State University, East Bay.
Mauricio Vivero, Senior Advisor
Mauricio Vivero is the founding CEO of the Seattle International Foundation, a private institution working to alleviate global poverty through grantmaking and special initiatives. Under his leadership, the foundation has awarded more than $12 million in grants to 126 organizations working in 36 countries, with a strategic focus on Latin America.
He has more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, grantmaking, policy advocacy and project management. His professional experience includes serving as Executive Director of Ayuda, Director of Government Relations for Independent Sector, Vice President of the Legal Services Corporation, and Director of Grassroots Lobbying for the American Bar Association. Mauricio is a board member of Global Impact and the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI).
Mauricio was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1970. Mauricio holds a law degree from Creighton University and a bachelor's degree in international relations from Florida International University.
Patricia Benevenia, Senior Advisor
Patricia Benevenia brings a wealth of experience to foundations and nonprofits on all aspects of the grant administration process. With over 15 years working for major nonprofits such as the Orange County Community Foundation, Orange County Bar Foundation, and Girls Incorporated, she has worked in grant identification, selection, administration, management, and planning. She currently provides professional advisory and consulting services to foundations and nonprofits on all aspects of grant planning and management.
She is an advocate for the nonprofit community, connecting organizations to resources, funding and donors. Patricia is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.
Nigel Martin, Country Representative, Canada
Nigel Martin is the founding President of the Montreal International Forum (FIM), an international NGO think-tank and was the founding co-President of the original World Bank/NGO Committee.
With over 35 years experience in the NGO community, Nigel has been the Executive Director of several NGOs, including the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) in Ottawa, Euro Action Accord in London (UK), and OCSD and Oxfam-Quebec in Montreal. Nigel has served on several Boards of Directors and is currently on the board of the Carold Foundation in Toronto. He is a member of the steering committee of the UNDP Platform HD 2010 and has been an official advisor on development issues to both the Government of Canada and the government of Quebec. He is a co-founder of Mothers’ Call International.
A graduate of Mount Allison University, Nigel began his career with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1971 where he was one of the earliest staff members of the then fledgling NGO program. Before leaving the government in 1975 for a career in the NGO sector he was Director of Asia Programming for the CIDA NGO Division. His publications include: Practice-Research Engagement and Civil Society published by The Hauser Center, Harvard University 2001; Critical Mass: The Emergence of Global Civil Society, published by Wilfred Laurier University Press 2008. He wrote the foreword to: Democratizing Global Governance: Ten Years of Case Studies and Reflections by Civil Society Activists published by Mosaic Books; New Delhi in 2009
Suzi Peel, Senior Advisor
Suzi Peel has worked in global philanthropy and international development since 1996, transforming compassion into effective action. She advises innovative donors so they measurably improve the lives of thousands of women and children. With deep expertise in philanthropy for sub-Saharan Africa, she is a valued counselor, and sits on several Boards and Advisory Boards.
Suzi has expertise in new technologies for health, in strategic planning and stewardship of resources, and in evaluating program outcomes and impact. Previously Suzi worked with UNAIDS, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, several foundations, large and small NGOs, and collaborated with Ministries of Health across Africa as well as grassroots community groups for the most enduring investments. Educated in Geneva, Switzerland, she is bilingual in French and English. Suzi is based on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Susan Kleinman Wallis, Senior Advisor
With 16 years of experience in the sector, Susan Kleinman Wallis brings creative passion, powerful communication, and rigorous analysis to her work with foundations and nonprofit organizations. Having worked extensively as both a funder and a fundraiser, Susan is uniquely positioned to work in the space between foundations and grant seekers. A social worker by training, her areas of expertise include child welfare, mental health, youth development, and women’s rights.
Susan spent six years as Coordinator of The San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Civic Unity Program, where she helped to implement a community regranting model, directing over $1.5 million in Foundation grants into resident-driven projects. Susan left the Foundation to serve as Senior Program Officer at Team-Up for Youth, a project founded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, where she was responsible for a $1 million grant portfolio focused on youth development through sports. She went on to serve as Policy Director and Evaluation Director at Team-Up for Youth (now known as Coaching Corps) before leaving in 2011 to start a private consulting practice. Susan’s current consulting work focuses on building stronger nonprofits and helping successful programs go to scale. Susan received her B.A. in Women’s Studies from Wesleyan University and her master’s degree in Social Welfare from U.C. Berkeley.
Ana Maria Heeren, Compliance Analyst, International Grants
Ana Maria Heeren has worked in philanthropy since 2009. Most recently, she was the Special Assistant to the President and Manager of the Egypt Initiative at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, where she managed an international grant making portfolio and led a variety of internal and external foundation initiatives. Prior to her work in philanthropy, Ana was a senior associate with the business intelligence team at Deloitte & Touche, where she worked as a researcher on numerous international fraud investigations. Ms. Heeren is a cum laude graduate of New York University, where she studied international relations and development, and holds a Master's degree in International Peace and Security from King's College London. She is currently studying urban farming and restorative agriculture and lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.
Suzanne York, Compliance Associate, International Grants
Suzanne York has reported on international human rights, globalization, and environmental issues for more than a decade. Suzanne's experience base includes project management, funding proposal development, research, and international grants facilitation.
Suzanne is Senior Writer and Program Director with the Institute for Population Studies in Berkeley, CA. Her work is focused on the interconnectedness of population growth with women’s empowerment, human rights, consumption, alternative economies, and the environment. Suzanne’s writing appears on the blog 6 Degrees of Population. She is the author of several reports, including Peoples' Rights, Planet's Rights: Holistic Approaches to a Sustainable Population and Prioritizing the PHE Approach: Linking Population, Health, and Environment for a Better World.
As research director with the International Forum on Globalization, Suzanne was a contributing author to Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples' Resistance to Economic Globalization. She has a master’s degree in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Portland State University. Suzanne is on the board of the Women's Environmental Network.
Asia / Pacific
Erik Davies, Regional Representative, Asia/Pacific
Based in Bangkok, Erik Davies brings 25 years of professional experience to Paragon’s team. Erik has worked in 25 countries, including eight countries in Asia. Trained as an Environmental Management and Policy Specialist, he brings expertise in knowledge management, communication, gender, and development planning. Erik has spent the past 10 years of his career with the United Nations.
While with UNDP’s Capacity Development Group, Erik undertook award-winning initiatives like the Virtual Exhibit, which showcased public-private partnerships from around the world during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. After the tsunami struck Indonesia, Erik re-located to Aceh, where he worked on relief and recovery efforts for almost two and a half years. He then went on to take the post of External Affairs Officer for the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Erik has worked as an environmental planner on large infrastructure projects, and served as Scientific Advisor to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. In the management consulting sector, Erik worked on environmental policy, managing teams undertaking feasibility studies for international finance institutions. Erik has a M.Sc. in Development Planning, and a B.Sc. in Limnology & Marine Biology.
Ming Zhuang, Country Representative, China
Based in Chengdu, Ming Zhuang specializes in civic engagement, social equality, and poverty alleviation. He has worked in China for over 10 years in partnership with central and local government, NGOs, and international organizations including the World Bank, UNESCO, UNHABITAT, DIFD, SIDA, Oxfam, ActionAid, World Vision, and Mercy Corps.
Ming is the founder and director of the Social Accountability Knowledge Center in China. He is engaged in both research and action on concerns related to civil society, citizen participation, local governance, accountability, and transparency. With a focus on domestic rural migrants and rural community development in China, Ming has published papers on civil society development, citizen participation, poverty alleviation, and social inequality.
Ming has a master's degree in sociology, and is a China Fellowship Program Ph.D. candidate of Public Policy at Beijing Normal University.
Monica Ostria, Regional Representative, Latin America
Based in Tarija, Bolivia, Monica Ostria has 25 years of professional experience in environmental conservation, institutional development, project development and management, fundraising, forestry, climate change, and public policy, and has worked in over 21 countries. In her current role as an independent consultant, Monica advises non-profit organizations with institutional development needs on topics including donor relations and prospecting, proposal and project development and management, and board and staff development.
As Director of The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Parks in Peril Program, Monica worked for 12 years with over 200 partner organizations to conserve 45 million acres in 18 countries. After living in the United States for 33 years, Monica became TNC’s Bolivia Country Program Director and moved back to her home country. In this role, she gained firsthand experience in public policy, climate change, and forestry issues. As Regional Director for TNC’s Southern Andes Conservation Program, Monica led a team of over 45 professionals in four countries (Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia), and was responsible for the development and implementation of conservation strategies. Monica holds an M.A. in International Communication, and a B.A. in International Affairs.
Andrew Noss, Senior Advisor
Andrew’s expertise and experience is in institutional development, program management and evaluation, and grants management (government and private) in the conservation and development fields, both in Central Africa and South America. Andrew spent the past 15 years with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Bolivia and Ecuador, implementing landscape conservation programs financed by USAID, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and other donors. These programs have emphasized close collaboration with national park authorities, local governments, indigenous and campesino organizations and communities, universities, and conservation and development NGOs. From 2007-2011 he supervised the “Integrated Management of Indigenous Lands” project that included making grants to and monitoring grant execution with 20 indigenous organizations and local and international NGOs in Ecuador and Colombia.
Andrew holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Geography and Tropical Conservation with a certificate in African Studies, a master’s degree in International Economics and Social Change and Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelors degree in International Relations from Carleton College. He speaks fluent French and Spanish. He grew up in Cameroon and Nigeria, conducted field research in the Central African Republic, and currently lives with his wife Lauren and two sons in Gainesville, Florida.
Africa / Middle East
Thierno Kane, Regional Representative, Africa
Based in Dakar, Thierno Kane is the founder and leader of a number of grassroots organizations in Senegal, his native country, and has acted as advisor and activist for Civil Society Organizations in Africa and worldwide. He specializes in issues of popular participation and has extensive experience in tripartite dialogue and partnerships between Civil Society Organizations, governments and the donor community in Africa and internationally.
In 1998, Thierno launched the UNDP Regional Pilot Program "Civil Society Empowerment for Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa" and led the program as Coordinator and Chief Technical Advisor. He served as Director of UNDP’s Civil Society Division in New York, and was the Executive Director and Chairman of CONGAD, a North/South umbrella organization for NGOs in Senegal. He is a former founding Secretary General of FAFD, a grassroots movement in Senegal, and is a founding member of ANAFA (Association Nationale pour l’Alphabetisation et la Formation des Adultes-Senegal). He participated in the creation of FAVDO (Forum of African Voluntary Organizations) and is also a former global Chair of CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation).
Additionally, Thierno has served on the boards of a number of Civil Society Organizations and think tanks such as the International Group for Grassroots Initiatives (IGGRI-Mexico/New Delhi) and the Development Group for Alternative Policies (D-GAP-Washington). He is currently a board member of the Montreal International Forum and is also on the board of OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa). An adult educator by training, Thierno is the author of a wide range of articles on civil society issues.
Heba Sweed, Regional Representative, Middle East
Based in Cairo, Heba Sweed has 14 years of experience working with donor organizations, NGOs, and multinational companies. Heba’s expertise lies in program management and evaluation, grants management, organizational development and capacity building, and social marketing.
Heba managed the USAID-funded Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness in Egypt, which aims to build civil society capacity to raise community awareness on breast cancer and shape Egypt’s response to this concern.
Heba currently serves as Program Director of Youth Investment for Nahdet El Mahrousa, an Egyptian NGO. The Youth Investment program is responsible for establishing and managing “Career and Entrepreneurship Development Offices” in 17 Egyptian national universities, and aids graduates from Egyptian universities in bridging the gap between their existing skill sets and those required by the job market. Heba has an MBA from the Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands, and an MB BCh from Ain Shams University, Cairo.
Pierre Echard, Regional Representative, Europe
Based in Brussels, Pierre has 15 years of experience facilitating sustainability, excellence and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for organizations and companies. He has spent over five years living and working with NGOs and UN agencies in Africa and Latin America, where he worked for the NGO Enda Tiers Monde in Senegal, and for the United Nations Development Programme in the Dominican Republic. In 2001, Pierre joined CSR Europe as Director of its network of National Partners. He then moved on to lead the training department of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
Since 2009, Pierre has been working as an independent advisor for companies and non-profit organizations in the field of sustainability, CSR, and excellence in non-profit organizations. Pierre also teaches sustainability and social entrepreneurship at France's ESCIP and ESTICE business schools and at the Novia Salcedo Foundation in Spain.
Pierre speaks fluent French, English and Spanish. He holds an MBA from ESSEC (France) and a BSc. in Rural Sociology from Cornell University (USA).
Grantee Capacity Building
Theron Shaw, Senior Advisor
Theron Shaw has worked in non-profit administration and fundraising since 1995, with wide-ranging experience in the fields of arts, education, environment and social services. He has assisted numerous clients in designing institutional, individual and major donor programs. Theron primarily serves small and medium-size arts organizations. Previously, he worked from 2007-2009 with Quinn Associates, a San Francisco- based consulting firm serving dance, theater, music and arts education clients from throughout the Bay Area. Theron currently serves as Director of Development for InterPlay, a grassroots international arts organization. Theron’s passion is working with donors to identify visionary philanthropic goals.
Theron has a master's degree in Public Affairs from the Hubert Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and is a member of both the Northwest Development Officers Association and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Kim Winters, Senior Advisor
Kim Winters is a seasoned organizational leader who has helped non-profit, public and private organizations define their core missions and capture market opportunities. Her 24 years of experience has focused on the development and launch of innovative campaigns to benefit values-based causes in environmental conservation, education, justice, and community-building.
Kim has directed two internationally-focused non-profits, The Songbird Foundation and the International Resource Center of Seattle; managed institutional donor development at Rare; implemented communications and business development initiatives for a host of clients and projects; and successfully built partnerships among diverse stakeholders. She holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. in Political Science from Guilford College.
Lindsay Hower, Senior Advisor
Lindsay is an executive leader and major gifts professional with extensive experience in managing and facilitating major gifts from philanthropists and foundations in the environmental, education, and public health sectors.
Lindsay's expertise lies in leading donor development strategy, board engagement and participation in fundraising and marketing, solicitation of 6+ figure annual and multi-year gifts, donor event design and management, governance, staff recruitment and management, and marketing and communications. She has facilitated international programs to engage donors directly in an organization's mission, and led U.S. and non-U.S. teams and stakeholders to successfully deliver projects that meet the revenue and marketing goals of a global organization.
Lindsay currently serves as the San Francisco Executive Director for Summer Search, a youth advocacy organization facilitating college access and readiness for talented low-income youth in San Francisco and the East Bay. Previously, Lindsay served as the U.S. National Director for Right To Play, a global humanitarian organization that trains teachers in over 20 countries how to use sport and play as platforms for teaching critical life skills including disease prevention, conflict resolution, leadership, literacy and numeracy. Lindsay also served in a leadership role managing the major gifts program at Rare, and held positions with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Worldwatch Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council and the U.S. House of Representatives Resources Committee. She is a global traveler, a rookie triathlete, and a practicing yogi. She serves on the Board of Directors for Mountainfilm, a documentary film festival based in Telluride, Colorado, and Project Glimmer, a venture philanthropy initiative based in San Francisco. She holds a master's degree from American University's School of International Service in Global Environmental Policy and a BA from Cornell in both International Development and English. Lindsay is a native New Yorker but has enjoyed calling San Francisco home since 2010.
Laurie Wilkison, Senior Advisor
Laurie Wilkison has more than 20 years experience in marketing communications, with a focus on developing brand value driven stories and action-oriented media campaigns to raise revenue and awareness for both non-profit and private sector companies. She has managed both top tier ad agencies and in-house creative staff to deliver everything from print brochures and web sites to full-scale rebranding initiatives. Laurie has also managed large fundraising and press events, including securing notable speakers, crafting presentations, and developing targeted messaging and supporting materials.
Most recently, Laurie was the VP, Communications and Marketing at Rare. In addition to running all general communications and marketing, Laurie worked with program staff and partners around the world to constantly generate character-driven, multimedia stories that were both emotionally compelling and demonstrated the organization's global impact to major donors. For seven years, Laurie oversaw communications and creative services for Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a $25M non-profit arts and education organization located just outside Washington, DC. There, she managed fundraising from individuals, foundations, corporate sponsors, and government donors, as well as produced a comprehensive suite of marketing materials to support ticket sales for the venue's more than 100 performances annually. She also spent a four -year stint in the private sector at AOL Time Warner as a senior manager in the advertising sales division, producing trade campaigns, product marketing strategies, tailored sales kits, and audience research initiatives and case studies for use with clients. She also oversaw AOL's presence at a wide range of industry conferences and events. Laurie received a BA from Carnegie Mellon in Professional Writing.