Julie Fry, President & CEO 

Julie joined California Humanities as its President and CEO in 2015. Previously, Julie served as a Program Officer for the Performing Arts Program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California. She has extensive experience working and volunteering with arts and culture organizations and philanthropic institutions in the US and the UK, and has been deeply involved in arts education advocacy at the national, state, and local levels. Julie earned her BBA in Economics and French from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an MBA in International Finance from the University of St. Thomas (Houston), and is pursuing an MA in Historic Preservation from Goucher College (Baltimore). She can often be found in libraries, making music, or spending time with her children, one in college and one a recent graduate.

Neha Balram, Special Projects Associate 

A Bay Area native, Neha started at California Humanities in 2014 as Executive Assistant to the CEO and is now the Special Projects Associate. Prior to joining the organization, she earned her BA in History from the University of California, Irvine, and worked in the music industry, both in journalism and at an indie record label. Neha devotes her spare time to her work as a Commissioner for the City of Hayward Community Services Commission, which provides funding recommendations to City Council for local nonprofits that benefit and serve the city’s residents.

Brett Connor, Database Administrator

Brett joined California Humanities in January 2016 to manage and provide ongoing strategy and support for our database system. With over 8 years of database administrator experience, Brett has managed database systems for various industries, ranging from an office product company to a company providing medical services. Born and raised outside of Chicago, Brett currently resides in Los Angeles where he is also a church musician. Brett received his BA in Business Information Systems from Illinois State University, and a Master of Church Music from Concordia University Chicago.

Angelica Dongallo, Grants & Programs Associate 

Angelica manages grant-making processes and logistics at California Humanities, in addition to providing other programmatic support. She came on board in 2013 as Program Assistant, and prior to that was the Acquisitions & Granting Manager for the Global Film Initiative, an international film grantor and distributor. Angelica is also a longtime performing artist with Kariktan Dance Company, a Filipino cultural dance troupe based in Concord, California. She enjoys traveling and all things food. Angelica holds a BA in Mass Communications with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice from the University of California, Berkeley.

Felicia Kelley, Senior Program Officer 

Felicia represents California Humanities in our Los Angeles office, where she has worked on grant-making and other projects since 1997, including California Reads, Community Stories, and Literature & Medicine®. Felicia holds an MA and a PhD in International Relations from the University of Southern California and a BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Before joining California Humanities, she held teaching and administrative positions in higher education and worked on public programming and community education projects with several Los Angeles–area nonprofit organizations.

John Lightfoot, Program Officer 

John has managed the California Documentary Project grant program at California Humanities since 2007. Previously, he produced, directed, and taught documentary film for over 15 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John holds an MA in American Studies from Brown University and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University.

Erin Menne, Programs Associate

Erin joined California Humanities in May 2015 and supports grant management and initiative implementation. She has over ten years’ experience in grant compliance and management for state governmental agencies in Texas and Minnesota. Erin holds a BS in Social Work and a BA in Spanish from New Mexico State University – Las Cruces and earned a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing and Advocacy from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She enjoys music, metal arts and exploring the world, especially California. 

Janine Paver, Director of Development 

Janine joined California Humanities in June 2015 and provides leadership and oversight for the development and fundraising initiatives through individual, foundation, government and corporate contributions. Previously, Janine was Associate Director of Development for Stanford Live where she developed annual and long-range fundraising and donor stewardship strategies to support the opening of the Bing Concert Hall and its programming. Janine was born and raised in Los Angeles and spent the first part of her career working in film production. She has a BA in Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in American Studies from the University of Maryland.

Jody Sahota, External Affairs Coordinator 

Jody joined California Humanities in 2005 as the Organizational Effectiveness Coordinator. She received her BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto, with a minor in Art History. As the External Affairs Coordinator at California Humanities, Jody oversees communications and federal advocacy efforts. Outside of work, Jody’s love of politics has her involved in various election campaigns in San Mateo County.

Carlos Torres, Operations Manager 

Carlos joined California Humanities in 2002. Always as a part of the Operations Department, he started off as a part-time Bookkeeper, moved on to become a full-time Operations Coordinator, and is now the Operations Manager. Prior to California Humanities, he worked in banking as a Personal Financial Representative and studied at San Francisco State University. Carlos has produced and recorded a Latin Urban music album and is also a professional photographer.

Ann Yoshinaga, Development Officer 

Ann has been with California Humanities since 2004. She has extensive experience working and volunteering for arts, culture and human services organizations in grant writing, marketing, audience development and event planning. Ann holds a BA in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MA in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.