About Us

Kordant Philanthropy Advisors is a global philanthropy research and advisory firm. We serve as the trusted advisor to families and to leading businesses and institutions in the U.S. and Asia.

We design meaningful and relevant philanthropic experiences that maximize the social impact of our clients’ resources. They gain deep access to our sector knowledge, leadership, and networks. Through constant innovation, strategic alliances, and sharing of knowledge, we seek to influence and build the capabilities of world-class philanthropic enterprises and initiatives.

Our people are from diverse cultures and professional backgrounds – all bound by a shared passion to problem solving and making an impact in some of the world’s pressing issues.

Our Team

Dien S. YuenGillian Yeoh  | Victor Kuo | Julie Carpenter | Anh Ton

Our Network

Nishita Bakshi | Vivian Gee | Jeanne HuangLi | Peter Kim | Christen LeeCharles R. Ostertag

 

Our Team

DYuenWebsiteDien S. Yuen | 袁詩鈿
Managing Director

email: dien@kordant.com | tel: +1 415 609 0434 | twitter: @asiangiving

At Kordant Philanthropy Advisors, Dien oversees the strategic direction of the firm and leads our research and advisory engagements. With her philanthropic, legal and tax planning background, she brings to her clients a balance between theoretical concepts of philanthropic advising and on-the-ground knowledge in the effective practice of global philanthropy.

Dien is a recognized leader in the philanthropic sector and is especially known for her work with Asian American donors and donors with philanthropic interests in Asia. She speaks on the subjects of diaspora philanthropy, strategic giving, family philanthropy, global philanthropy, trends in Asian philanthropy, and Asians as donors. Dien is featured or quoted in many media outlets including CNN Money, Forbes Asia, The New York Times, Family Office Review, San Francisco Business Times and Economist Intelligence Unit reports.

Dien has been committed to the philanthropic planning and non-profit sectors all through her career. She was most recently Chief Philanthropy Officer at Give2Asia, where she served as a resource to donors wishing to give overseas and built the organization’s business development unit. Prior to that, she managed the portfolio of large and complex planned giving programs as Vice President & Senior Trust Officer at U.S. Trust. Previously, she was with IIT Bombay Heritage Fund, Asian Pacific Fund, and American Cancer Society.

Dien has been active in various professional and nonprofit organizations, including OneVietnam Network1990 InstitutePhilanthropic Ventures FoundationAAPIP (Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy), and NCPGC (Northern California Planned Giving Council). She holds a J.D., LL.M. in International Law, and the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation.

 

GillianGillian Yeoh | 姚 慧 龄
Senior Director

email: gillian@kordant.com | tel: +1 415 816 9812 | twitter: @gillianira

Gillian Yeoh is a philanthropic advisor and a client and portfolio manager for corporations (including Fortune 500 companies), foundations, and individuals. At Kordant, Gillian oversees the grantmaking process on behalf of our clients as well as manages a growing network of global field advisors. She has thorough knowledge of international grantmaking best practices, with significant expertise and experience in disaster giving, effective disaster response, and non-profit strategic collaboration.

Previously, Gillian was a Senior Program Officer at Give2Asia, where she managed over 100 client accounts with an annual fund portfolio of $10 million, supervising up to 170 new projects and 300 ongoing projects a year. She was also the Lead for the disaster response program, which raised over $40 million for over 30 disasters in Asia and established Give2Asia’s thought leadership on disaster response best practices. Prior to this, Gillian held roles in accounting and tax for The Asia Foundation in San Francisco and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore.

Due to her broad expertise in grantmaking and disaster response, she has been invited as a special correspondent for various media outlets, including CNNTVB USAUSA Today, and Foundation Center. Gillian has also spoken at international social forums, disaster-related roundtables, graduate programs, corporate clients’ global summits, and issue-specific conferences. She has authored two papers: “Lessons Learned in the 2011 Disasters in Tohoku, Japan” and “Disaster Giving in Asia: Lessons, Guidelines & Opportunities.”

Gillian holds a B.A. in Accounting from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where she was a Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholar. Upon graduating, she held the John W. Nason Fellowship in Political Science and Studio Art at Carleton College. In her spare time, she volunteers with several international non-profits and works at a saltwater fish and coral farm with her husband and their business partner in Belmont, CA.


Kuo-0612bVictor Kuo | 郭恩勝
Senior Director

email: victor@kordant.com | tel: +1 206 930 7829 | twitter: @victorkuo

Victor Kuo, Ph.D., is a researcher, evaluator, and educator who has spent a decade helping philanthropic foundations measure their social impact. Victor oversees the work in our Seattle office and leads our research and evaluation engagements, ensuring the highest quality of guidance for our clients.

Previously, he served as an Evaluation Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and held a similar role helping to design and implement the evaluation function at the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. He was a consultant to other corporate and philanthropic foundations while at FSG Social Impact Advisors, an international nonprofit consulting firm. Dr. Kuo has assisted some of the world’s largest foundations in designing and implementing evaluation projects and in developing organizational systems to make measurement of social programs a regular function that informs strategy. He has managed and advised on evaluation projects addressing school reform in the US and energy policy change in China and India.

Dr. Kuo serves on the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association and the Advisory Board of GreatNonprofits. In 2009, he was sponsored by British Airways to explore the growth of philanthropy in Singapore and greater China, and in 2010, he was a featured speaker at the Qi Global conference in Singapore.  Dr. Kuo has also published on the role of philanthropy in education reform in the Peabody Journal of Education. He earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University, MA from Teachers College Columbia University, and BA from Pomona College. He, his wife, and daughter reside in Seattle, Washington, USA.


Julie Carpenter
Advisor

email: julie@kordant.com |  twitter: @StrawStickBrick

Julie has spent her career working in museums, cultural institutions, and non profit organizations. Her professional focus is public relations, community engagement, program development, and institutional planning.

Julie served as the Senior Museum Specialist for the City of Campbell, CA overseeing the Campbell Historical Museum & Ainsley House. Previously, she was the executive director of The Betts House in Cincinnati, OH. Julie spent over a decade in Washington D.C. where she worked for institutions including the National Air and Space Museum, The Phillips Collection, and Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, as well as Cultural Tourism DC, a non-profit organization using local history and culture as a tool for economic development.

In addition, Julie has worked for the American Kidney Fund in Rockville, Maryland, the Lyman Museum and Mission House in Hilo, Hawai`i; as an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University in cultural heritage tourism; and as an educator for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Julie holds a master’s degree in history with a concentration in museum studies from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Wittenberg University.


DSC_7053-final_smallAnh Ton
Community Engagement Manager

email: anh@kordant.com

At Kordant, Anh works on expanding the resources at Asian Philanthropy Forum and on other research initiatives. Previously, Anh was a communications and development coordinator at a Vietnam-focused nonprofit, where she helped the organization transition from a volunteer-run grassroots organization to a professional humanitarian aid agency. She also interned at Give2Asia in the business development department to research and develop material for Asian American and corporate philanthropy, and was a writer for Vietnam Talking Points (part of OneVietnam Network).

In her spare time, Anh enjoys volunteering as a literacy tutor for adult learners in Silicon Valley. She graduated with a degree in English and a minor in Southeast Asian Studies from UC Berkeley.

 

 

Our Network

NishNishita Bakshi
Advisor

email: nishita@kordant.com

Nishita Bakshi is an international development professional and strategic philanthropic consultant with multi-sector experience. Throughout her career, Nish has developed a strong expertise in corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and research in the non-profit arena. She has advised major corporations (including those in the Fortune 500) and high net worth individuals and families, offering strategic leadership and oversight for philanthropic investments in the non-profit and social entrepreneurship areas. She also advises non-profits on strategic partnerships, operational issues, and development strategy. Nish has managed multi-million dollar projects for clients across 23 countries in Asia in education, water and sanitation, health, disaster relief, women’s empowerment, and economic development.

Most recently, Nish was the Director of Programs at Give2Asia, where she was responsible for the oversight and legal compliance of all due diligences and grants. Prior to Give2Asia, Nish worked as Research Director at As You Sow, a corporate accountability organization that uses shareholder advocacy and the financial markets to catalyze positive change within publicly-held companies. In that role, she conducted social and environmental research on shareholder campaigns and was the primary author of the inaugural edition of “Waste and Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report.”

Nish has also worked as a researcher for various academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations, such as the Indian Institute of Forest Management/World Bank, Virginia Tech, and the Sustainable San Mateo County. Her research work has been featured in several books, papers, and reports and she has served on expert stakeholder panels on climate change for Dell and Sun Microsystems.

She holds a Master of Science in Agriculture and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech and an MBA in Forestry Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management. Her voluntary experience includes serving as the Treasurer for Indians for Collective Action (ICA), a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit volunteer group working on behalf of India’s poor, and Vice President and then President of the Association for India’s Development.

 

vivian-geeVivian Gee | 朱慧允
Advisor

email: vivian@kordant.com

Vivian Gee advises Asia-based social enterprises, non-profits, and social businesses such as Friends International and Human Nature. She also sits on the Board of Directors at Uberis Capital, a Southeast Asia-focused impact investing firm, where she is developing the strategy to engage companies through advisory services and the establishment of employee-driven social venture funds.

Vivian was most recently an Associate Director and Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In this role, Vivian identified and evaluated innovative business models, building a leading community of social enterprises, and tailoring services to help them achieve greater scale. Through the Forum, Vivian facilitated opportunities for social enterprises to engage with governments, large corporations, financiers, and international organizations on policy making, setting industry agendas, and strategic dialogue. A specialist in the Asia region, Vivian also directed corporate partnerships for the Foundation globally, designing programs that catalyze synergies and create shared value for social enterprises and the multinational companies.

Vivian’s prior work experience includes product management and product marketing in the technology sector, as well as strategy consulting. In Indonesia, she spearheaded a consulting program for family businesses and SMEs to incorporate social impact into their operations and performance metrics. Having lived in five different countries and traveling extensively in Asia, Vivian has worked in a range of dynamic environments – from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Altogether, Vivian combines over a decade of experience in both the private sector and the social sector. She holds an MBA from INSEAD, and Bachelors and Masters degrees in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, respectively, from Stanford University.

 

JHL small cropJeanne HuangLi | 黃于真
Advisor

email: jeanne@kordant.com

Jeanne is Executive Director of the Berkeley Asia Business Center, and Senior Director handling international outreach and development at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. In a role created with her in mind, she has been responsible for strategic planning and implementation of programs and a cycle of engagement with the school’s most important international alumni and friends.  Most recently, Jeanne helped manage the successful cultivation of a $15 million capital building gift to the Haas School of Business, at the time, the largest gift from Asia to the school.  She has experience working on large-scale educational programs overseas and success working with donors to establish student scholarships and endowments at Berkeley and other universities.

Jeanne has worked with a start-up diaspora community foundation aimed at promoting strategic philanthropy and social entrepreneurship; and with The Asia Foundation, an international development organization working in over 20 countries in Asia. She was responsible for helping to develop successful private fundraising initiatives and infrastructure at the Foundation.

Jeanne worked for a United Way system and helped to manage the annual agency review, Gifts in Kind, and the federal Emergency Food and Shelter programs for Alaska. Her work transitioned into a role as the founding director of an Internet-based community resource program that is the backbone for 211 in the state. 
 Jeanne served as an education and community development volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps.

Jeanne has also worked as recruiter in major markets in NY and CA and for a venture capital matching program. 

Jeanne has a B.A.from the University of Michigan; a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law; and a stint as a visiting scholar at UT Austin.

 

PKphotoPeter Kim | 定相 | 김정상
Advisor

email: peter@kordant.com

Peter is a nonprofit leader who has run social venture funds, worked in philanthropy, and provided strategy consulting to foundations, corporations and nonprofits. He has worked internationally and in the United States on environmental law and policy, education, transportation and land-use, and human rights issues. He has focused on improving strategies, partnerships and investments to enhance social impact.

As the executive director of GLOW, an education focused nonprofit, Peter brings his expertise in strategic planning, capacity building, and scaling organizations to empower California’s under-resourced students to enter and graduate from college. GLOW has gone from serving 180 students to 8,000 and continues to expand across California with partnerships with schools, nonprofits, corporations, and governmental agencies.

In addition to his work, Peter serves as the board chair for Californians for Justice and serves on advisory boards for Save the Waves Coalition and Palindrome Advisors. Previously he served on an advisory committee for the California League of Conservation Voters for the first Asian-American environmental survey in the state and steering committee for AAPIP (Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy). Peter has a law degree with a certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources Law.

 

Lee, Christen_300dpiChristen Lee | 李嬉恩 | 이희은
Advisor

email: christen@kordant.com | tel: +1 415 470 9197

Christen provides research and other support to help clients execute their philanthropic vision through innovative donor collaborations, program launches, and grant-making initiatives. Her current project includes developing a case study for the merger of two youth development organizations in Chinatown Oakland and strategy development for an education fund that supports under-resourced youth in the Asian American community. Christen has designed and implemented technical assistance programs for grassroots and national nonprofits, social enterprises, and funders that serve low-income communities, immigrants, and communities of color. She has also worked on grassroots leadership development, economic empowerment, education access, civic engagement, racial justice, human rights, environmental justice, and climate change issues throughout the United States. She has facilitated learning exchanges between U.S. based and international social justice workers.

Christen serves on the board of Asian Immigrant Women Advocates and is a member of Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. She is also a member of the California State Bar. Christen graduated from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and Yale University.

 

CharlesCharles R. Ostertag, Esq.
Special Counsel

email: charles@kordant.com | tel: +1 510 225 8843

Charles has broad experience in the nonprofit and corporate sector. He specializes in international grantmaking practices in the United States, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and is versed in foreign charity laws in countries such as India and China. Charles also serves as principal at Alamere Law Group where he focus on nonprofit and corporate services, and civil litigation.

At Kordant, Charles provides technical and legal support to clients on matters relating to expenditure responsibility, equivalency determination, and emerging laws affecting philanthropic projects in Asian countries. Charles also authors firm publications to help simplify the legal aspects of philanthropy and make giving abroad more efficient and effective.

Charles graduated magna cum laude from UC Berkeley with B.A.’s in English Literature and Rhetoric; received the Cal Bears Scholarship (full tuition) and the H.W. Hill Scholarship; and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Charles received his J.D. from Tulane University Law School where he was managing editor for, and published in, the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law. Charles is a member of the State Bar of California. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.