We are thankful to the people who shepherd NoVo’s work and inspired daily by their dedication, passion and spirit.
President and Co-Chair
As President of NoVo Foundation, Jennifer is responsible for the day-to-day creation and oversight of vision, strategy, and program development. She also serves as chief liaison in NoVo’s partnership building with other foundations and nonprofits. Jennifer Co-Chairs the Foundation’s board with her husband, composer and producer Peter Buffett.
Jennifer works passionately advocating for girls and women worldwide and to end violence and exploitation against them. She serves on the boards of the Nike Foundation to promote the Girl Effect, the economic and social empowerment of adolescent girls that results in a ripple effect of positive change; the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to promote “whole-child” education practices based on what kids need from schools, from their teachers, and one another in order to learn and thrive; and V-Day.
Jennifer began her work in philanthropy in 1997 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, primarily as a funder of social service organizations, with a focus on early childhood education for at-risk children and families.
In September 2008, Jennifer and Peter received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for their “visionary leadership and sustainable, scalable work in solving pressing global challenges.” Presenting the award to the Buffetts, former President Bill Clinton said, “The Buffetts are leading an inspirational campaign to improve the status of women and girls across the globe. Their innovative approach to philanthropy has leveraged the capacity of existing organizations to affect real, positive change.”
Jennifer and Peter were named in Barron’s list of top 25 most effective philanthropists in 2009 and 2010.
Peter Buffett is a well-established musician, composer, and producer, as well as Co-Chair of NoVo Foundation.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett began his career in San Francisco writing music for commercials. After recording four albums for Narada Records, Peter signed with Epic and then Hollywood Records resulting in four additional releases. His Emmy-winning album, titled Ojibwe, was released on his own label, BisonHead.
Highlights of his film and television work include the fire dance scene in the Oscar-winning film Dances With Wolves and the entire score for 500 Nations, the 8-hour miniseries produced by Kevin Costner for CBS. Peter’s recently released book, Life Is What You Make It, debuted at No. 4 on the New York Times Best Seller Hardcover Advice list and is a companion to his live “Concert & Conversation” performances.
Buffett’s theatrical production, Spirit—The Seventh Fire, was performed on the National Mall for the Smithsonian’s opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. Spirit—The Seventh Fire combined Imax scale film and imagery, native dancers and a live band to tell the story of one man’s journey toward reconnection through his heritage and the land we live on.
As Co-Chair of NoVo Foundation with his wife Jennifer, Peter helps guide the strategic mission of the Foundation.
Senior Manager, Initiatives for Girls and Women
Puja works on NoVo’s initiatives to end violence against girls and women and to empower adolescent girls. Puja was previously the Senior Program Officer for the U.S. Human Rights Fund at Public Interest Projects—a donor collaborative that provides strategic field-building support to social justice organizations engaged in human rights work within the United States. Puja joined the U.S. Human Rights Fund when it first launched in 2005, and over the next four years helped build the Fund’s grantmaking, program and fundraising work. Puja has also done consulting work on developing domestic human rights funding and advocacy strategies. She authored a 2010 report for the Asian Law Caucus on integrating domestic human rights into the Asian American advocacy community, and consulted with the International Human Rights Funders Group. After law school, Puja worked as a Staff Attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she represented battered women in their family law proceedings, and worked on gender and caste discrimination in South Asia at Human Rights Watch.
Puja earned her J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan. Puja is a Myers Briggs INTJ (introversion, intuition, thinking, judgment). After violence against girls and women has finally ended, Puja plans on becoming a professional organizer (closets, not people).
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” —Rabindranath Tagore
Associate, Initiatives for Girls and Women
Caitlin supports NoVo’s initiatives to end violence against girls and women and empower adolescent girls. She graduated from Brown University, where she earned a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and Political Science. While on campus, Caitlin was involved with Brown’s Third World Center, where she supported students of color and community building efforts on campus. As an intern for the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Office of Community Affairs, she assisted community outreach initiatives in Chicago’s South Side. Caitlin also spent time in Cambodia researching programs to aid victims of human trafficking and worked with Tiny Toones, a grassroots organization that empowers youth through hip-hop.
When taking a break from working to end violence against girls and women, Caitlin listens to hip hop beats and incites dance parties.
“We are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.” —Grace Lee Boggs
Director, Grants Administration
Kerri directs all aspects of NoVo’s grants administration, in addition to managing the grants portfolio of the Initiative for Local Living Economies. Prior to joining NoVo, Kerri was Manager of Philanthropic Services at RSF Social Finance, where she oversaw domestic and international grantmaking in areas focused on food and agriculture, education and the arts, and ecological stewardship. Kerri has also worked on a variety of socio-economic rights-related projects, including with the Global Development Initiative in Cacha, Ecuador, where she focused on a micro-credit project to revitalize investment within local indigenous communities. She was also a research assistant at the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs, where she concentrated on the “Adolescent Girls to Aging Women Project”, a needs-based assessment of community-based programs assisting girls and women in under-served communities. In other previous roles, Kerri served as an Americorps VISTA Volunteer with the Human Rights Documentation Exchange in Austin, Texas, as well as an Upper Midwest International Human Rights Fellow with the MN Advocates for Human Rights Child Survival Project in Mexico and the U.S.
Kerri holds a B.A. from Northern Arizona University, and a MPA from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, with a concentration in Women & Public Policy & International Relations. Kerri spends most of her free time exploring new and familiar places—both far and near—never without a camera in hand.
Associate, Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning
Doris supports all aspects of NoVo’s initiative to advance social and emotional learning. She joins the team with a Master’s degree in Childhood Education from Hunter College of the City University of New York and teaching certification in New York State. Her interests in diversity, social inequities, and emotional intelligence prompted her thesis, Social and Emotional Well-being of African-American Students in Culturally Responsive Classrooms. Doris has taught in 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms in public schools. Prior to receiving her Master’s degree, she was an educator on immigration history at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. She has worked with various non-profit organizations including the Chinese-American Planning Council, and Rocking the Boat, a youth development and environmental education organization. She graduated with B.A.s in Environmental Studies and Classics from Union College in Schenectady, New York. When not dreaming about ways to advance social and emotional learning in schools, Doris enjoys time with her fluffy dog, Lucky, and uninhibited, nonjudgmental karaoke with friends.
Manager, Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning
Pamela works to support the development and ongoing implementation of NoVo Foundation’s Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning and contributes to the foundation’s overall strategy to advance social and emotional learning for all young people. Pamela monitors programmatic and budgetary goals, makes grant recommendations, and manages a portfolio of grants under the leadership of the Board. Prior to joining NoVo Foundation in 2007, she founded and managed a childcare service, held assistant positions in the finance and arts industries, worked as a childcare provider, and performed off-Broadway.
Pamela received a bachelor of fine arts from Otterbein College, in Westerville, Ohio, and graduated summa cum laude with honors and distinction. Pamela and her husband are originally from the U.K. They live in Brooklyn with their native New Yorker daughter.
“What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?” —George Eliot
Director, Finance and Operations
Kelly directs the financial strategy and fiscal functions of the Foundation, and oversees its information technology, human resource management, and administrative operations. She also guides NoVo’s Mission Related Investment program. Kelly brings 12 years of diverse experience, in both the non-profit and private sector. Prior to joining NoVo in 2007, she managed various small offices in NYC, Hawaii, and Ohio.
Kelly graduated from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, where she earned a B.A. in International Business Administration and Spanish. She has volunteered for the last 13 years as a camp counselor for children impacted by AIDS/HIV. When not wearing the many hats of operations management, you can usually find Kelly at the various thrift stores, stoop sales, and record shops sprinkled throughout the fabulous borough of Brooklyn.
“One love, one heart.” —Bob Marley
NoVo Fellow to the Nike Foundation
Jody is currently the Insights and Creative Strategy Manager at the Nike Foundation. Prior to this position, she was the Gender-Based Violence Coordinator with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Ethiopia, where she managed IRC’s efforts to end violence against girls and women. Jody previously managed IRC’s Somali region gender-based violence program focused on ending violence against girls and women in the Somali refugee camps and established host community programming. Before joining IRC, Jody was a consultant with NoVo working on our strategy to end violence against girls and women and was a Fellow with Columbia University’s International HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Program in Kenya. There, she helped strengthen medical response to survivors of sexual violence while looking at the unique needs of children and adolescents. Jody has also worked with UNICEF’s Child Protection team to strengthen gender-based violence programming; Girls International Forum to bring girls around the world together to solve problems in their community; served in the US Peace Corps, and on a girl’s education and empowerment program where she focused on child trafficking prevention and rehabilitation, and making communities and schools safer for girls.
Jody holds a B.S. from Colorado State University and a MSW from Columbia University. Jody spends most of her time flying around the world and hanging out with super star teenage girls.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” —Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Assistant to the President's Office
Linda provides administrative support to NoVo’s president, Jennifer Buffett, and works closely with the foundation’s staff and board. Before arriving at NoVo in April 2012, Linda spent over 20 years in the fashion industry where she enjoyed her work as a senior executive assistant within the communications, marketing and operations sectors. Linda held various positions throughout her 13-year tenure at Liz Claiborne Inc. (now Fifth & Pacific Companies, Inc.) including executive assistant to the senior vice president of corporate marketing and most recently as the company’s intranet content manager.
In addition to her career in the corporate world, Linda ran her own business designing and producing millinery collections for women and children under the label Linda Rosenthal Millinery, which were carried by fine specialty stores throughout the New York metropolitan area.
Linda brings a diverse set of organizational, creative and editorial skills to NoVo Foundation. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Cornell University and continues to pursue her personal interests in fashion history, couture sewing, painting, drawing, and gardening, as well as spending time with her family, which now includes two grandchildren.
Director, Initiatives for Girls and Women
Pamela directs NoVo’s work on empowering adolescent girls and ending violence against girls and women. Pamela previously spent six years at UNICEF headquarters where she led the organization’s efforts to end gender-based violence in conflict-affected settings including in Darfur, Eastern Congo, Uganda, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Prior to joining the UN, Pamela served as the Co-Executive Director of Equality Now, where she focused extensively on trafficking of girls and women and convened a coalition of organizations for passage of the first US legislation on trafficking in persons and the UN Transnational Crime Protocol on Trafficking in Persons. From 1996-1998, Pamela served as legal advisor for the ANC Parliamentary Women’s Caucus in South Africa where she supported development of South Africa’s first post-apartheid legislation addressing domestic violence, and led a National Campaign on Ending Violence against Women.
Pamela is the author of several articles on women’s and girls’ rights, including, “Trafficking and Human Rights in a Globalized World,” Oxfam Journal of Gender and Development, and “Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post-Conflict: A Need for More Focused Action,” Refugee Survey Quarterly. Pamela is the recipient of the 2011 Lucretia Mott Award from Women’s Way and was named as one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s e-News.
Pamela has taught Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan and at Hunter College, and she holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
When not rabble rousing for the human rights of girls and women, Pamela likes to run around Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and drink copious amounts of coffee with friends.
“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” —Fannie Lou Hamer