Staff Team

The Brooklyn Community Foundation is led and run by professionals who represent diverse perspectives, expertise, neighborhoods and interests. Our staff and our Board members have a deep knowledge of the borough and of the issues. And, as strong stewards of the funds, our team is committed to an open and fair process.

President & CEO

Cecilia Clarke is President and CEO of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. For more than 20 years, she has successfully managed and developed nonprofit organizations in the greater New York City area, with an emphasis on community and cultural advancement.

Cecilia joined the Foundation in September 2013 after more than a decade as Executive Director of the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, an innovative educational leadership program she founded in 2001 for low-income young women from New York City and Newark, NJ. Cecilia built Sadie Nash from an inaugural class of 16 girls in 2002 to an annual roster of more than 500 participants. Under her leadership, Sadie Nash was awarded the 2010 New York Times Company Gold Prize for Overall Management Excellence.

Prior to establishing Sadie Nash, Cecilia enjoyed a successful career in arts management. She led the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was Associate Director of The Drawing Center, and was responsible for government fundraising at the Brooklyn Museum. She got her start as a social worker, counseling women at Fountain House, a “clubhouse” program for the mentally ill.

Cecilia has served on the New York State Attorney General’s Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization, the Board of Directors of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, as an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s School of Education, and as a volunteer for the Park Slope Safe Homes Project.

Cecilia received her B.A. from Georgetown University. She lives in Fort Greene with her husband and three children.

Chief Operating Officer

Michael J. Burke joined the Community Foundation in January 2012. Previously Michael was the Chief Operating Officer of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. He has also served as Chief of Staff for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Budget and Policy Director for former Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden; and Vice President in community and housing development matters for Chemical Bank and Manufacturers Hanover Trust. A resident of Brooklyn for almost 25 years, Michael has been very involved in the borough’s arts and civic organizations. He has held positions on the Boards of Directors of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., BRIC Arts/Media/Bklyn and Best of Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Community Pride Center. Michael received his Bachelors in Political Science from Columbia College, and a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Director of Community Leadership

Tynesha McHarris joined the Brooklyn Community Foundation as Director of Community Leadership in June 2014. She has worked with the Foundation since January 2014, helping to launch and implement the Brooklyn Insights initiative; in her current role, she is developing the Foundation's community empowerment and grantmaking strategies, as well as spearheading major initiatives across the borough. 

Previously, Tynesha was the Director of Programs and Community Engagement at Newark Trust for Education, the Director of Community Programming for PENewark, and the Newark Program Director for the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. 
At the age of 21, Tynesha was hired as Executive Director of an organization providing advocacy and academic/vocational programming for young men serving sentences with NJ’s Juvenile Justice Commission. There, she developed and implemented the first Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in Newark, NJ and also assisted in the subsequent launch of four other Freedom Schools in the state.  
Tynesha is a graduate of Rutgers University, with a BA in Politics and Sociology, and has completed post-graduate training in Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Executive Education Program as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Center for Creative Leadership’s Executive Education Program as a Ladder to Leadership Fellow. 
Tynesha is on the board of Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Chad Schools Foundation, and Art & Abolition, an organization working to end sex trafficking in Kenya. She is currently a subject of the HBO documentary, Another Night in the Free World, featuring young women activists.
Manager, Donor Services

Julia Metro joined the Brooklyn Community Foundation in November of 2012. Previously, she coordinated development and fundraising efforts for Friends of Materials for the Arts, the nonprofit partner of Materials for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Julia is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Art History and French, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Brooklyn-based dance group, the A.O. Movement Collective. A Brooklyn resident since 2007 and proud Massachusetts native, she lives in Prospect Heights.


Director of Communications

Liane Stegmaier manages the Foundation's multichannel communications, public relations, and marketing strategies to build awareness, engagement, and partnership for our work throughout the borough. Liane joined the Foundation in 2011; previously she oversaw communications for the Lupus Research Institute and the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, and was an intern with the NYC2012 Olympic Bid. Liane graduated with honors from New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and is a proud decade-long resident of Brooklyn. She lives on Ocean Parkway (the country's first bicycle path!) in Kensington with her boyfriend and their rescue dog.

Vice President, Development and External Affairs

Alex Villari oversees development and external relations for the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Alex works closely with the Foundation’s leadership, donors, fund holders, giving groups, and charitable partners in maximizing the social impact of their Brooklyn giving while growing charitable assets for the borough. Previously, Alex served as Senior Director of Institutional Advancement and Principal Giving at New York Public Radio. He has also held senior development positions at Columbia University Medical Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, and New York Academy of Sciences. Over his career, he has secured and directed more than $100 million from individual, foundation, and government sources. Alex earned a B.A. in Religion with a minor in Anthropology from Columbia University. Since moving to Brooklyn in 1995, Alex has been actively involved in the borough’s civic and cultural life and serves on the Member's Committee of Philanthropy New York. Alex lives in Park Slope with his wife Amy and their two young sons.